Wine is an alcoholic beverage made of the fermented juice of various kinds of grapes or other fruits. Grapes can be easily fermented without adding any sugars, acids, water, enzymes, or other nutrients. Wine was the first alcoholic drink discovered by prehistoric groups and it is believed that the first wine was purposely produced about 10,000 years ago. Evidences of wine have been revealed in the Republic of Georgia where 8,000 years old jar was found and in Iran where 7,000 years old jar was found. Wines, made of, other than grapes are called fruit wine, namely, rice wine, pomegranate wine, apple wine and elderberry wine. Wines are produced in different colors such as red, white, rose and different types as sweet, still and sparkling or wines with grape spirit (brandy).
Let us go through some amazing facts about wine:
- Wine had a significant role in religion in ancient Egypt. People used to associate it with blood.
- Most of the world’s wine is made from one unique species of grapes found in Europe and the Middle East called as Vitis Vinifera. The varieties of grapes that come under this species are Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz.
- Other species of grapes used for making wine is Vitis Labrusca, found in North America and includes varieties such as Concord, Alexander and Catawba.
- It depends on the winemakers how they make the wine when it comes to the taste of the wine. Even, two winemakers using the same variety of grapes can make wine having taste which is different in many ways.
- Red wines are red, the reason being the color of the grape skin gets extracted while fermentation. During the making of white wine, fermentation is done without the grape skin.
- Champagne is one of the world’s greatest sparkling wines produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France.
- One can come to know the geographical origin of the wine by looking at its color. The wine having dark shades are made in regions having warm climates and the wine having light shades are made in regions with cool climates and also have a lighter taste.
- It is a false notion that all wines, if kept for long, taste better. A vast majority of wines produced are ready to drink and should not be left for aging. Most of the wines do not taste as good the next day.
- Wine is tasted through its aroma. Aroma, generally, refers to a pleasant smell and it is different from bouquet which refers to the smell which is result of chemical reactions of fermentation and aging of wine. A wine which does not have any odor is called a dumb wine. The wine having no odor and even no possibility of developing a pleasant odor in the future is called a numb wine.
- The soil type, climate, degree of slope and exposure to the sun, collectively, are responsible for the terroir of the vineyard and ultimately, the unique taste of the wine.
- Hippocrates who was the father of medicine, incorporated wine in almost all his remedial methods – for cooling fever, as a diuretic, as a general antiseptic and to keep during period of recovery.
- The oldest bottle of wine has been found and displayed at Historisches Museum der Pfalz, Speyer, Germany. The bottle dates back to AD 325.
- Drinking wine regularly leads to avoid the risk of having heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease. However, it may also cause cancer of the digestive tract.
- Red wine contains polyphenol and resveratrol which have cardio-protective effects and anti-cancer properties. So, red wine has more antioxidants than white wine.
- In U.S, California, New York and Florida consume the most of the wine produced. France, Italy, Spain and California are the four largest producers of wine in the world.