10 MORE Unique Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Wine (P2)
Whether you are a wine-pro, looking to learn or just want some tasting room conversation starters, here is the next edition of "10 Unique Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Wine"
The Chinese are the worlds largest consumers of red wine. Since 2008 red wine consumption has increased a staggering 136% in China. Two of the leading reasons behind its popularity have been down to its perceived 'health benefits' and more importantly how its red color resembles 'luck'.
Wineries and Falcons have a special bond. In order to preserve up to 20% of their vines from being eaten by small birds such as starlings and blackbirds, an increasing number of wineries across California and New Zealand have introduced falconry programs. Research has shown that falcons eat up to two small birds and several small rodents as part of their daily diet and cause no other harm to the wine-making process or environment. Whats more is that with food being readily available, the cost of the program is minuscule (the same cost as it would be to own a house cat).
Chinese scientists have supposedly identified a method of 'cellar aging' young wine without having to wait several years. How you ask? - By using electricity. They believe that exposing the wine to an electric field for three minutes will affect the aldehydes, proteins and esters in a way that 'ages' the wine instantaneously. Personally, I think i'll leave them to it, I don't really want people sticking their electric rods in my wine. (and yes, I may have drawn the terrible picture)
The tradition of clinging glasses while saying 'cheers' actually originated from old Rome as a precaution to ensure the wine wasn't poisoned by the host. At this time 'glass' wine glasses didn't really exist, they were in the form of heavy goblets or cups. The purpose of clinging or in their case 'bumping' these cups together would cause wine to spill into the air and therefore into all of the cups. So if the host decided to poison the guests, they too would have more than just a hangover in the morning.
A common misconception is that every single wine type will get better with years of age. While there are certain varieties that do need to be set down for 10+ years (Bordeaux's, Californians Cabernets, Vintage Porto's to name just a few), this only consists of about 10% of wine types. The other 90% should usually be drank within the 1 year as this is the time period in which the reach their peak.
Screw tops aren't just associated with cheaper mass produced wines. In fact, 75% of Australian wines and 93% of New Zealand Wines are currently sealed by screw tops. This inexpensive method that is proven to preserve wine longer than traditional cork methods is also catching on across the world.
(This seems to be a hot topic right now, and although I shouldn't give my personal opinion [I'm not a fan of screwtops], I would be really interested to know what you think. Please feel free to comment below)
There's a lot more to Chardonnay than people think. Not only is the top seller out of any wine variety in the USA, but there is also more Chardonnay produced in California than anywhere else in the world. This is down to the unique climate and other geographical variables that make it the perfect nurturing ground for a good ol' Chard'. Mmmmm...
Fun fact time. In order to get the same amount of anti-oxidants that one 'average' glass of red wine (regardless of type) offers, you would need to neck down 20 glasses of fresh pressed apple juice or 7 glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice. To represent the health component of anti-oxidants, here is an awkward stock photo of a Doctor holding a glass of wine.
Bottles of wine with animals on the label are referred to as "Critter Wines". There's also usually quite a good story behind how that came to be too. A prime example of that would be the fun story behind the badger on Hamel Family Wines bottles. In fact, if you find yourself in Sonoma you should without a doubt check these guys out.
And finally....Poor quality soil is actually proven to produce better wines. The vine is forced to fight harder to survive in the harsher conditions resulting in a higher quality batch.
Well thats it for another edition of Unique Wine Facts, feel free to let me know how many new things you learnt in the comment section below!
Thanks for reading and until next time! :)