Wine has a place in many situations. It is for celebrating, for casual evenings in, for romantic dinners, and it is even used in religious situations. It is used to toast newly married couples, and as a gift to people entering new chapters in their lives. Through all that, there are a lot of really cool facts about wine that not a lot of people know.
1. The concept of wine is really, really old
There is evidence of wine being made over 8,000 years ago. Evidence has been found of clay jars from 6,000 B.C. in the country of Georgia. Not to mention that evidence has also been found of a beverage of similar concept being made in China as far back as 7,000 B.C.
2. There are so many varieties of wine grapes
There are about 10,000 varieties of grapes, however most of them are not actually used to make wine. What’s more is that out of over 1,300 grape varieties that are used in making wine, only about 12 of them make up the majority of all wines in the world.
3. A wine by any other name would taste as good
Wine is named in two ways: either from the grape it is made from – for example, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Malbec – or from the region in which it is grown – such as Bordeaux, Chianti, Beaujolais, or Champagne.
4. New World vs. Old World
The location where a wine is made defines how it will be named, and the naming process is not random at all. Old world wines are named for their region, and New World wines are named for the grape they are made from. The Old World is made up of regions where wine is said to originate from. This includes places like Georgia, France, Greece, Israel and other European and Middle Eastern countries. New World wines are named for the grape they were made from, and generally include the Americas, Australia, and South Africa.
5. Talking about the terroir
The terroir of a wine includes information regarding the environment in which the grapes were grown in – the soil, the climate, and other environmental aspects. The reason this information is important is because these factors can actually affect the taste of the wine, and are therefore crucial to its unique flavour combination.
6. Blend wines exist
Blend wines are made up of the combination of two or more different grapes. Most commonly blends have one base grape that makes up about 50 per cent of the wine and then two or more grapes that make up the other 50 per cent
7. Varietals are not blends
Varietals are wines that are made up of the same grapes, but the grapes come from different plots. This allows for different environmental aspects to be included in the wine that would not have been included otherwise. Funnily enough, varietals can contain up to 25 per cent of another type of grape, but are still not considered blends.
8. Another type of blend
Winemakers also blend grapes from different years. A vintage wine is made from grapes of only the same year, and a non-vintage wine combines grapes from several different years. This, too, is a way to add unique flavour to a wine.
9. Pour a glass… or a third of one at least
Now, armed with all of these fun facts about wine, you may be ready to have a taste, but did you know that you should only fill the glass one third of the way up? This is a common practice used so that the aromas have space to develop.