All wines taste like fruit. Only rarely does a wine taste like grapes—for example, Muscat or Concord wines.
Because grapes in the Southern Hemisphere are picked during what is Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, a 1999 Australian wine could be six months older than a 1999.
Wine facilitated contacts between ancient cultures, providing the motive and means of trade.
For example, the Greeks traded wine for precious metals, and the Romans traded wine for slaves.
In ancient Egypt, the ability to store wine until maturity was considered alchemy and was the privilege of only the pharaohs.
Archaeologists found grape pips (seeds), usually considered evidence of winemaking, dating from 8000 B.C. in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. The oldest pips of cultivated vines were found in Georgia from 7000-5000 B.C.
Winemaking is a significant theme in one of the
One of the most quoted legends about the discovery of wine is the story of Jamshud a semi-mythical Persian king (who may have been Noah). A woman of his harem tried to take her life with fermented grapes, which were thought to be poisonous. Wine was discovered when she found herself rejuvenated and lively.
The first known illustration of wine drinking is found on a 5,000-year-old Sumerian panel known as the Standard of Ur.
Thucydides wrote that the people of the Mediterranean began to “emerge from barbarism when they learned to cultivate the oil and the vine.”
The standard wine container of the ancient world was the amphora (something which can be carried by two), a clay vase with two handles. It was invented by the Canaanites, who introduced it into Egypt before the fifteenth century B.C. Their forebears, the Phoenicians,
Plato argued that the minimum drinking age should be 18, and then wine in moderation may be tasted until 31. When a man reaches 40, he may drink as much as he wants to cure the “crabbedness of old age.”
Hippocrates, widely considered the father of medicine, includes wine in almost every one of his recorded remedies. He used it for cooling fevers, as a diuretic, as a general antiseptic, and to help convalescence.
Ancient Romans thought seasoning was more important than the primary flavor of wine and often added fermented fish sauce, garlic, asafetida, lead, and absinthe.
The man who most profoundly affected the history of wine was the prophet Mohammed. Within ten years of his death in A.D. 632, wine was largely banned from Arabia and from every country that heeded him.
A crop of newly planted grape vines takes four to five years to grow before it can be harvested.
Red Burgundy is made from the Pinot Noir grape and is
The Germans invented Eiswein, or wine that is made from frozen grapes.
Enologists are wine chemists who analyze samples of wine and advise winemakers.
The word “champagne” is named after a province in France, meaning “open country. Due to the Protected Designation of Origin law in Europe, sparkling wine made outside the Champagne region of France can no longer be called “champagne.”
The Bergerac wine region in southwest France has produced wine since Roman times.
The English word “wine” may be rooted in the Semitic yayin (lamentation and wailing). In Arabic, the word is wain, in Greek it is oinos, and in the Romance languages it is vin, vino, vina, vinho.
Grapes are the only fruit that are capable of producing the proper nutrition for the yeast on its skin and sugar in its juice to ferment naturally.
Red wine represents 55% of restaurant wine sales.
Global warming may redefine wine growing in the future. Even tiny temperature changes can dramatically change the quality of wine.
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