Let’s face it, our favorite adult beverage, wine, has been around a long time, probably 25,000 years, but it still is a fascinating subject at wine tastings or other social gatherings.
I have gathered together some interesting research and odd facts about wine that may impress your wine-drinking friends.
- An Italian study showed that women who drank two glasses of wine daily enjoyed physical pleasure more than women who drank no wine at all. I think Italy is probably the only country in the world that would undertake such a study but: “Viva l’amore.”
- The Chinese drink the most red wine. In 2013, they drank 155 million, nine-liter cases, outstripping France. The top per capita consumption is in The Vatican with 74 liters per capita per year which is about 99 bottles of 75cl per year. Red is considered a lucky color in China and perhaps in China mysticism has come together with wine.
- Red wines are known to contain many beneficial antioxidants such as polyphenol and resveratrol that have cardio-protective effects and anti-cancer properties. Grape skin is especially rich in antioxidants. Since red wine is fermented together with its skin, it has more antioxidants than white wine. Sorry, Chardonnay!
- It is well-known that women cannot tolerate alcohol as well as men, they become intoxicated faster but why? The answer is that the female body has a higher fat content than male bodies and fat cannot absorb alcohol.
- Wine does not make one fat. Recent studies found that women who drank one glass of wine per day averaged 10 pounds less body fat than those women who did not drink at all.
- A French woman, Jeanne Calment, lived to 122 years of age. She died in 1997 but attributed her longevity and relatively youthful appearance for her age to a diet rich in olive oil (which she also rubbed onto her skin), as well as a diet of port wine. She also ate nearly one kilogram of chocolate every week.
- Next year is the 40th anniversary of the “Judgment of Paris” wine tasting that saw wines from Napa Valley, California, top French wines. A 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay from Napa finished first among the whites, and the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, also from Napa, was tops among the reds. This tasting showed that countries outside of Europe could also make fine wine.
- The Swedish former physical education teacher, Richard Juhlin, has the best nose for wine (champagne specifically) and in a famous blind tasting of 2003, arranged by Spectacle du Monde, he correctly identified 43 of 50 wines. The one who came in second correctly identified only four.
- In Vietnam, it’s possible to order a cobra blood wine from restaurant menus. The waiter will take a live cobra, kill it on the spot, drain the blood into a shot glass of rice wine, and top it off with the cobra’s still beating heart for you to gulp down. NO THANKS!
[Article by David Swartzentruber]