Sunday, April 30, 2006

10 Little Known Facts About Wine

1. According to scientist Bill Lembeck there are approximately 49 million bubbles in a bottle of Champagne.

2. The corkscrew was invented in 1860

3. The most expensive bottle of wine was sold at an auction at Christies, London, in December 1985. The buyer paid $105 000 for a bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafitte claret that was engraved with the initials of Thomas Jefferson. Eleven months after the sale, the cork dried out, slipped into the bottle and spoiled the wine, making it the most expensive bottle of vinegar!

4. The average number of grapes it takes to produce a bottle of wine: 600.

5. The longest recorded champagne cork flight was 177 feet and 9 inches (53,32 m), four feet(1,2m) from level ground at Woodbury Vineyards in New York State

6. There's a little story behind the champagne glass, dating back to Greek mythology. The first "coupe" was said to be molded from the breast of Helen of Troy. The Greeks believed that wine drinking was a sensual experience, and it was only fitting that the most beautiful woman take part in shaping the chalice.

Centuries later, Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, decided it was time to create a new champagne glass. She had coupes molded to her own breasts, which changed the shape of the glass entirely, since Marie Antoinette was - shall we say- better endowed than Helen of Troy.

7. Dom Perignon did not invent champagne, it had existed for several years. What he did invent was the mushroom shaped cork and wire cage that allowed the sparkling wine to be safely bottled. Previous attempts had all ended with popped corks.

8. The dye used to stamp the grade on meat is edible. It's made from grape skins.

9. In the 1940's, California law made it illegal to serve any alcohol, wine included, to a gay (homosexual) person. Wine happens to be also the second most popular alcoholic drink among gays.

10. Italian wines are the most food-friendly on earth.

Any time you drink the wine of a particular wine region with the food of the same region, the combination is apt and harmonious. In the case of Italian food, no wines taste better than Italian wines — even if you drink a lusty wine of the South with a dish that's typical of a northern region. But Italy's wines are so incredibly food-friendly that their pairing talent extends far beyond la cucina italiana. The crisp acidity of Italy's white wines cuts through the richness of classic French dishes, and the tanginess of many reds provides thirst-quenching relief with Tex-Mex. Italian wines are the most food-friendly on earth.

Sources – Alcohol Trivia, Damn Good Wine, Fun Facts, DidYouKnow.Com