Wine Fun Facts
The BuyWine.com Wine Academy is full of great information that will turn you into a wine expert overnight…well, maybe not that quickly but it will turn the average neophyte into someone to be listened to at a dinner party. The next time the discussion turns to what everyone is drinking remember that the Wine Academy is right there in your pocket whenever you need to throw out a quick fact or two. We have jotted down 5 fun wine facts that you can toss out the next time you have to impress someone with your wine knowledge.
Did You Know:
- Red (black) grape skins, seeds and stems add tannins to wines. These are naturally occurring compounds that give the sensation of dryness or astringency in the mouth. We do not taste tannins – we feel them. The right balance of tannins with alcohol, flavor and acidity makes for an enjoyable and balanced red wine. - What is wine?
- Champagne would not exist without the British, whose glassmakers were the first to produce bottles that could withstand the pressure of all those bubbles. “It’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne,” Winston Churchill is reputed to have said. - A Short History of Wine
- Color in wine comes largely from contact between the grape juice and the grape skin. Hence, it is possible to make a white wine from the juice of a red grape if the winemaker prevents or minimizes skin contact. You cannot make a red wine from a white grape, but you can make a deeply colored “orange” wine from white grapes if you macerate the juice on the skins for a long period to extract whatever pigments are available in the skins of the light-colored grapes. -Winemaking
- One of the major differences between red and white wine resides in the fact that red grapes have a higher level of phenolic compounds. Phenolics (also called polyphenols) include tannins, flavor precursors, pigments, and substances like resveratrol (which, some claim, has health benefits) and vanillin (which brings the characteristic flavor and aroma of vanilla to some wines). Phenolics come to the wine from the skins, stems and seed of the grape. – Wine Chemistry
- Washington is the nation’s second largest wine producer (but it accounts for only one tenth the volume of California). – Winemaking in Washington State
Just in case you need some wine vocabulary we have a glossary as well.
5 Wine Terms You Should Be Familiar With:
- Enophile - A connoisseur of wines
- Tannins - A group of organic substances responsible for the mouth-drying quality in a structured red wine. They can also be present in white wines such as Pinot Grigio and Gewurtztraminer, which are made from pinkish red grapes. The primary source for tannin in wine is found in the skins of the grapes, although it may also come from the oak treatment, seeds, and stems. Some grapes naturally have more tannic compounds than others and its levels of strength are determined by style and maceration time.
- Appelation - A designated region that has been organized by a governing institute to set apart unique growing conditions that are comparable for growing wine grapes. These unique conditions considered can be described as soil variations, wind, mountainous or valley geography.
- Astringency - Describes the sensation of mouth-drying reaction when strong tannic acid or tannin is present in wine. Not to be confused with bitterness, astringency is a feeling and not actually a taste. Sometimes viewed as a flaw when astringency is taking over the mouthfeel of wine, however, is often intentionally produced in European wine growing regions such as Italy in both reds and whites.
- Terroir - Term widely used in France recently adopted by New World wine growing regions and has been the topic of controversial debate. It may be translated as ‘soil’, however, the concept is far broader and embraces all of the environmental factors that form the character of a wine. These include the macroclimate, vineyard mesoclimate, precipitation patterns, the length of the growing season and the geographical features of a particular vineyard.