Wine. The Other Grape Juice
“Wine is one of the agreeable and essential ingredients of life.” Julia Child
We completely agree with Julia and are looking forward to celebrating National Drink Wine Day this Saturday, February 18. The purpose of the day is to spread the love, history and health benefits of wine, along with its enhancement of food and life.
Truxton’s American Bistro has an extensive wine list from around the world with offerings from California, Australian, South African, New Zealand, Spain and Italy. To help you impress your friends while you’re waiting for your wine or food to arrive, we’ve put together a list of 20 fun wine facts for you.
- France has given the world some of the best wines, however they did not invent it; wine was first made in Iran during the Neolithic period. Villagers in the Zagros mountains began making and storing wine around 5400 B.C. The Pharaohs of Egypt enjoyed wine so much that they took thousands of liters of wine into their tombs with them.
- According to the Wine Institute, more wine is drunk per person in Vatican City than in any other country in the world.
- There are an estimated forty-nine million (49,000,000) bubbles in a bottle of Champagne.
- It takes about 2 ½ lbs. of grapes to make a bottle of wine.
- In the Biblical Old Testament, only the Book of Jonah has no reference to the vine or wine.
- California, New York, and Florida lead the United States in wine consumption.
- California is the fourth-largest wine producer in the world, after France, Italy and Spain.
- In ancient Greece, a dinner host would take the first sip of wine to assure guests the wine was not poisoned, hence the phrase “drinking to one’s health.” “Toasting” started in ancient Rome when the Romans continued the Greek tradition but started dropping a piece of toasted bread into each wine glass to temper undesirable tastes or excessive acidity.
- The Vikings called America Vinland (“wine-land” or “pasture-land”) for the profusion of native grape vines they found there around A.D. 1000.
- Since wine tasting is essentially wine smelling, women tend to be better wine testers because women, particularly of reproductive ages, have a better sense of smell than men.
- When Tutankhamen’s tomb was opened in 1922, the wine jars buried with him were labeled with the year, the name of the winemaker, and comments such as “very good wine.” The labels were so specific that they could actually meet modern wine label laws of several countries.
- Wine grapes rank number one among the world’s fruit crops in terms of acres planted.
- In the Middle Ages, the greatest and most innovative winemakers of the day were monastic orders.
- Early Roman women were forbidden to drink wine, and a husband who found his wife drinking was at liberty to kill her. Divorce on the same grounds was last recorded in Rome in 194 B.C.
- Grapes are the only fruit capable of producing the proper nutrition for the yeast on its skin and sugar in its juice to ferment naturally.
- Bubbles in wine have been observed since ancient Greece and were attributed to the phases of the moon or to evil spirits.
- One of the most quoted legends about the discovery of wine is the story of Jamsheed, 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.
- 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, included wine in almost every one of his recorded remedies.
- A crop of newly planted grape vines takes four to five years to grow before it can be harvested.
We hope you’ll join us this Saturday (or any day!) at both Truxton’s Santa Monica or Truxton’s Westchester and enjoy our wines by the tap, glass or bottle. Please let us know your favorites!