Wine has been around for eons, and has been used for ceremonies, celebrations, and simply just to wind down after a hard day at work. With such a lengthy presence in history and society, there are bound to be more than a few interesting facts surrounding this widely celebrated beverage.
SKIN MAKES THE COLOUR
Whether it’s a red, rosé, or white, the colour of a wine is actually influenced by the skin of the grapes. It’s the pigment in the skin that causes the hue. While red and black grapes make red wine, it can also be the case that these grapes can make white wine…if the skin is excluded from the process.
WINE AS A MEDICINE
Although using wine as a type of medicine might be obvious to some, the Ancient Egyptians have been using wine for its healing properties for over 4000 years.
ONE BRICK OF WINE, PLEASE
During the prohibition era, sneaky wine makers would sell bricks of grape concentrate, which included a warning on the label that if the concentrate was mixed with water and left in a dark cupboard for three weeks, it would turn into wine.
TO THE LEFT, TO THE LEFT
There is a superstition amongst port lovers that when sharing a decanter of port around a table, it must always be passed to the left. There is speculation that this tradition started with sailors, as the port side of a ship is the left side. Another theory states that in years past, passing the decanter to the left leaves the passer’s sword hand free.
A GOOD YEAR
The oldest bottle of wine is over 1700 years old, and was discovered by archaeologists near the German town of Speyer in 1867. It is now displayed in the Pfalz Historical Museum and it has never been opened.
In 2010, a group of divers discovered 168 bottles of wine in a shipwreck, and indulged in a spontaneous wine tasting to celebrate. It turns out that the wine had been perfectly preserved in the underwater conditions, and winemakers today have taken note and experimented with storing and maturing wines under water, with the constant pressure, darkness and cold temperatures creating interesting results.