It takes 4 to 5 years to harvest a commercial crop from newly planted grape vines.
Although the average life span of a grapevine is 25 years, grapevines are actually capable of producing grapes for more than 100 years.
A bottle of opened wine stored in the refrigerator lasts about 6 to 16 times longer than it would if stored at room temperature.
Boxed wine was first invented and patented in South Australia in 1965 by Thomas Angove (died March 2010). They have a ‘best before’ date and are not meant for keeping/cellaring. However, after opening, their big advantage is that they prevent oxidation (which affects opened bottles) and will therefore keep for 6-8 weeks.
The USA is the largest consumer of wine in the world.
Poor soil quality tends to produce better wines. The trick is to "challenge" the vines by making them "work" harder.
Less than 10% of all wines produced are suitable for cellaring.
The wreck of the ‘Titanic’ (sank 1912), holds one of the oldest wine cellars in the world and despite its depth and wreckage, most bottles are still intact.
Bob Dylan produces a red wine, in conjunction with ‘Le Terrazze’ winery in Italy, called ‘Planet Waves’ after his 1974 album. This wine adopts the Merlot and Montepuliano grape varieties and retails, depending on year of production, for around $50 a bottle.
Kosher (conforming to Jewish dietary law) wine - A wine’s label will be marked, typically with a ‘u’ inside an ‘O’ (Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations) if the wine is kosher. This is the sign that the wine has been approved by the world’s largest kosher certification organization. Kosher wine relates not so much to the ingredients but more to the way they are handled, from grape to bottle. Kosher wine is produced under a rabbi’s supervision, with only Sabbath-observant Jews involved in the winemaking process.
The largest proportion of wine bottle corks are made from cork harvested in Mediterranean countries. There are 2.2m hectares of cork forests worldwide, of which 35% are in Portugal.
A glass of wine contains around 100 calories.
The first corkscrew was patented in England in 1795 by the Reverend Samuel Henshall. Check-out grandpa’s kitchen - an original Henshall corkscrew is worth several thousand dollars!
Since the 1980’s the number of commercial wineries in the U.S. has tripled.
The Manhattan cocktail (whiskey and sweet vermouth) was invented by Jennie Jerome, later to become Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston Churchill's mother.
The longest recorded champagne cork flight was 177 feet and 9 inches, four feet from level ground, in 1988 at Woodbury Vineyards in New York State.
A tally of drinks consumed by James Bond proves that his favorite tipple is, in fact, Champagne; earlier films included Dom Perignon 1953, ’55, ’57, ’64, and ‘69 but more recently the choice has favored Bollinger (a 1961, amongst others).
If you put a raisin into a glass of Champagne, it will sink to the bottom and then rise to the surface, in a continuous cycle!
The smallest bottle of wine is a Piccolo (0.19 liters) and the largest is a Melchizedek (30 liters).
In 1933, the 21st Amendment repealed the prohibition of alcohol, at a state level. However, numerous local laws still prohibit the sale and consumption (in public) of alcohol today. For instance, 91 of the 95 counties in Tennessee are ‘dry’, as are 42 counties out of 75 in Arkansas and 37 counties out of the 77 in Oklahoma (a sobering thought!). If you’re house-hunting and enjoy a drink; 17 states do not allow any ‘dry’ laws – so do your homework!