Wine, like food, has a history all its own, and its history is endlessly fascinating. Traveling abroad and taking part in a wine tasting during a cooking vacation means not only sipping new wines, but it also often means learning a bit more about the wine itself, from its production to its history. And we all know that when we share a couple glasses of wine together, a few stories are bound to be told! Here are a handful of interesting facts about wine that we thought you’d find interesting too.
Cheers! Toasting dates back to Ancient Rome and Greece. In Rome, they ‘bumped’ glasses, which often resulted in spilling some wine into each other’s cups. And when you mixed wine with your fellow diner? You knew you weren’t being poisoned. A similar tradition occurred in Ancient Greece; the host was always the first to take a sip of wine so that guests felt comfortable knowing the wine was poison-free.
The Health Benefits of Wine
Studies seem to come out on a regular basis about how a glass of red wine is good for your health. And the world’s oldest person – who lived to the age of 122 – would’ve agreed with all of those studies. After all, Jeanne Calment claimed her health was due to her diet, which consisted of port wine, olive oil, and a kilogram of chocolate each week!
But when it comes to your health, it isn’t just about drinking it. Since red wines are also packed with antioxidants, they can also tone, smooth, and refine your skin.
Wine: It isn’t Just for Drinking
Wine can also be used as a disinfectant in the kitchen. So if you ever have an old opened bottle of wine (gasp!) don’t pour it down the drain. Rather, take those dry white wines and use them to clean (as long as you don’t have granite countertops).
The Nose Knows
Think you could identify a wine by smell alone? Richard Juhlin can, at least 48 of them. He won the world championship in Paris 2003, shocking the wine world over. And yes, the legend of this happening really is true!
Selling “Wine” During Prohibition
Wine may have been illegal to sell during Prohibition, but grape juice wasn’t. And grape juice makers had the best marketing strategy of all. It was sold with a warning label that read, “After dissolving the brick in a gallon of water, do not place the liquid in a jug away in the cupboard for twenty days, because then it would turn into wine.” No surprise here, grape growing increased by 700% at the start of Prohibition.
Wine brings enjoyment on many levels, drinking just one of them, as our guests learn during our cooking vacations and wine tours. What’s the most interesting history or fact you’ve heard about wine?
By Liz Hall
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