Wine Facts: The Truth is in the Grape

Fagjun | Published 2017-03-06 00:21

Before you reach for that bottle of wine, take a look at these wine facts.

The truth may be in the wine, but wine has some interesting truths of its own. You may be able to tell pinot from chardonnay while blindfolded, but knowing wine's secrets is just as impressive.

Wine was already ancient, even in ancient times

Friends, Romans, countrymen--lend me your wineskins..

The ancient Greeks and Romans are well-known for their love of wine. However, they weren't the first ones to come up with their favorite beverage. Archaeologists found 7,000-year-old pottery in Iran that had traces of grapes. In an Armenian town, meanwhile, archaeologists also found evidence of wine production that dated back to 4000 BC.

People were making wines so early in human history because wine was easy to make. All people had to do was crush up some grapes, put them in wineskins, and wait. The yeast naturally present in the skins would react with the grape juice and begin the fermentation process.

Though the basic principle is the same, today's wines are different from wine made thousands of years ago. There's evidence to suggest that during those times, people preferred their wines to be sweet.

Domesticated grapes are best for wine production

Domesticated grapes are best for making wine.

If you see wild grapevines heavy with fruit, will you be able to make your own wine? Probably, but it won't be very good. It might do the trick if you're mostly just in it for the alcohol, but don't let the connoisseurs hear you say that. Although, once you take a look at the following wine facts, you may think twice about freestyling your own wine.

Wild grapevines are either male or female. When they cross-pollinate, there's going to be a variety of traits in their offspring. Domesticated grapes, meanwhile, are hermaphrodites and therefore self-pollinate. Offspring of domesticated grapevines have more consistent traits than those of wild grapevines.

Wine can also be made from other fruit, not just grapes. However, grapes are the best sources of wine. They typically have the right amount of tannins, sugar, acids, and water. The proportions of these ingredients are just right for the production of alcohol.

When wine-makers use other fruit for wine, they typically need to add more sugar to get the right flavor they want.

Health and Wine Facts

Wine isn't really especially good for the heart. It's a common misconception that drinking red wine in moderation is good for maintaining good cardiovascular health. This misconception is due to a study made some years ago. However, the researchers in the study singled out only one component in red wine—resveratrol. Furthermore, they observed the effects of resveratrol on rats, not humans.

Health professionals have agreed that drinking wine in moderation is no better for the heart than drinking moderate amounts of other alcohol.

Wine is one of the best things in the world, which is probably why it has survived and adapted to the times over several millennia. So the next time you pop the cork to celebrate or just wind down, remember these wine facts and make a toast to our wine-making ancestors.

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