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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wine Trivia That May Surprise You

With holiday parties rapidly approaching, here are some tidbits for cocktail trivia with fellow wine lovers:

How many varieties of wine grapes exist in the world today?

What grape varieties are the most planted on the globe?
  • White:  Airen from Spain tops the list.  Next, is Chardonnay, then Ugni Blanc (a grape from France)
  • Red:  Merlot snags the numero uno spot, closely followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, then Grenache (if this last one surprises, you can blame it on Spain again.)

How many grapes go into the making of a bottle of wine?
Bordeaux’s Chateau Yquem claim that one grape vine yields one bottle of their Sauternes.  Other high-end producers state that one grape vine produces 2 bottles of wine.  Still yet other indicate that it takes about 2.5 lbs of fruit to make a bottle of wine.

How is wine heart healthy?
The dark color pigments found in red grape skins are responsible, thus only red wines exert a protective cardiac function.

How many bottles are in a barrel?
The standard barrel contains 300 bottles of wine.

What are the culprits that can taint a wine?

There are 2 that can especially wreak havoc.  Brettanomyce (aka “Brett”) is a spoiling yeast that causes barnyard smells in wine.  It can destroy an entire winery’s inventory as it’s difficult to eradicate.  The other is a chemical compound called TCA.  This culprit is often found in flawed corks, thus when TCA ruins a wine the wine is referred to as “corked.”

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