Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and you’ve got reservations to a romantic, upscale restaurant that has an honest-to-god separate menu for their wine. Now is your chance to drop some knowledge.
Whether you’re already a wine lover or someone who finds wine as obscure as string theory, not to worry – we’ve got your back!
Here are seven things you probably didn’t know about wine sure to impress your Valentine (besides this rhyme).
1. The Average Bottle Of Wine Takes 600-800 Grapes To Make
It takes a lot of grapes to make a bottle of wine, and while this number is a rough estimate as most wineries measure by vine or acre, others say it can be as much as 1,200 grapes. Put another way, each bottle of wine uses approximately 2.4 pounds of grapes.
2. During Prohibition “Drys” Tried Erasing Any Mention Of Wine From History Books And The Bible
Prohibitionists took their teetotalism to the extreme. Not only did they ban alcohol, but certain groups worked hard to rid any mention of alcohol from Greek and Roman literature. They even went so far as to say the Bible was referring to grape juice when they said wine.
3. Wine Gets Stored Sideways To Keep Air Out
You’ll rarely see wine stored upright, and it has nothing to with saving space. When a bottle is on its side, the wine inside keeps the cork moist which prevents it from drying out, shrinking or letting in air, all of which would ruin the wine. If you know your bottle has a plastic cork or twist off, feel free to keep it upright.
4. If A Sommelier Hands You A Cork - Inspect It, Don’t Smell It
If your waiter or sommelier hands you a cork, don’t sniff it! The cork is actually for examining. Check to see if it’s all in one piece; a fragmented or moldy cork might mean a lower quality wine or one stored improperly.
5. Stemless Wine Glasses Look Good, But Are Bad For Wine
While stemless wine glasses look chic and are less prone to breaking, they are not good for people serious about wine. Stems are there to keep the warmth of your hand away. If you hold your stemless glass too long, it will raise the temperature of the wine, which can ultimately affect the flavor.
6. “Room Temperature” Does Not Mean Whatever Temperature The Room Is
Terroir is a term that refers to the temperature, soil, sun exposure and degree of slope vines grow. It’s why the flavor profile of some areas are known for particular wine varieties like Bordeaux.
But even a couple of degrees change in the temperature can alter the quality and variety of grapes grown. As the planet heats up, these well-known regions may not be able to maintain the quality wines that made them famous. Don’t be surprised if years from now you are buying fantastic wine from places like China or Scotland.