World Wine Week runs from Monday 2nd to Sunday 8th May 2016
Wine is one of the oldest beverages known to man. It can be drunk with cheese, on a hot day, on a cold day or even out of a ‘bag-in-a-box’, so how will you be celebrating World Wine Week?
There are 61 countries around the world that produce wine, including Zimbabwe, Bolivia and Algeria – this makes wine the one thing that the whole world has in common.
At the top of the wine producing list are Italy, France, the United States and Spain. Last year alone, Italy had a total output of 48.8 million hectolitres of wine beating France for the first time in decades. Lack of rain and heat wave caused a 1% contraction for France, which caused their unfortunate fall to second place against their Mediterranean neighbours.
Every week I read and hear different stories and facts about wine. The health benefits and negatives are particularly well known, it ‘can’ help you lose weight, a glass of red wine a day ‘can’ keep diabetes under control and it ‘can’ even make you live longer, there is little we don’t know.
So, to celebrate World Wine Week, I’ve put together some of the lesser known facts about the ancient tipple for you to share over your next bottle.
Finding the correct storage place for wine is essential. Try not to keep it in the kitchen, as there is too much heat and this may damage the quality of the wine. In terms of white wine, the fridge is also too cold. It is best to store wine in a cool, dark cupboard/closet somewhere – or, if you can, just get yourself a wine cellar.
In 1982, a man named Michael Fagan broke into Buckingham Palace spending half an hour eating cheddar cheese and drinking half a bottle of wine. He tripped several alarms but they were all faulty. He viewed royal portraits and rested on the throne, until he got bored and left.
There is actually a correct way to hold a wine glass. You should always hold the glass by the stem and not the bowl because the heat of the hand will raise the temperature of the wine. Although you may care less and less about this the more wine you drink.
Wine and Your Health
Wine isn’t great if you’re calorie counting. A glass of dry red or white wine contains about 110 calories; sweeter wine naturally has more calories. Everything in moderation and all that… It’s not all bad news for health fanatics though – the world’s oldest person attributed her ripe old age of 122 to a diet of olive oil, port wine and 1kg of chocolate per week.
There is 2.2 million hectares of cork forest worldwide, the vast percentage of these are in Portugal and Spain. The cork oaks are harvested every nine years, once they reach maturity. This doesn’t harm the tree and the bark regrows. Despite the increase in screw top wine, corks are the most eco-friendly method.
Wine for Men & Women
Wine tasting is essentially wine smelling. Women tend to be better wine testers because women, particularly of reproductive ages, have a significantly better sense of smell than men.
Old World Wine & New World Wine
The term ‘Old World’ refers to wines made in countries that are considered the ‘birthplaces’ of wine, so that is basically Europe and the Middle East. Some of these countries include Spain, France, Croatia, Israel and Switzerland.
The term ‘New World’ refers to wine that is produced outside of the traditional wine growing countries. The countries this include Australia, Chile and the United States.
The Yunessun Spa in Japan contains a unique pool in which you can swim in real red wine. It even comes complete with a 3.6m tall novelty wine bottle. Bathing in wine is traditionally used as a rejuvenating treatment for the body and was supposedly favoured by the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra.
The production of wine from grapes started as early as 5000 BC. The earliest archaeological evidence of wine production has been found at sites in Georgia, Iran, Greece and Armenia, where the oldest winery to date was uncovered.
Titanic Wine Cellar
The wreckage of the Titanic contains what is considered one of the oldest wine cellars. Even though the Titanic was discovered 12,000 to 13,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, most of the wine bottles discovered were completely intact.
World Wine Week is all about encouraging and inspiring the UK to experiment, discover and explore the vast world of wine. Find out more on our website, including how to taste wine as well as various videos on what to look for in a wine when dining and how to differentiate between a good quality wine and a poor one.
Check out World Wine Week yourself. You will be glad you did.