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39 Amazing Wine Facts You May Not Know

September 6, 2023

Most people know what wine is and the general idea behind how it’s made. Grapes are smashed and fermented into a delicious, alcohol-rich,  beverage that helps elevate food and social gatherings to a different level. But there are a lot of things about wine and the winemaking process that a lot of people outside of the wine industry might not know.

We’ve put together a list of interesting wine facts that may just blow your mind! These facts touch upon different aspects of wine like winemaking, drinking, tasting, bottles, ingredients, and more. If you’re interested in wine and want to impress your friends next time you’re wine tasting, keep a couple of these in your back pocket to bring out in between pours.

Interesting Facts About Wine You May Not Have Known

Winemaking Facts

  1. The process of winemaking is called vinification, which involves fermentation, clarification, aging, and bottling.
  2. The color of wine comes from the grape skins during fermentation. Red wine is made from dark-colored grape varieties, while white wine can be made from both dark and light-colored grapes.
  3. Rosé wine is created either from brief contact between grape skins – maceration method or from juice bled off during red wine fermentation – saignée method.
  4. Oak barrels are commonly used for aging wine, which imparts flavors and complexity to the final product.
  5. The age of a vineyard significantly impacts the quality of grapes and resulting wine.

Wine Drinking Facts

6. Moderate wine consumption may have health benefits, such as promoting heart health and reducing the risk of certain diseases.

7. The legal drinking age varies by country and region, affecting when individuals can purchase and consume wine.

8. The shape and size of wine glasses can influence the aroma and flavors of the wine.

9. Swirling wine in a glass helps aerate it and release its aromas.

10. Holding the wine glass by the stem prevents the wine from being warmed by body heat. Plus no one likes fingerprints on a glass!

11. Wine enthusiasts often use a wine aroma wheel to identify and describe the various smells in wine.

Wine Serving Facts

12. Wine should be served at the appropriate temperature: red wines slightly cooler than room temperature, between 62–68 degrees F (15–20 °C). Generally speaking, serve white wines slightly warmer than fridge temperature, between 49-55 degrees F (7–12 °C).

13. Decanting older wines helps remove sediment and allows them to breathe, enhancing their flavors.

14. The order of wine service in a multi-course meal usually starts with lighter wines and progresses to heavier ones.

15. Sweet wines are often paired with desserts or salty foods to create a complementary contrast.

Wine Bottle Facts

16. The standard wine bottle holds 750 milliliters of wine, but other sizes exist, such as Magnums (1.5L – 2 standard bottles), Double Magnums (3L – 4 standard bottles), Jeroboams (4.5L – 6 standard bottles), Imperials (6L – 8 standard bottles), Salmanazar (9L -12 standard bottles), Balthazar (12L – 16 standard bottles), Nebuchadnezzer (15L – 20 standard bottles).

17. The color of wine bottles can vary, with green and clear bottles used for white wines and darker green or amber bottles used for red wines. This helps prevent light from affecting the wine inside the bottle.

18. Alternative methods of wine packing have taken the market by storm. Cans and boxes are popular choices for wine packaging and have a significant positive impact on the environment.

19. Natural corks are traditionally used to seal wine bottles, but screw caps and synthetic closures are becoming more common.

Wine History Facts

20. Ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Romans were early practitioners of winemaking.

21. Monasteries played a significant role in preserving winemaking knowledge during the Middle Ages.

22. The Judgement of Paris in 1976 put California wines on the map, as they outperformed French wines in a blind tasting.

23. Wine history in Paso Robles dates back the 1790s! Check out our rich history here.

General Wine Facts

24. The study of wine is called oenology or enology.

25. Wine bottles are stored on their sides to keep the corks moist and prevent oxidation.

26. A wine’s vintage indicates the year the grapes were harvested.

27. The color of wine can be described using terms like ruby, garnet, amber, or golden.

28. Fortified wines, like Port and Sherry, have a higher alcohol content due to the addition of spirits.

29. The world’s oldest bottle of wine dates back to AD 325 and was discovered in Germany.

30. The term “oenophile” refers to a wine enthusiast or connoisseur.

31. Sometimes, you might find tiny crystals or “wine diamonds” in the bottom of your wine glass or bottle. These are harmless tartrate crystals that can form when tartaric acid in the wine reacts with cold temperatures. They typically indicate that the wine was minimally processed.

Fun Facts about Paso Robles

32. Paso Robles has 11 nested AVAs (American Viticultural Areas), all with different microclimates

33. York Mountain AVA, a neighbor of Paso Robles, shares similar soils and climates to some of the AVAs in Western Paso Robles

34. Paso Robles is one of the few places in California with Limestone soils

35. Paso Robles makes up about 9% of California’s vineyard area

36. It has the greatest diurnal temperature swing (difference between daily maximum and minimum temperatures) in California – ranging between 35 and 50℉

37. Cabernet Sauvignon accounts for almost 50% of all grapes planted here

38. You can also find more obscure grapes like Lagrein, Picpoul, and Blaufränkisch

39. 85% of Paso Robles wineries produce less than 8,000 cases

The Facts About Wine

Next time you’re sitting around the table with your friends, enjoying a nice bottle of wine, impress them with some of these fun wine facts. It’s not every day that you run into someone who knows when the oldest bottle of wine dates back to or what the term oenophile means.