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Everything You Need To Know About Wine

Everything You Need To Know About Wine
Reading Time: 6 minutesWine has been around for ages and it serves many purposes, whether it be for enjoyment, cooking, or profession. Throughout the ages, wine has existed and it has evolved into thousands of flavors, types, as well as styles. For wine enthusiasts, they know good wine from bad with one simple smell. From red wine to moscato wine, there are a variety of tastes to sip on and enjoy. Pairing wine with your favorite brand of French cheese or grapes is a great party starter. Do not be afraid to branch out and try a new kind the next time you are out at Total Wine, their selection is supreme! Food and wine are a great pair, so get creative with your appetizers next time you have guests over for wine time.

10 Wine Fun Facts

  1. “Humans originally consumed wine for the express purpose of purifying water. Blend 10% to 25% wine with water and let it sit for 30 minutes and you can drink that creek water!
  2. Wine is a mild natural tranquilizer, serving to reduce anxiety and relieve tension.
  3. Wine acts as a mild euphoric agent to the convalescent and especially the elderly. Additionally wine might even preserve cognitive function in this group as well.
  4. Wine dilates the small blood vessels and helps to prevent angina and clotting.
  5. With 1500 natural chemical compounds, most of the vitamins and minerals your body needs exist in wine in some trace amount, including the valuable “P” vitamins. Thus wine helps restore nutritional balance.” [1]
  6. “The smell of young wine is called an “aroma”, while a more mature wine offers a more subtle “bouquet”.
  7. A “cork-tease” is someone who constantly talks about the wine he or she will open but never does.
  8. There is increasing scientific evidence that moderate, regular wine drinking can reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and gum disease.
  9. The world’s oldest bottle of wine dates back to A.D. 325 and was found near the town of Speyer, Germany, inside one of two Roman sarcophaguses.
  10. California is the fourth-largest wine producer in the world, after France, Italy, and Spain.”[2]
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Wine History/ Mythology

It is no secret that wine has a rich history throughout the ages, and it is noted that the oldest winery was founded in 4100 B.C. in Ancient Armenia. This winery was discovered in 2007 by UCLA researchers, so long after its winemaking days! [3] That is a lot of history to tap into, but I will consolidate it down to the key points that make wine so great, even today. In Egypt around 3100 B.C., the pharaohs began making wine out of red grapes and because it was red like blood, they would constantly use it in special ceremonies. It was around this same time period that the Phoenicians started creating wine themselves, which later spread around the world.

According to Vine Pair,

“Archaeologists recently discovered a 3,700-year-old cellar in northern-Israel. The scientists who have studied the findings say that more than 500 gallons of wine were once stored in this cellar (that’s enough to fill 3,000 bottles!)” [3]

This dates the cellar back to 1700 B.C. When the Phoenicians got the wine process down pat, they started to trade it across the Mediterranean Sea and into the Middle East. It then made its way to Greece and Italy and spread from there. There are several connotations of wine in the Bible, as this was the area of the world that it first started in. When the Greeks landed in Sicily around 800 B.C. they also brought with them grapevines and now some of the best wineries in the world are there.

In year 380, the Catholic Church largely took wine cultivation and added its importance to sacrament rituals each week. Different monks in both Italy and France took up a serious interest in learning how to perfect the winemaking process. By 1492, wine had made its way around the globe and landed on the North and South American continents. It was brought over by the Spanish conquistadors, and it was also made its way from the Portuguese to the Japanese around year 1542. It wasn’t until 1554 that the Spanish missionaries really spread wine around the Americas and it started to become more popular.

When it got to the United States, it did not take off at first and there were many people who were not impressed with its taste or the way it was made. First it landed in Florida, where it slowly fizzled in popularity and then in 1619, it landed in Virginia, brought by the French, who tried to start vineyards down the Eastern Seaboard. Even though it did not immediately take off, it was not shunned by the people either. It wasn’t until 1769 that Spanish missionaries brought the grapes to California where they created their first vineyard in Sonoma in 1805. Today California is the leader in wine production in the United States, so the concept really struck and stuck there even to this day.

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Wine Nutrition Facts

Wine is an incredible source of antioxidants, and red wine can be very beneficial to your heart’s health if you drink it in moderation. According to Turtle Run Winery, one bottle of wine contains

“750 ml of liquid, 2.4 pounds of grapes (39 oz.), 25.6 ounces of wine (4/5 quarts), and 4 glasses of wine.” Red wine is more nutritious and better known for its nutritional benefits over dry white wine or even moscato because it contains less sugar. Wine contains natural amounts of fluoride which prevents tooth decay, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, phosphorus, and choline. [4]

One of the larger concerns when consuming any type of wine is the calorie content. White wines have been said to be the lowest in calories, while red wines have been said to be higherin calories. A six-ounce amount of red wine is said to have around 150 calories, while that same amount of white wine has 84 calories. Sweeter white wines are also higher in calories, such as a moscato, which runs about 130 calories for 6 ounces. [5]

Red wine especially gets most of the attention when it comes to being nutritious, but why?

According to Lifestyle,

“Red wine’s most important antioxidants are resveratrol and a group of chemicals called flavonoids. Besides their radical-mopping ability, both substances are thought to protect the heart by reducing blood clotting and cell inflammation.” [6]

It is best to not overdo it, however, as the recommended consumption is anywhere from 1-2 5 oz. glasses a day, which is not much if you are a wine connoisseur. Drinking too much red wine can lead to bad consequences. Heart disease, weight gain, and internal organ damage can be a result of overdoing it.

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Wine Health Benefits

While there are some health benefits to drinking wine, it is best to drink red wine over white wine for the optimal benefits as well as in moderation. It is never good to overdo it with alcohol, as it could damage your liver long term as well as pack on an abundant amount of calories. If you are pregnant, please do not drink wine, it will only harm your baby. When looking at the health benefits, they pertains to people who drink wine in moderation and who do not overdo it. According to Food and Wine,

“Moderate drinkers suffering from high blood pressure are 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack than nondrinkers. Source: a 16-year Harvard School of Public Health study of 11,711 men, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 2007.” [7]

There have also been studies done on how red wine drinkers have a lesser chance of developing heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and cataracts. The important factor here is moderation, so what exactly does this mean? Moderation, is around 1 glass a day for women and 2 for men. Any more than that amount and you are just packing on the extra calories and sugar. According to National Health Services,

“Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day. Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day.” One unit equals 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. A 250ml (large) glass of 12% red wine has about 3 units of alcohol.” [8]

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Wine Varieties

There are a variety of wines to taste and enjoy and they range in price, flavor, and body. Food and wine go especially well together. Getting friends together to go to a wine tasting is one of the more popular past times with middle aged women. Pairing your wine with a nice French cheese just sounds like the best Saturday off. Don’t forget, it can significantly lower your stress levels too! Whether you are drinking Trader Joe’s wine, or the most elegant bottle of wine at an anniversary dinner, you are in for a treat.

Some of the most popular wine varieties you might be familiar with are Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Moscato, Pinot Gris, and Cabernet Sauvignon. All of these wines are different blends of reds and whites with different body, so you are going to need a large wine cooler if you are going to try them all! Picking up an educational wine guide will help you to understand the difference in wines and what gives them each their own unique flavor. Head over to a Wine and Spirits store for a guide that will help you decipher which style of wine will be best for you!

       ConsumersCompare.org