First Look Club
Wine Facts and Hacks That You Didn't Know You Needed
Are you a trivia buff, with a fondness for wine? Here at WineLab, we love both. That's why we’ve put together some need-to-know hacks and some surprising wine facts for you to enjoy.
So grab a glass of your favourite vino, get cosy, and take notes for your next Zoom quiz night!
1. Storage solutions and wine facts.
Why are wine bottles stored on their sides? It’s not just a clever space-saving hack, there’s a good reason for it. Wine bottles that are sealed with a cork are stored on their side to keep the cork from drying out.
If the cork gets too dry, it can shrivel up. This means that air can get into the bottle and prematurely age your wine. It’s also extremely difficult to get the cork out of the bottle without it crumbling and falling in!
2. Why do wine tasters spit the wine out?
It’s not only perfectly acceptable to spit the wine out, but it’s actually encouraged! The main reason for this is because you should be able to judge the wine just by the taste and smell. You don’t necessarily have to swallow the wine because there should be a lingering aftertaste.
The other reason is that you can’t taste wine properly if you’re drunk. To get the most out of your wine tasting tour, avoid drinking all the wine as you’ll miss out on the subtle flavours and aromas of the wines, towards the end of the tour.
3. Vitis Vinifera - “the wine grape”
Although they all taste different, did you know that most red wines are actually made from the same species of grape? Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all made from the Vitis Vinifera, a species of grape which originated in Eastern Europe.
4. Speaking of red wines, ever wondered why they’re red?
Red wine gets its beautiful colour from a pigment found in the skins of grapes. This pigment, known as anthocyanin, is also found in other fruits like plums, blueberries, and cherries.
Interestingly, you can also make white wine from both white and red grapes. For wine white, they just remove the skins of the grapes before fermentation.
5. Taking a deep dive into wine fact history
One of the oldest wine cellars is located in a very surprising place - the sunken wreck of the Titanic. Upon exploring the wreck in 1985, divers found the wine cellar largely undamaged, with bottles of wine still intact!
To keep guests entertained, the Titanic held more than 12,000 bottles of wine - Champagne from Moet and Heidsieck & Co. was the most popular. Nowadays, it’s estimated that these rare bottles of bubbly are worth upwards of a million dollars!
6. What about the oldest bottle of wine?
Fun wine fact: the oldest, unopened bottle of wine is kept in Germany’s Historical Museum of the Palatinate. The Speyer wine bottle, also known as the Römerwein aus Speyer, hasn’t been opened in over 1693 years. Although you probably wouldn’t want to drink it, it’s still pretty cool.
7. Japan has a spa where you can swim in wine
This spa is a little different from the traditional bath houses that Japan is known for. Here, you can choose between taking a dip in coffee, tea, or even red wine.
And if those beverages don’t tickle your fancy, you can even try bathing in the Japanese Sake pools or the Ramen Noodle pool. It's not just coloured water used in the pools, but real beverages. A strange but 100% true wine fact!
8. Ever wondered why wine tasters swirl their glasses?
Wine connoisseurs can often be seen swirling their wine around before taking a sip and there is actually a reason for it. Creating movement in the wine releases powerful aromas, making it easier to smell each distinct note.
You will also notice that the lip of a red wine glass is often curved inwards; this is to encapsulate the bouquet. Every time you raise the glass to take a sip, you’ll enjoy the unique aromas along with the taste.
9. Wine facts and hacks for food pairing
Following this logic, lighter foods are best served with white wine. Delicate white fish goes well with Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay pairs superbly with chicken.
10. You’re probably pronouncing Moët wrong.
It's a little known wine fact and a very common mistake. Many people presume because the famous champagne company is French, the name would also sound French. However, the founder was, in fact, Dutch, so his surname Moët should sound more Dutch than French. So, swap “Moay” for “Mwett”, d’accord?
Did you enjoy those wine facts?
If you enjoyed reading and learning more about wine, why not sign up for our First Look Club subscription box? With every box, we include a new special wine for you to try. This wine hasn't been added to our permanent list yet, so you'll be one of the first people to try it!
Along with this exclusive wine, you'll also receive an invitation to a virtual wine tasting with the winemaker! This will give you the opportunity to learn more about how the wine is made, and if you have any questions, you can ask the experts themselves. Pretty cool, huh?