Chances are, when you last went to your local liquor store, you saw bottles upon bottles of wine. While it is common to see wine served in restaurants and at your own dinner table, what isn’t common is knowing the incredible history behind this drink. Wine is seen all over the world as an age-old tradition, and here are some fun facts to think about next time you head to a wine shop to pick up your favorite bottle.
The bottle is British
Nowadays, it is normal to see wine being served in a variety of different colored glass bottles; clear, blue, black, even red. But the traditional wine bottle was green glass, and was invented by British Sir Kenelm Digby in the 1600s. Before this, wine was served and kept in goat-skin bags.
“Cheers” originated in Rome
In most cultures, it is actually seen as rude to start drinking your wine immediately after it was poured without toasting to your friends. This tradition goes back to the Ancient Romans, who invented the custom of bumping glasses and saying “cheers!” before downing your drink.
Bubbles are due to the moon
You may think that the only wine with bubbles is Champagne, but this isn’t true! There are plenty of sparkling wines that have been created for just as long as common, table wines. In fact, bubbles in wine have been noticed since the time of the Ancient Greeks, which was attributed to different moon phases and evil spirits.
Wine is one of the oldest drinks on record
Wine is one of the oldest drinks in history, with records of it dating back at least 9000 years. Historians believe the first wine makers were in the Middle East, and have come to this conclusion because the first vineyards have been discovered in this area. Then, the French started to adopt this practice, and then developed the drink so much that they are seen as the world’s leader in all things wine.
The Vatican City drinks the most wine
While small, the Vatican City is known as the number one consumer of wine worldwide. According to the Wine Institute, the Vatican City consumes 74 liters of wine (19.5 gallons) of wine per person, each year. For comparison, that is more than double that of what the Italians drink per year!
The Ancient Greeks had some fun thoughts
Plato, the Ancient Greek philosopher, had a few fun thoughts about wine. He believed that wine should only be consumed in moderation between the ages of 18 and 40. After 40, you could drink as much wine as you would like, simply because it was full of tons of health benefits. He wasn’t the only one to think this — Hippocrates, who is commonly known as the father of western medicine, used wine to treat a whole variety of problems. He believed wine would help people seek relief from labor pains, lethargy, and even diarrhea.
Wine is a game of numbers
There’s a lot that goes into the perfect bottle of wine, and it is truly a numbers game. For example, there are over 10,000 varieties of wine grapes across the world. There are over 40 different types of oak available to make oak barrels to store the wine, with the average age of each oak tree being about 170 years old. Then, depending on the wine, it has to be aged for different amounts of time for the proper flavor profile.
Not only is wine incredibly versatile to taste, it comes with quite a versatile history. So think of these facts next time you pour yourself a glass!