Want to learn some interesting wine facts? I am starting this series with a focus on interesting and fun wine facts. It might contain tidbits I have heard or even read about recently. I do get asked some odd wine questions…
Crémant d’Alsace is sparkling wine made in the traditional method in France but outside of the Champagne region. This sparkling wine was officially recognized under French law on August 24, 1976. To be a traditional method sparkling wine means that the second fermentation must take place inside the bottle. This second fermentation gives it the bubbles. Champagne can be produced using Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes under strict guidelines. On the other hand, most Crémant d’Alsace is made from crisp Pinot Blanc, even though Auxerrois, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes are also allowed. Crémant d’Alsace Rosé must be made from 100% Pinot Noir.
Oenophobia is the fear of wine. Glad I don’t have that one… It is a paralyzing and often irrational behavior when the oenophobic comes in contact with wine, wine bottles or wine spilled wine. This may stem from feelings of loss of self-control and fear of being intoxicated to the point of vomiting. The oenophobe may expereince palpitations, shortness of breath and tremors – all symptoms of anxiety.
Oldest Wine In History: Archeologist have discovered what is currently referred to as the oldest wine in history dating back to 5980 BC. It was located in what is now known as Tbilisi, Georgia. The latest finds were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). “We believe this is the oldest example of the domestication of a wild-growing Eurasian grapevine solely for the production of wine,” said co-author Stephen Batiuk, a senior researcher at the University of Toronto. “Wine is central to civilisation as we know it in the West. As a medicine, social lubricant, mind-altering substance and highly valued commodity, wine became the focus of religious cults, pharmacopoeias, cuisines, economies and society in the ancient Near East.” China is known for fermented beverages of rice, honey and fruit dating back to about 7000 BC. The oldest operating winery in the world is Staffelter Hof in Germany. It is located in Kröv, Germany in the Mosel Valley. It was established more than 1150 years ago.
Albumen, egg whites, used as a fining agent to clarify red wines. They are great at removing tannins. They are especially good at removing green or harsh tannins to make the wine softer more round and soft in texture. Excessive tannins can make wine taste astringent or bitter. Using egg whites is an ancient tradition from Burgundy and still used around the world by winemakers of all levels. The active ingredient in egg whites is protein albumin, which attaches to tannins through an electric charge and then drops out of the wine. After one to four weeks, the wine is racked off the sediment, leaving behind the phenolic substances and protein from the egg whites. A concern that comes up from time to time is whether there is any danger in putting raw egg in your wine — and with fears of salmonella poisoning, the question is a good one — thankfully, the fact is that the high alcohol and low pH in your wine will kill any human pathogens the egg may contain.