Summer Wine Fun Facts

Sangria

Here are some fun facts about wines and wine-based drinks that are summertime favorites: The United States is the second largest consumer of rosé wine in the world, second only to France, where rosé outsells white wine. According to Vins de Provence, in 2012, France was responsible for 36% of worldwide rosé consumption and the…

French Wine Fun Facts

champaign Glasses and  Eiffel tower in Paris

When it comes to wine, France is revered for the variety, quality and quantity of wine it produces.  Here are some fun facts about French wine that might be of interest… • In 2014, France was the #1 producer of wine in the world, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).  The OIV…

Champagne Fun Facts

Pair of champagne flutes

Champagne, the King of Wines and the Wine of Kings. Whether or not you personally enjoy drinking Champagne, it’s hard to deny that this wine has a special mystique.  Here are some fun facts about Champagne that might be of interest… • Dom Pérignon did not invent sparkling Champagne. Its fizzy quality was actually an “accident” of nature. The Champagne region originally…

Maiwein (May wine)

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Has dancing around a maypole celebrating the arrival of spring left you feeling thirsty? Or are you just in the mood for a traditional springtime wine-based drink? In either case, Maiwein may be the perfect option. Maiwein (May wine) is a centuries-old beverage of German origin enjoyed in the spring, traditionally on the May Day holiday. It…

The UK “Government Wine Cellar”

Bottles of wine aging in a cellar

In late March, the UK government pulled out a few bottles from its wine collection, sold them at auction, and pocketed almost £75,000 (US $115,275) which it plans to use to replenish its wine cellar. Wait—a government with its own wine cellar? It may seem odd, but when you think about it, many a person…

The Origin of Champagne

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Wine has been made in the Champagne region since Roman times, but the sparkling white wine we know today was not developed until centuries later. Here’s how the wine we know and love today—which has become a fixture at holidays and special celebrations—came to be… Dom Pérignon did not invent sparkling Champagne; rather, its “fizzy…

Phylloxera: Tiny Pest, Huge Impact

Hunawihr (Alsace) - House and vineyard

      In the late 19th century, an insect commonly referred to as phylloxera, spread throughout Europe destroying every vineyard in its path, and then made its way to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, continuing its rampage. At the time it was thought to be the biggest disaster in the history of wine,…

An Introduction to Italian Wine Classifications

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Currently Italy’s wine classification system has four categories. In descending “quality” order they are: DOCG (e.g. Controlled and Guaranteed Origin Denomination), DOC (Controlled Origin Denomination), IGT (Protected Geographic Indication), and vino da tavola (table wine). On August 1, 2009, new EU regulations went into effect that created a three tiered “quality structure” for wines, and…

Under the Sea: 200-Year-Old Champagne

In July of 2010, bottles of château-aged, ultra-premium Champagne—lost for more than 170 years—were discovered by marine archaeologists inside a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea. The site of the wreckage was in waters belonging to the Aland Islands, a Finnish archipelago located between Sweden and Finland. The vessel was a twin-masted schooner, believed to have…

Chianti

if-you-like-chianti

Chianti, a red wine produced in the heart of Tuscany, Italy, is a wine with a complicated history. Once upon a time “Chianti” signified the white wines of the area. A couple hundred years later it had become red, and winemakers of the area were starting their slow march towards producing the wine we drink…