The Wine Habits of Napoleon and Josephine

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When it came to wine, Napoleon Bonaparte was a creature of habit. Although he did drink Champagne to celebrate military victories (uncorked flamboyantly using a sabre), his lifelong wine of choice was Chambertin from Burgundy. At one time, it had been the favorite wine of Louis XIV, and in the late 18th century, it was…

Wine with a Splash of Gin?

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For variety sake, have you ever considered mixing your wine with beer? Or schnapps? Or vodka? As novel, quirky or absurd as these combinations might seem, they are not unusual. In fact, cocktails made by combining wine with beer, spirits or liqueurs are a longstanding tradition. The Black Velvet, for example, which is a combination…

Why Are Ships Christened with Wine?

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Wine has been a part of many cultural traditions for thousands of years. One familiar tradition is the smashing of a bottle of Champagne against the bow of a ship as part of a ship christening ceremony. But what is the origin of this tradition?  For thousands of years, many cultures have christened their ships,…

Founding Fathers Wine Fun Facts

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Several of the United States’ Founding Fathers were fond of wine. Here are some fun facts on their interests from Thomas Jefferson on Wine by John Hailman. George Washington was particularly fond of Madeira. He ordered Madeira directly by the barrel straight from the best producers on the island. He also ordered vine cuttings from…

Wine in Ancient Greece

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Ancient Greece is one of the oldest and most important wine-producing civilizations, with evidence of production dating back 6,500 years. The climate, terroir and native vine stocks of the Greek islands enabled the production of a wide variety of superior quality wine. Not only did the Greeks export wine throughout Europe, but they also established…

Wine in Ancient Egypt

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When someone mentions Egypt’s King Tut, most of us think of his dazzling god mask. But did you know that his tomb also held an impressive stash of wine? Here’s more on the cultural significance of wine in ancient Egypt. In ancient Egypt, wine, referred to as irp, was enjoyed almost exclusively by kings and…

Fun Facts: Thomas Jefferson and Wine

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Thomas Jefferson’s fondness for wine is well known. Here are some fun facts on his lifelong interest from Thomas Jefferson on Wine by John Hailman. •Thomas Jefferson was interested in wine from an early age. It is believed he was first introduced to fine wines by the royal governor of Virginia, Francis Fauquier, who Jefferson…

Henry VIII’s Wine Fountain Recreated

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How’d you like to drink out of Henry VIII’s wine fountain? If the answer is yes, you are in luck. In 2010, Henry’s Hampton Court Palace wine fountain was recreated. Most of the time it has water, but on select days it serves red and white wine for £3.50 per glass. According to the press…

Wine in Ancient Rome

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We’ve all seen movies with scenes of ancient Romans lounging at sumptuous banquets enjoying copious amounts of food and wine, but how important was wine to Roman culture, and what role did Rome play in spreading the tradition of viticulture throughout the world? Wine was an integral part of ancient Roman culture and religion. Romans…