• Jacqueline Gum

    So many interesting tid-bits. I found it astonishing that there are so few Master Sommeliers.

    • Jacquie, the sommelier test is crazy difficult. Like I mentioned in the comment to Donna, you might like the documentary Somm.

      • Jacqueline Gum

        Thanks for the heads up on that. I’ll check it out:)

  • These are interesting. They are more than just fun facts about wine – most are useful for wine drinkers to know.

    • Donna, when it comes to wine there is always more to know. I watched the documentary Somm last year and now have even more appreciation for how rigorous the Master Sommelier test is.

  • What a great post – loved the infographic – didn’t realize that most wines have to be consumed within one year. I am not a wine connoisseur by a long shot but really do enjoy a glass of pinot grigio – thanks for the permission to have a glass a day 🙂

    • Lenie, for wine to be stored for more than a year refrigeration if recommended. Enjoy that glass of pinto tonight. Cheers!

  • Really interesting post Jeri. And the amphora is beautiful. Good infographic – I wondered how today’s statistics on consumption would match up.

    • Kathy, I took quite a few pictures of vases on my trip to Greece, but the one with the octopus is definitely my favorite and has now came in quite handy for this post 😉

  • RoseMary Griffith

    Love the collaboration between you two, Susan and Jeri! Am sharing this wine post with all my friends. Seriously. I know a lot of wine lovers who are going to love this! I think I was most startled by the information on the cork trees! I currently have a bag of corks I’m trying to recycle–the one place that used to take them disappeared.

    • RoseMary, I bet if you posted your bag of corks on Craigslist or eBay someone might actually buy them for you. I’ve been saving mine for years and will someday get round to do doing something crafty with them.

  • DV Berkom

    Fun post, Jeri! One of my favorite jobs was working as a tasting room manager for a winery in Sonoma County (Lytton Springs before it was bought out by Ridge) I learned a bunch about wine and growing grapes, and met some fascinating people. One thing the winemaker there always used to say, “It takes a lot of good beer to make great wine!”. That line summed up the friendly and laid back culture of the Northern California wine industry at the time.(how can you be a grump when your paycheck comes from selling and sharing wine? 🙂 ) And you’re right–there’s always something new to learn!

    • DV, I’m jealous you were able to spend so much time working at a winery as a tasting room manager. If I could manage to find the time, I’d take just about any job at one of the vineyards here in the Snake River Valley so I could learn more and at a faster pace to boot.

  • S P Mount

    I love wine, and yes there is a great deal to know.

    Unfortunately, like many, as we get older, we become less tolerant of its effects. I started to get headaches while I was drinking some reds, and a racing heart (its called Holiday Heart) and so that threw me into yet another realm of research.

    Turns out it’s very common. Down to the preservatives. The sulphites and tannins.

    As a result I have discovered some great reds made from organic grapes and that are low in sulphites. (Although there are also *truly* organic wines out there, too). Not only do they taste great for a connoisseur, but the effect during is really very pleasant, no heady sensation, nor any kind of hangover the next day.

    Something I learned is, that while most wines have sulphites, those from the old countries – Italy, France etc. are lower in preservatives content than the newer countries. Sulphites also exist in whites, but somehow that doesn’t affect me quite as much, so have to say the combo of sulphites and tannins is what affects me with some reds.

    Talking of New Zealand wines, I have discovered any (Marlborough Region) Sauvignon blancs are excellent (I prefer these over the sweeter Pinot Grigio – and if one likes a drier Chardonnay, I highly recommend, NZ Oyster Bay. Cono Sur from Chile, do various reds and white with organic grapes and low in preservatives. These are excellent. As well, the Villa Theresa Merlot from Italy is really great – so a wine lover, getting older and less tolerant of preservatives in wine, can still enjoy even a whole bottle without the consequences. (Who me? . . . Never!)

    • SP, thanks so much for chiming in. I am aware to the effects sulphites and tannins can have when it comes to headaches, but I’d not heard of racing heart before. I was just starting to get into exploring organic wines before my budget took a hit. Anything that cuts down or even keeps a hangover from happening is always worth it. As for enjoying a whole bottle, is there any other way to imbibe?

  • aquileana

    Excellent post … I particularly enjoyed the excerpts highlighting the ancient historical background… Dionysus, Greek God of of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine would nod in agreement here…

    My dad lives In Mendoza which is a wine capital city in Argentina and in a global scale, as some of the best Malbecs come from there. There are many wineries and… I find that wine is such a noble product, and that being said, of course, tossing aside the fact that it is biblically associated to Christ´s blood…

    Best wishes, Aquileana

    • Aqui, Malbec has become one of my favorite varietals. Interesting too that the Greeks used to use tree pitch to line their vases. I regret not trying restina on my trip to Athens, but I’ve never been fond of the scent of pine or taste, so I wasn’t too eager to give it a go.

  • Great post Susan, I found all of the fact interesting! I had never thought about where cork comes from, it’s surprising to find out it’s from a tree! I didn’t know why wine was stored lying down either. 🙂

    • Christine, cork tends to be one of those things we take for granted. It serves an important purpose, but it’s just not one of those things many people ponder much where it actually comes from or how it’s grown. That’s what I love about wine so much–all of the trivia associated with it.

  • This was so fun to read! I feel better now about my twist caps. 😉 And I love that octopus amphora!

    • Meredith, twist caps just make sense, though I do enjoy the sense of tradition and routine that comes with removing a cord from a bottle.

  • Jeannette, I think it’s safe to say I would really, really like your friend 😉 Not just because of her wine knowledge, but because I truly admire anyone who can accomplish such an exacting feat. I’ll be sure to take a look at her book.

  • Kristina, winemaking is both an art and a science. Its appeal cannot be denied.

  • Ken, let’s hope too many varietals don’t fade away. Your comment reminds me of trying to get my sister to try wines. It’s always, “I like the sweet ones.”

  • Ken, or maybe even a scratch-n-sniff wine label…

  • Jason, beyond a certain point, the merits of aging definitely start to yield less benefits.

  • laurazera

    “Only 200 people have earned The Master Sommelier’s Diploma since the three-part exam was first offered 40 years ago. The test covers blind tasting, service, and theory and has been likened to the demands of earning a medical degree.” — Whoa. This would explain why our friend completely disappeared for the last year, and when we ran into him at his Sommelier job at a restaurant, he said all he’d been doing was working and studying. But he passed this exam recently!

    • Congrats to your friend on such a huge achievement!