By Short Courses Team

Have you always wanted to be a wine enthusiast?

08 Mar 2017

5 hard facts about wine that's sure to impress your table company

Have you always wanted to know more about wine, how it's made and the various drops? Have you always wanted to wow your table company with your refined taste buds and expert knowledge of all things grape?

Short Courses by CIT Solutions offers an introductory course to Wine Appreciation.

Grapes are a truly remarkable fruit, packed with heaps of natural antioxidants! If these little beauties are left squeezed and sitting in juice for a few days they'll ferment all by themselves. The yeast that lives on grape skin is so irrepressible that it produces wine once the fermenting process begins. The wine may not be any good, but it is wine nonetheless. It's estimated that wine was the first alcoholic beverage discovered by prehistoric groups about 10,000 years ago.

Celebrated for its many virtues, including its reputed health benefits, wine has been enjoyed by people around the world since its discovery.

5 hard facts about wine that will wow anyone

  1. Darker shades of wine come from warmer climates and lighter coloured wines come from cooler climates. Climate also affects taste, the darker, the richer and the lighter the crisper.
  2. Try not to keep your wine in the kitchen, or in the fridge for that matter. The kitchen is too hot and may damage the wine's quality and the fridge is just too cold. The ideal location to store wine is either in cool dark closet or a wine cellar.
  3. The first clear health benefit of wine was it protected people from water-borne diseases such as dysentery, cholera and botulism. Back in those times when you had large groups of people settling in an area with a water supply the water would soon go bad because of contamination. Wine doesn't kill you, in fact, the high alcohol content from natural fermentation kills bacteria quite effectively.
  4. Ancient Egyptian kings avoided wine because of its resemblance to blood. They believed the wine was the blood of those who battled the gods and lost and drinking it temporarily drove people out of their senses.
  5. Many winemakers switched from corks to screw caps during the 1980s due to poor cork quality, they were getting tired of the cork spoiling the wine. Since then screw caps have become hugely popular. Also if you ever go to a fancy restaurant and the wine steward presents you with a cork, don't sniff it but rather examine it for any imperfections.

Bonus facts

  • Wine is made from grapes but not the typical variety you can buy from the supermarket.
  • The 'cheers' ritual started back in the Middle Ages, when poisoning was a favourite way to do away with an enemy. To be sure their glass was poison-free drinkers would cheers where a bit of wine would spill into each other's glass so that if there was poison in one, it was now in both.
  • A crop of newly planted vines takes about four to five years to grow before it can be harvested.
  • Most wine glasses are specifically shaped to accentuate the flavour of wine when it hits your tongue.

Would you like to learn more? Take a look at our Wine Appreciation introductory short course.

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