Building Wine Know… Day 2 of 6

It’s only day 2 of the 6 day International Wine Guild course and my brain is about to explode with wine information…. a good problem for a wino to have! Day 1’s post gives some background if you missed it… But here are a couple interesting fun facts from today’s class:

  • Yesterday, I noted the annual production of wine in France (1.62 Billion gallons) and the U.S. (only 711.2 Million). Well, today I learned that Italy is the #1 producer of wine in the world – just above France at 1.64 Billion of gallons of wine per year.  Bravo Italia! 
  • In the 19th century, champagne was bottled with about 5 atmospheres of pressure which is what gives the bubbly the bubbles. (Today, most sparkling wine is still around that – some more, some less.) However, back in those days, the glass bottle that held that champagne (and its bubbles) could not support the pressure.  So half or more of the bottles in a case exploded.  Which means the poor guys who had to go down into the cellar to retrieve champagne had to wear protective gear to avoid the shrapnel that would be caused by the exploding bottles upon touch or movement!  Who knew wine could be so dangerous. In the later 19th century, glass bottles were innovated to be strong enough to withstand the pressure of champagne and no longer explode on touch!
  • Some Italian wines are labeled in German or French instead of in Italian. Warum? Pourquoi? Because some of the regions that are now a part of northern Italy were once a part of southern France or Austria. While the political boundaries were changing, grape growers and wine makers remained hard at work… and the label stuck.  Or shall I say, es stecken.

I will keep the fun facts coming as the week continues!

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