Wine has been enjoyed as a delicacy by many people around the world. Through the various techniques in preparation, there are endless varieties of wine to suit the diverse preferences of wine lovers. Its timeless influence has seen it span from historical cultures to the modern day. Here are some interesting facts you didn’t know:
Not all wines benefit from ageing
When fine wine is allowed to age, spectacular changes can occur which increase both its complexity and monetary value. Ageing is dependent on several factors: the wine must be intrinsically capable of it; it must be correctly stored (in a cool place and out of contact with air); and some form of capital investment is usually necessary. The ageing of wine is an important element in getting the most from it but, contrary to popular opinion, only a small subgroup of wines benefit from extended bottle ageing.
Wine consumption may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
There is evidence that those who drink moderately are less likely to develop coronary heart disease than either those who heavily drink or those who never drink alcohol. A growing number of studies conclude that the way alcohol is consumed – the pattern of drinking – is key to potential health benefits. Studies show that regular moderate consumption, predominately with meals, significantly reduces the risk of a heart attack. It is likely that it is the combination of alcohol, its phenolic compounds, and the usual consumption pattern of wine that makes wine the most beneficial alcoholic beverage for cardiovascular health.
Wine has often been mentioned in religious texts
Historically, wine was so important to the prosperity of the human population, that people saw it as a suitable offering to superhuman authorities. Along with animal sacrifices and offerings from other crops, liberations of wine were poured out to the gods by Italians and Greeks and there were similar practices in the Levant.
Grapes growing in vineyards may experience sunburn
Classical sunburn produces a round halo of burnt skin on the side of the berry facing the sun’s position in the western sky, as damage normally occurs in the afternoon. Whether exposure is harmful to the berry is arguable, and exposure to the sun encourages the production of a range of phenolic compounds, including quercetin, which are generally associated with wine quality, especially for red varieties.
The Oxford Companion to Wine
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