5 Things You Didn’t Know About Wineby Michael Wards
Today’s post was written by Amanda Leighton, The Austin Artisan’s new Administrative Assistant (and wine connoisseur).
We often hear that wine is a great source of antioxidants and may have positive heart-health effects. And it seems there’s always some new study suggesting wine is good for us in surprising ways. In my years of experience in the food and wine industry, there have been lots of facts about wine thrown at me. I tend to forget most of it, but sometimes, a factoid sticks with me. Here are five of my favorites.
- There is no difference between red wine and white wine, aside from the fact that the skins of red wine grapes are kept on during the winemaking process, while white wine grape skins are removed. To this day, when I meet a new winemaker, I still feel compelled to verify that fact. It blows my mind that such a slight variable in a simple process creates a whole new taste and product.
- Aging wine in oak was originally for practical purposes—not taste. Winemakers transitioned their wine storage from clay pottery with lids, to palm wood barrels, and then to oak because oak is softer and easier to bend. Wood barrels were also far easier to transport for troops. Later, they started toasting the barrels with vanilla, cloves and cinnamon for added flavor profiles. Wine was actually safer to drink than water due to contamination and accessibility.
- Wine continues to age and decay with oxygen. To savor the wine a few days longer and prevent it from going bad, I have found that fancy gadgets are not necessary. Simply place the unpoured wine into a smaller container to reduce the amount of oxygen trapped in the bottle and seal with a lid. That’s it! I prefer to save a half-size wine bottle and reuse it, but sometimes good old Tupperware has been the answer.
- Prince Charles drives an Aston Martin completely powered by wine. It guzzles an incredible 4.5 bottles of wine per mile driven. Look up a video of this and watch people’s reactions–you won’t be disappointed!
- Grapes ferment themselves. Anyone can make wine with a little time–and grape juice. The fermentation process happens naturally with oxidation, which is why it is one of the most ancient beverages. In fact, historians think grapes may have been used to make the first beer as well.
If you want to delve even deeper into the fascinating world of wine, enlist The Austin Artisan’s boutique catering services for your very own wine pairing event! You’re sure to learn something new and find your favorite wine and food combination.