Hints and tips

5 Incredible facts about wine

We've been making it and consuming it for more than 8,000 years so it comes as no surprise that wine comes with it's own catalogue of interesting anecdotes. Whip these out at dinner parties for ensuing oohs and ahhs!

By Christabel Brain
2018/11/08, 11:04 AM

1. Where does the expression chin-chin come from?

This way of saying 'cheers' comes from the Italians in the Middle Ages. Back then things were a bit different (newsflash!), and it was not uncommon to want to poison a love rival / business competitor or anyone who just generally got on your nerves. The best way to poison someone was to subtly pour a few deadly drops into their glass as their inhibitions lower sip after sip.

With all this poisoning going on, naturally people started to get suspicious of their fellow drinking partners and soon the tradition came about to clink glasses together and exchange a bit of their drink with each other. By sharing each others drinks, they would prove that neither had poisoned the other. Not very trusting back then!

The sound of the two glasses clinking together made a sound like 'chin-chin', hence the name.



2. The oldest wine in the world

It was in 1952, just off the coast of Marseilles, that Commander Cousteau exhumed more than 7,000 amphoras of wine(those large jugs used in Grecian times) from a wrecked ship 2200 years ago. He and his crew opened the one and only amphora that had been miraculously "preserved" to do a little wine tasting on board. We're yet to hear the full review, but it's probably fair to say it was somewhat iodised!



3. The West Indies know how to throw a party.

Champagne. Doesn't get more French does it? if you had to guess who consumed the most Champagne in the world, you'd be forgiven for saying it was probably the French, imagining those heaving Paris wine bars or just the plain fact that well, Champagne is in France!
But no. Move over France, the West Indies are here for a good time and they win the title of biggest drinkers of Champagne IN THE WORLD. With an average of 3.5 bottles of champagne consumed per person each year, it even exceeds their consumption of rum ...

Right, get us to Antigua now.



4. The smallest vineyard in the world

About the size of 4 basketball courts (1618 m²), Farinet is the smallest vineyard in the world and is found in Switzerland. The owner? None other than the Dalai Lama. It produces around 1,000 bottles a year and all profits are donated to children's charities. See? Size doesn't matter.



5. Are you a placomuscophile?

You might be thinking 'oh god, I hope not', but hear us out, it's not as bad as it sounds. Placomusophiles are people who like to collect the flat disc that rests between a cork in a bottle of bubbly and the wire cage that keeps it all together. This plaque varies in design and are typically marked with the logo of the House from which the bottle comes from. People collect them as souvenirs of special bottles they've tried.

There. Wasn't so bad was it? You might be a placomuscophile yourself after all.