Wine is an alcoholic drink that is made from the fermentation of grapes or other fruits. People have long been making and consuming wine for thousands of years. The archaeological evidence of grape wine and viniculture was first found in Georgia. With more than ten thousand varieties of grape wine, this alcoholic drink has become an essential part of people’s social lives. So here we present ten fun, odd, silly, and amusing facts about wine.
Japan Offers a Hot Tub Filled With Wine
The Yunessun spa and resort located in Hakone, Japan, is famous for its remarkable collection of hot tubs. The spa promotes various bathes, some of which are filled with green tea, sake, coffee, and red wine. Red wine is the most popular among them. The spa boasts about using fresh ingredients inside the baths and frequently restocking them throughout the day. The red wine spa, a section of the park includes a 12-foot bottle of wine letting guests drink a glass or two while they bath.
Inspired by the likes of Queen Cleopatra of Egypt, the owners have designed the red-wine bath to promote skin-rejuvenation. The guests get to enact the same ritual Queen Cleopatra did back in ancient time. The owners claim that bathing in red wine can be refreshing for the body. This unique service is only available for 12 days each year for customers.
Oenophobia – Fear of Wine
Oenophobia is the irrational fear of wines, and the person suffering from it can experience a high amount of anxiety resulting in panic attacks from just thinking about wine, let alone be near it. Someone who has oenophobia generally refuses to be around people who drink wine or who own wine. Anxiety, panic attacks, muscle tension, sweating, and shakiness are the most common symptoms. Though there are no ultimate causes of oenophobia, health professionals state that genetics and family history can profoundly influence it.
For example, if someone has a family history of mental illness, especially of high anxiety disorders, then there is a higher chance of them developing oenophobia. Just as there are no definitive causes for this condition, there are no special treatments designed for this either. Still, many different forms of treatment can significantly improve the symptoms of Oenophobia. Some of these treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT), exposure therapy, psychiatric medications, etc.
Snake Wine – Wine Covered With Snake Blood
Snake wine is one of the unique culinary offerings of Hong Kong. It is an alcoholic drink that is prepared by putting an entire snake at times while still alive inside a jar of rice wine or other kinds of alcohol. The jar is then left for several months. Various herbs and spices such as ginseng are also added amidst the period. Besides the drink marination, alcohol is also consumed in an alternative form. In this form, a live snake is killed on the spot, and after that, its blood and bile are mixed with alcohol, which is consumed by the consumer instantly like a shot. The Chinese snake wine made from venom and rice wine has been consumed since the Zhou dynasty. It is also historically viewed as a medicative liquor.
The different components of the snake have long been used for various health benefits and are consumed as a form of medicine from ancient times. Snake Venom has been recognized as the most useful ingredient among all the parts of the snake. It has been used for various illnesses from joint to hair loss to leprosy and is also said to boost sexual performance. Although it may seem dangerous to drink a wine made from venomous snakes, the snake wine Is safe to drink as the ethanol in rice wine denatures the snake’s poison. One can usually find this delicacy in markets and traditional snake restaurants of Hong Kong.
The Weird Origin of “CHEERS”
The act of clinking glasses before drinking and saying the word “Cheers” has been practiced from ancient times until today. The word Cheers is originated from the French word chiere meaning face or head. But by the 18th century, its meaning changed, and it meant as “gladness.” Whereas, today, “cheers” is just a connotative means of toasting with the wish of good health and encouragement to the people around us. There are several reasons why people have been practicing this custom. The primary one is to boost the senses. It is considered that clinking of the glasses helped please all the five senses, thereby completing the drinking experience.
The second one is to chase away evil spirits. The prehistoric people used to clink their glass and then cheer out loudly to ward off spirits or demons. Another theory is that toasting was a way to avoid being murdered. In ancient times, poisoning an enemies drink was the most convenient way to kill them. So to avoid being poisoned, it was believed that they filled the glasses to the edge and then clinked them hard enough so that the drinks get mixed and the drinkers can be left unharmed. The last one around is it was a way of honoring God. The ancient people offered the gods a sacred liquid(blood or wine) in exchange for a wish or a prayer for health. The practice is still followed to date.
Drinking Red Wine Can Boost Sex Life
Several studies suggest that of all the alcoholic beverages, red wine is the most beneficial to enhance the level of sexual desire. The researchers found that red wine, if taken in moderation, can increase testosterone levels in men, thereby improving their sexual performance. For ladies, drinking a glass or two of red wine can increase their sex drive more in comparison to women who drink other types of alcohol. The researchers found that red wine increases the blood flow explicitly to women’s erogenous zones, and could also increase lubrication.
It is also found that polyphenols which are found in red wine can decrease the chances of erectile dysfunction by 14%. Red wine also contains histamines, which can increase your sexual urge. However, the key to red wine or any other alcohol intake is one should have it in moderation. If one gulps a lot of red wine, then the alcohol will start having adverse effects on their body, thereby lowering their hormonal levels and decreasing their sex drive. So the most effective prescription for both men and women is to stick to just a glass or two with dinner.
Butt – an Actual Unit of Measurement for Wine
The metric system and the imperial system are two central systems for measuring distance and weight. The peculiar aspect of the imperial system, though is that it uses funny words for measurement. One of the weird words they have named is a “butt,” which is an actual unit of measure for whine or whiskey casks. That means, if you technically have a barrel all filled up with wine, then you can probably call it a full butt. Butt derived from the word “botte” is an Italian and French word for boot. But in Italy, botte is still used as a reference to wine cask. Though the antique term is now used only at distilleries and wineries these days, it sure is fascinating, as it takes us back to history when large casks of booze brought nations together.
The Macallan distillery in Scotland has decided the amount of wine that can be called a buttload. According to them, a butt is equal to 108 Imperial gallons. One imperial gallon is almost 1.2 American gallons. Butt is additionally half of a tun, which is 216 gallons. It also is equal to two Hogsheads, which is about 54 gallons each. Other words used for measurement includes kilderkin at 18 gallons and firkin or rundlet at 9 gallons.
Wine Made of Bricks
National Prohibition of alcohol in America came into effect on 16th January 1920, and it became a nightmare for people who owned American vineyards. The ban on booze became most problematic for the vintners of Napa Valley since they were already making the right amount of profit selling the grapes. Now the problem was if they were to plant something else for profit and if the prohibition gets overturned after a few years, then they have to replant all the grape vines. Also, the kind of vines quality they are getting now could almost take up to 10 years, which isn’t very profitable.
So most of the winemakers came up a creative way to legally sell all their wines to continue their business. This started the making of the wine Bricks. Wine bricks were filled with concentrated grape juice and were utterly legal to produce at that time. The consumers could dissolve the Bricks into the water and ferment them to make their own vino. The instructions of the dissolving process were printed on the packaging, and right below it, there was a note stating that the package should not be left in a cool place or it would turn into wine. The loopholes in this prohibition legislation led to an increase in the sale of wines, thereby making the winemakers richer than before.
Water That Tastes Just Like Wine
An Israeli start-up company has launched O. Vine – pure spring water that tastes precisely like wine but is entirely non-alcoholic. O. Vine is a pure natural beverage that is infused with the extracts of wine grape skins and seeds. The beverage was launched first at the Fancy Food Show in New York. One of the components found in the grape skin, resveratrol, also helps boost cardiovascular health and protect against cancer. The CEO of the innovation, Tai Leizer said that this pure water sensation not only leverages sustainable principles by reusing the skins and wine seeds from the grapes but also inspires customers to appreciate wine’s complex flavors and aromas. This Wine could especially be beneficial to pregnant women who can’t drink any alcohol. O. Vine can give them the exact wine flavor and can satisfy their thirst for wine. The wine comes in two flavors – red and white. The red variety has cabernet, Syrah, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, whereas the white one has Riesling and gewürztraminer variety.
Fancy Wine Names Can Fool You to Pay More for the Bottle
Though it is always advised not to do the opposite of it, a study at Brock University conducted by Antonia Mantonakis stated that people who consume wine would pay more for the wines that are hard to pronounce, even if they have the same quality as lesser brands. The study involved 130 participants who were given the task of tasting different wines and rating them based on liking and how much they were willing to pay for them. All the wines had the same quality, but there were fictitious names assigned to each wine.
The participants were grouped into three – first one drank wines with complicated names, the second one drank wines with simple names on it, and the last group drank wines with no names on them. The result was very astonishing as the first group said that they liked the wines more compared to the other two groups. They also found that the first group was willing to pay $2 more for the same quality wines than the other two groups. Mantonakis explained the reason for this is the influence of things like label, price, ads, and brand name, which can make people think that something tastes better than it really does.
Women Are Better at Tasting Wine Than Men
A new study published in the Food Quality and Preference journal suggests that compared to men, women are better at tasting wines. The study included 208 participants and asked them to taste six different types of wines: One rose, two whites, and three reds while being blindfolded. The researchers found that in general men felt stronger emotional responses to every wine they tasted than women. But men were, however, more accustomed to the differences between the types of wine. Some studies also suggest that the reason for this could be that women’s sense of smell is sharper. A study in Brazil also stated that women might have more olfactory cells than men, thereby making them biologically superior sniffers. Women also tend to consume more wine than men. According to a study in 2016, women consumed 57% of all the wine bottles sold in the U.S.