Frequently Asked Questions

Miscellaneous

– Dom Perignon did not invent champagne, it had existed for several years.  However, he did invent the mushroom shaped cork and wire cage to allow the sparkling wine to be safely bottled.

– The longest recorded champagne cork flight was 177 feet and 9 inches, 4 feet from level ground.

– According to scientist Bill Lembeck there are approximatley 49 million bubbles in a bottle of Champagne.

– The corkscrew was invented in 1860.

– Foot treading of grapes is still used in producing a small quantity of the best port wines.

– The bag in box was first developed in 1967 by Thomas Angove in Australia

– Robert Mondavi built Napa Valley’s first new winery after the repeal of prohibition.

– President Thomas Jefferson was the new U.S. nation’s first wine expert.

– The first commercial U.S. winery was established in Missouri in 1823.

– The smell of young wine is called an “aroma”, a more mature wine offers a more subltle “bouquet”.

– California, New York and Florida lead the United States in wine consumption.  California is the fourth-largest wine producer in the world, after France, Italy and Spain.

– The alcohol content of a standard drink of dinner wine or distilled spirts (either straight or in a mixed drink) are equivalent.

– Alcohol has been widly consumed since prehistoric times by people around the world.

– Gin was invented in Holland in 1650 about the same time European settlers in the West Indies began distilling sugar cane into Rum.

– Sir Winston Churchill would start each day with a whiskey before moving on to brandy and martinis later in the afternoon and evening.

– The Manhattan cocktail (whiskey and sweet vermouth) was invented by Winston Churchill’s mother.

– The body or lightness of whiskey is primarily determined by the size of the grain from which it was made; the larger the grain, the lighter the whiskey.  Whiskey made from rye, with its small grain size, is bigger or fuller-bodied than whiskey made from corn.

– Each molecule of alcohol is less than a billionth of a meter long and consists of a few atoms of oxygen, carbon and hydrogen.

– In the 1600’s thermometers were filled with brandy instead of mercury.

– It is impossible to create a beverage of over 18% alcohol by fermentation alone.

Category: Miscellaneous

Tannin’s is what makes your gums tingle.  Tannins are derived from the skins, pips, and stalks of grapes.  It is usually found only in red wine and is an excellent antioxidant.  Visually, tannis is the sediment found in the bottom of the bottle.

Category: Miscellaneous

600 grapes or 2.8lbs of grapes makes a bottle, one ton of grapes make about 60 cases of wine or 720 bottles. There are approximately 20 million acres for planted grapes worldwide with grapes being #1 among the world’s fruit crops.

Category: Miscellaneous

1. Appellation – named for the place the grapes are grown

2. Varietal – named for the predominate type of grape used

3. Generic – named for a commonly recognized style of wine

4. Proprietary – named created and owned by the brand

Category: Miscellaneous

Label information on wine that is sold in the United States is regulated within a division of the Department of Treasury (The Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau – TTB).  The minimum information required for the bottles to be sold in the United States (whether foreign or domestic) includes: An identifying name brand, Identify the contents as being one of several classes, Alcohol content must be stated on any wines containing more than 14% alcohol by volume, Name and address of the bottle must appear on the label of all American wines, immediately preceded by the words “bottled by”, Metric size of the bottle.

Category: Miscellaneous

There are about 400 species of oak, but only approximately 20 are used in making oak barrels.  Out of the trees used, only 5% are suitable for making wine barrels.  The average age of a French oak tree harvested for use in wine barrels is 170 years.

Category: Miscellaneous

4-5 years.

Category: Miscellaneous

The purpose of a wine rating system is to quantify a wine’s quality separate from those factors that influence pricing.  The rating systems vary with some based on a 50-100 point scale, others are a 5 point scale.  When looking at these ratings, the evaluation of wine is subjective.  Factors that influence the rating are: bottle variability, tasting conditions, judges’ likes and dislikes.  Ratings are a helpful guideline when you become familiar with the rater’s preferred style.

Category: Miscellaneous