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DamnGoodWine.comWine - 25 things you really don’t need to know
by Greg Meserole

What do wine geeks think about when they are not actually drinking wine? Well here is a list of some of them below, and there are hundreds more where these came from. Yep, it is annoying to be the one having to listen to some wine nut spew out these “bits-o-info” at a tasting, but it’s kinda fun when you know them. Then you can be the one who is annoying people.

Some are actually common knowledge and good to throw into your memory banks, while others are just useless. So read down the list a ways and see if you find any of this interesting. If you get through 11 or 12 of them, good job. If you read the whole list and actually enjoy it, then you may have a problem. Only another bottle of wine can help you out now. The DamnGoodWine guys take no responsibility in you boring your spouse and alienating your friends with the underlying information.

1. There has only been one change in the famous 1855 Classification of Bordeaux wines. In 1973 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild was bumped up from a ‘Second Growth’ to a ‘First Growth’ status.
2. The largest cork tree in the world is known as ‘The Whistler Tree’. This tree is located in the Alentejo region of Portugal and averages over 1 ton of raw cork per harvest. Enough to cork 100,000 bottles of wine.
3. The only 3 grapes that can be used in Champagne are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.
4. The residual sugar levels in Champagne that are represented on the labels are categorized as follows: BRUT (0-1.5 % residual sugar), EXTRA DRY (1.2-2.0 % residual sugar), SEC (1.7-3.5 % residual sugar), DEMI-SEC (3.3-5.0 % residual sugar), DOUX (5.0 + % residual sugar). Brut being the most popular.
5. No vintage of Opus One has ever contained less than 80% Cabernet Sauvignon. Opus One’s debut vintage was in 1979.
6. The 10 Cru status villages of Beaujolais are Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte-de-Brouilly, Fleurie, Morgon, Régnié, Saint-Amour, (and the king of Beaujolais) Moulin-À-Vent.
7. The most recent American Viticultural Area (AVA) to be approved in Oregon by the B.A.T.F. is the Applegate Valley. The region is home to 7 wineries and about 30 vineyards. AVA status was issued in 2001.
8. Merlot is more heavily planted in the Bordeaux region than Cabernet Sauvignon.
9. Napa Valley recently surpassed Disneyland as California’s #1 tourist destination, with 5.5 million visitors a year.
10. Every state in the U.S. but 6 produced commercial wine this year.
11. The world’s smallest vineyard and winery is Africus Rex. The Vineyard is 4 feet by 18 feet, located in Canada, and produces Cabernet Franc.
12. The pressure in a bottle of Champagne is about 90 pounds per square inch. That is about 3 times the pressure in your automobile tires. Now you know why that metal cage is over that cork so tight.
13. Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Connecticut is the largest single purchaser of Dom Perignon in the world.
14. The strict French system for ensuring quality in winemaking and grape growing regulations known as the A.O.C. (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) was implemented in 1935. It was based on a system already in place in Châteauneuf-du-Pape since 1923.
15. Wine regions you have never heard of but may remind you of someone: Melissa, Nardo, Faro, and Ischia. All located in Southern Italy and Sicily.
16. Coolest intro on a winery web site.
17. The average number of grapes it takes to produce a bottle of wine: 600.
18. According to scientist Bill Lembeck there are approximately 49 million bubbles in a bottle of Champagne.
19. The U.S. is the 4th largest wine-producing nation coming in behind Italy, France and Spain.
20. The U.S. ranks 33rd in per-capita wine consumption with a miserable 2.08 gallons a year.
21. The German law established in 1971 that categorized wine quality, designated the best stuff as Qualitätswein mit Prädikat or QmP for short. It means “quality wine with distinction or special properties”. Within this highest level there are 6 sub-levels that distinguish quality and grape ripeness at harvest. Kabinett-Reserve. Spätlese-Late Harvest. Auslese-Select Harvest. Beerenauslese-Berry Select Harvest. Trockenbeerenauslese- Dried Berry Select Harvest. Eiswein- Ice Wine.
22. The largest publicly displayed collection of Chateau d’Yquem, valued at 1million dollars and encompassing every vintage from 1855 to 1990, is on display at the Rio resort in Las Vegas.
23. The soil of the famed Grand Cru vineyard “Clos de Vougeot” in France’s Burgundy region is considered so precious that vineyard workers are required to scrape it from their shoes before they leave for home each night. Man, those French are hardcore.
24. The South African flagship grape varietal grape known as “Pinotage” is a hybrid of two grape varietals. Pinot Noir and Cinsault.
25. The oldest winery in Sonoma County: Buena Vista Winery, established in 1857. The oldest winery in Napa Valley: Charles Krug Winery, established in 1861.Bonus “Bit-O-Info”

Greg Meserole

This article comes from and is reproduced with kind permission of the guys at The Wine School which is part of

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