1.) Merlot was practically unknown to Americans until the 1970s. Louis M. Martini winery released California's first post-Prohibition bottle labeled Merlot, a proletarian non-vintage, in 1972. In 1982, fewer than 2,500 acres of Merlot were planted statewide, less than now-obscure Rubired and about 1/25th of the acreage of then-leader French Colombard, according to the California Agricultural Statistics Service.

2.) Although red wine can only be produced from red grapes, white wine can be produced from both red and white grapes.

3.) 1 grape cluster = 1 glass
      75 grapes = 1 cluster
      4 clusters = 1 bottle
      40 clusters = 1 vine
      1 vine = 10 bottles
      1200 clusters = 1 barrel
      1 barrel = 60 gallons
      60 gallons = 25 cases or 300 750ml bottles
      30 vines = 1 barrel
      400 vines = 1 acre
      1 acre = 5 tons
      5 tons = 332 cases

      1 Half bottle = 375ml

      1 Bottle = 750ml

      Magnum = 1.5 liters or two bottles of wine

      Jeroboam = 3 liters

      Rehoboam = 4.5 liters


4.) There are about 400 species of oak, though only about 20 are used in making oak barrels. Of the trees that are used, only 5% is suitable for making high grade wine barrels. The average age of a French oak tree harvested for use in wine barrels is 170 years!

5.) Before thermometers were invented, brewers would dip a thumb or finger into the liquid to determine the ideal temperature, neither too hot nor too cold, for adding yeast. From this we get the phrase "rule of thumb."

6.) Cork was developed as a bottle closure in the late 17th century. It was only after this that bottles were lain down for aging, and the bottle shapes slowly changed from short and bulbous to tall and slender.

7.) Labels were first put on wine bottles in the early 1700s, but it wasn’t until the 1860s that suitable glues were developed to hold them on the bottles.

8.) Still wine” does not come from a still. The phrase refers to wine without bubbles, which includes what is also referred to as table wine.

9.)Move over, cork, and make way for screw caps. Today, screw caps are replacing corks on more than just inexpensive bottles. Currently, screw caps seal 75 percent of Australian wines and 93 percent of New Zealand wines, and they're gaining popularity in all countries, including here in the U.S.

10.) It is a common misconception that all wines improve with age. In fact, more than 90 percent of all wines should be consumed within one year. The three major collectibles that should age more than 10 years are: a great Châteaux of Bordeaux, the best producers of California Cabernet Sauvignon, and the finest producers of vintage port.

11.) As white wines age, they gain color. Red wines, on the other hand, lose color as they age. To analyze your glass of wine, hold the glass on an angle in front of a white background, such as a napkin or tablecloth. White wines can range from a pale yellow-green to a brownish hue. Reds begin at purple and scale all the way to brown.

12.) According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, there are 100 calories in a 5-ounce glass of wine (compared to 150 calories in a 12-ounce beer). Plus wine is a fat-free and cholesterol-free drink. Cheers!

13.)  An ancient Persian fable credits a lady of the court with the discovery of wine. This Princess, having lost favor with the King, attempted to poison herself by eating some table grapes that had "spoiled" in a jar. She became intoxicated and giddy and fell asleep. When she awoke, she found the stresses that had made her life intolerable had dispersed. Returning to the source of her relief, her subsequent conduct changed so remarkably that she regained the King's favor. He shared his daughter's discovery with his court and decreed an increase in the production of "spoiled" grapes.

14.)Archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest wine production came from sites in Georgia and Iran, dating from 6000 to 5000 B.C.

15.) In ancient Babylon, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead (fermented honey beverage) he could drink for a month after the wedding. Because their calendar was lunar or moon-based, this period of free mead was called the "honey month," or what we now call the "honeymoon."

16.) In English pubs drinks are served in pints and quarts. In old England, bartenders would advise unruly customers to mind their own pints and quarts. It's the origin of "mind your P's and Q's."

17.) Thomas Jefferson’s salary was $25,000 per year - a princely sum, but the expenses were also great. In 1801 Jefferson spent $6,500 for provisions and groceries, $2,700 for servants (some of whom were liveried), $500 for Lewis’s salary, and $3,000 for wine.”

18.) Thomas Jefferson helped stock the wine cellars of the first five U.S. presidents and was very partial to fine Bordeaux and Madeira.

19.) The Napa Valley crop described in 1889 newspapers as the finest of its kind grown in the U.S. was...hops.

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

21.) Most wines do not  improve with age.

22.) Although red wines can only be made from red grapes, white wines can be made from both red and white grapes.

23.) The wreck of the TITANIC, holds the oldest wine cellar in the world and despite the depth and the wreckage

the bottles are still intact.

24.) After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Church was critical in the revitalization, production, and promotion of wine. Among chaotic daily life, wine was the good element, associated with holyness (body of christ) and comfort.

By Middle Ages, the Church had developed and owned Europe's greatest vineyards (except Bordeaux). The Bendictines casting their influence over Alsace, Germany and Austria; and the Cistercians running Cote d'Or and Burgundy.