Crazy wine facts

Boost your wine knowledge with these fascinating wine facts. They are certain to  come in handy at your next dinner party when you want to impress your friends with your quirky, yet expansive wine knowledge. How many bubbles in a bottle of sparkling wine? Scientist Bill Lembeck states there are around 49 million bubbles in a bottle of champagne.

What is the origin of the champagne glass? The champagne coupe or champagne saucer is the saucer-shaped stem glass once used for serving champagne, but now more commonly used for cocktails. Legend has it the shape of the glass was modeled on the breast of Marie Antoinette, Joséphine de Beauharnais, Madame de Pompadour, or one of several other French aristocrats, although this is almost certainly false. The glass was designed especially for champagne in England in 1663, preceding those aristocrats by almost a century. Champagne is now served in a flute style glass which better retains the bubbles and temperature of the wine.

Where is the world’s oldest wine cellar? The Titanic--resting on the sea bottom--still holds the world's oldest wine cellar.  The bottles are still intact even through the wreck and the ocean's depth.

What is the highest price ever paid for a bottle of wine? The highest price paid for a bottle of wine was an insurance claim of $225,000 to settle a 1787 Chateau Margaux dropped by a waiter in 1989.

How many different grape varietites exist worldwide? There are 10,000 wine grapes varieties worldwide.

Where was the oldest bottle of wine found? The bottle dates from approximately 325 A.D. and was found in 1867 during excavation for building a house in a vineyard near the town of Speyer, Germany. It was inside one of two Roman stone sarcophaguses that were dug up. The greenish-yellow glass amphora has handles formed in the shape of dolphins. One of several bottles discovered, it is the only one with the contents still preserved. The ancient liquid has much silty sediment. About two-thirds of the contents are a thicker, hazy mixture. This is most probably olive oil, which the Romans commonly used to "float" atop wine to preserve it from oxidation. Cork closures, although known to exist at the time, were quite uncommon. Their oil method of preservation was apparently effective enough to keep the wine from evaporation up to modern day. The bottle is on permanent display, along with other wine antiquities, at the Historisches Museum der Pfalz (History Museum of the Pfalz), worth a visit if traveling near the area of Speyer, Germany.

How long on average does a consumer spend choosing a bottle of wine to purchase? Research by Australian Prof. Larry Lockshin is quoted that most buyers spend an average of 38 seconds choosing a bottle of wine.

How many different grape varieties are used to make Port? 48 different grape varieties are permitted for Port wine production. The most widely used are Touriga Nacional,Tinta Cao,Tinta Roriz,Tinta Barroca, Touriga Francesa and Tinta Amarela

Thinking about buying a vineyard? The most expensive vineyards in the world are the 1st growths in Bordeaux peaking at €1.2m per hectare. Chianti will set you back €250 000

How are Vintage Port bottles opened when the cork threatens to crumble? It's common to break the neck off the bottle using special port tongs or sabre

How big is the world's largest wine bottle? It holds 480 Litres of dessert wine, stands 2.4 metres tall and weighs as much as a limousin cow.

How did the phrase “rule of thumb” originate? 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.