Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wine...So Many Bottles, So Few Glasses

By now, you’ve probably guessed that wine plays a fair part in my book, Hemphill Towers. But wine is so much more than just a tasty sip from a beautiful bottle. It has a long, exciting, often sordid history, and has been a part of the cultural and daily life of nearly every group of people on the planet.

Here are a few fun facts you may not know about wine and its impact on just about everything it touches…Stella’s fancy blouse not excluded!

Old Wine…She Ain’t What She Used to Be
There are a great many things that get better with age…cheese, friends, George Clooney. But it is a common misconception that all wines fall into this same category. The vast majority of wines, more than 90 percent, in fact, should be consumed within one year.

My New Diet
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. So skip the beer, have the wine, and half a chocolate bar.

Pour Me a Glass and Call Me Healthy
A report in American Journal of Epidemiology claims that those who drank red wine had 44% fewer colds than those who did not drink red wine.You get the corkscrew, I'll get the glasses.

A Mother’s Nose Knows
Women are typically better wine tasters than men. That’s because women, especially those in reproductive ages, have a better sense of smell than men. So, the same ability that allows us to detect the delicate nuances in the bouquet of a rich Cabernet also gives us the super-parenting skill of sniffing out a fully loaded diaper at a hundred paces. Go figure.

Wanna Party? All You Gotta Do Is Sign
After the signing of the US Constitution, the 55 signers hung around for a little celebration. On the bill? Oh, just the following: 54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of claret, 8 bottles of whiskey, 22 bottles of port, 8 bottles of hard cider, 12 beers and seven bowls of alcohol punch large enough that "ducks could swim in them.” And it would seem the party didn’t end there. During that time period, Thomas Jefferson’s salary was $25,000 per year of which he spent approximately $3,000 a year on wine! Give me a pen, and show me where to sign.

It’s Not Just In the Book
One of the subplots in my book looks at a scheme to sell inferior wine in bottles labeled with a
much finer vintage. And apparently I’m not the only one that thinks this is absolutely wrong. In the Code of Hammurabi (1800 B.C.), there is a law that specifically indicates that fraudulent wine sellers were subject to death if caught. They were to be drowned in the nearest river.

Wine…It Helps You Bink Thetter Occifer.
The ancient Greeks knew how to get a discussion going. At the center of Greek social and intellectual life was the symposium, which literally means, “drinking together.” Indeed, the symposium reflects Greek fondness for mixing wine and intellectual discussion...among other things, I'm sure.

Plato Called it As He Saw It
Plato argued that the minimum drinking age should be 18, and then wine in moderation may be tasted until 31. When a man reaches 40, he may drink as much as he wants to cure the “crabbedness of old age. Way to speak the truth, Plato, way to speak the truth.

Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Glass
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."
I know, I know, you can’t thank me enough for filling your mind with all of these amazing facts. You can give me credit at your next party when your guests ask you how you know so much about wine. Cheers!


  1. Leona, I did not know the one about P's and Q's. Interesting. Thanks.

    1. Thanks, Tom, I learned a few things myself. I might have known there'd be a Leona wine.

  2. Lots of fun, Lee, Len, Leo--are you part of a pride? Hiccup! Scuse me, all that wine did a number on my typing finger,, I did it rite, or is that ryte? Ah well, tip the bottle my glass is half empty.

  3. I guess I was tipsy after all that wine you waved in front of my nose so the comment gremlins trashed my first attempt. So, here goes again, great post, interesting facts and you made me chuckle.

    1. LOL Mary, you gave me a laugh too. A friend living in Turkey told me about the Leona wine. I knew there was Leona Bologna.

      Thank you very much for stopping by.

  4. Leona, you're coming across as quite the drinker now. :) Just kidding.

    Lots of wonderful information here. I especially loved the history facts. I'm not much of a wine drinker unless it's mixed in with some fruit juice, sparkling water, and has an umbrella poking out of the top. I'm prissy like that. :)

  5. lol Von, I had a Mimosa on my birthday back in November, and that's the extent of my alcohol experience. My book is definitely not a 'write what you know' type. Well maybe the love at first sight part. I'll admit those pretty drinks look good.

    Thanks for stopping by and for all those Tweets on my behalf.

  6. Facts I didn't know about wine. I am over 40 so I may just have to research a few bottles myself. Thank you, Plato.

  7. LOL Thanks, Barb. If you find a good one, share with me.

  8. I love this post!!! Having just become acquainted with wine in the last few years, I'm fascinated about it. And i didn't know about most of these. I did just learn about the better with age misconception at a winery tour recently. I always assumed it was true for all wine until then. But the exceptions aren't hard to find. I'm about to partake in a new bottle of 2006 Shiraz.

  9. Thanks, Mysti, I've heard wine is good for many ailments, but I've never tried to put it to the test. Yea, the mighty internet can give us all the info we need on most things.

    Enjoy your wine, you deserve to relax with a drink.

    Thanks for stopping by.


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