Wine is a subject that tends to come up in conversation. If you invite wine lovers (and excellent drinkers) to your home to play cards, eat pizza or just to relax, you can be sure that saying "let's uncork a bottle!" will start a long and passionate conversation.
That's why we are revealing 5 secrets you may not know about this marvellous drink - so you can tell them the next time you are debating someone who knows more on the subject.
Ready? Let's start!
1. The most cultivated variety in the world is...
If we're talking numbers, we have to begin with Italy. That's right: Italy boasts the highest number of vitis vinifera (vines) ever, with over 350 varieties! Which are the most cultivated? Definitely Sangiovese, Montepulciano and white Catarratto. But the crown for the most widespread grape variety in the world goes to Cabernet Sauvignon, closely followed by Merlot and the Spanish Tempranillo.
2. Bubbles? No thanks!
Did you know that in ancient times, especially in ancient Rome, sparkling wines were not appreciated? Apparently, the effervescence in wine was attributed to the harmful influences of the moon and the presence of evil spirits. And to think that, today, "perlage" is the watchword for all your aperitifs. By the way, have you already thought about the next one? Staying on the subject, a Spumante Blanc de Blancs Dry is just what you need.
3. Top wines
Altitude, climate and soil type are important factors in the quality of grapes and in the resulting wine. Indeed, it becomes almost impossible to cultivate the vine beyond a certain altitude. What is the threshold? Well, it depends on the latitude and exposure of the vineyard. For example, it is difficult to cultivate vines in Hungary at over 300 m, but this limit rises to 600/800 m in Piedmont, to 1300 m on Etna, and to 3500 m in the Andes!
4. Candlelit vineyard
If you have ever seen evocative candles and bonfires lit among the rows of vineyards, you have come across an ancient practice that is very popular in viticulture. These fires are lit to protect the plants during spring frosts, or when nighttime temperatures unexpectedly drop below zero, which can potentially ruin the entire year's crop. This sight is not a contemporary art performance or village festival - yet the fields lit up in the night are still a work of art.
5. Wine in dreams
How often have you dreamed of a nice glass of wine or of that label you tried in the last tasting, which you liked so much? Well, some say that wine in dreams is a symbol of good fortune. Others say that if the wine in a dream is red, you must be cautious as you are going through a difficult or unhappy time. While it may seem to be the opposite, an empty bottle means that this is a good time to make plans. If the wine is white, it means that you have true friends. Do you remember when you dreamed of that Fiano that you drank on the seafront, paired with a seafood risotto? Well, it's a good day to invite that dear friend of yours and uncork a bottle.