Sip, Swirl, Surprise: 10 Wine Facts Guaranteed to Impress Your Date
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In 2006, Kobe Bryant shot a career-high 81 points in a single game. Barry Bonds has a staggering 762 career home runs. The car that finished in third place in the 1927 Indianapolis 500 did so using a wood-burning engine.

Fascinating facts, right? Maintaining a Jeopardy-like bank of not-so-useful knowledge might make you the life of some pretty nerdy parties, but it’s not going to get you any closer to a blossoming love life, and isn’t that a more valuable prize? Swap out your typical trivia for stats of a different feather – or is that flavor? – with a handful of wine facts guaranteed to impress your date.

Red Wine is Full of Antioxidants – but Your Stir-Fry Might Have More

People love to talk about how good red wine is for you. That’s mostly due to the high concentration of resveratrol, a polyphenol that acts like an antioxidant, protecting your body from free radicals that may increase your risk of contracting cancer or developing heart disease. As it turns out, though, a study conducted by the National University of Singapore found that good old Chinese dark soy sauce actually has 10 times the number of antioxidants found in red wine. Just don’t drink it. Please.

Wine Color is Only Skin Deep

Almost all wine grapes have translucent interiors, so if you were to just mash the pulp you’d end up with case after case of white wine. Instead, red wines like Cabernet and Merlot are produced by mashing the pulp along with the dark-hued skins, transferring the color from the skins and creating that range of ruby, garnet, and plum hues we all like to contemplate in front of a roaring fire.

Afraid of Wine? There’s a Word for That

Arachnophobia is a fear of spiders and gamophobia is a fear of commitment, but what’s the scariest phobia of them all? That would be “oeonophobia”, otherwise known as a fear of wine. Definitely ascertain whether your date suffers from this onerous affliction before springing for that bottle of DRC (that’s what the cool kids call Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, a delicious Burgundy that would cost you approximately eight student loan payments).

The Three U.S. States Leading the Country in Wine Consumption?

Why, California, New York, and Florida, of course. That’s three past and current Housewives locales, just in case anyone is counting.

Swirling Has a Purpose

It might help you look a little more confident when you start making little air circles with your wine glass if you know why you’re doing it. Not only does it look cool – most of the time – it also helps volatilize the wine, introducing oxygen and releasing aromas that intensify the entire tasting experience. Afraid you might slosh the wine out of your glass? Keep the base on the table and use your fingertips to gently slide the glass over the tablecloth; it’s safer and you can make it look like you’re absentmindedly aerating while talking.

Wine May Be Linked to Record-Setting Longevity

Jeanne Louise Calment was a French woman who lived to be more than 122 years old, setting the world record for the person with the longest recorded lifespan. You might think she was a tribute to clean living, eating steamed kale and chugging green juice like a frat dude at a kegger, but Jeanne actually scarfed down some two pounds of chocolate a week in addition to a daily pour of Port wine. Seems like the kind of example we’d like to follow.

Babylonian Wine Law Was Super Unforgiving

Way back in 1700 BC, the king of Babylonia enacted a set of laws he named after himself: The Code of Hammurabi. It contained some uber-stringent regulations, including the following jaw-droppers (we’ve paraphrased):

– A wine seller who allows criminals to congregate in her house without arresting them may be put to death

– A priestess who opens or enters a wine shop shall be burnt

– Anyone shorting wine pours or otherwise scamming the public in relation to booze sales shall be drowned in the river

In other words, Hammurabi had some major issues.

Once upon a time, Romans discovered that adding lead to their wine made the wine sweet and silkier, and it lasted longer, too. Ancient Romans also suffered from chronic lead poisoning.

Don’t Do as the Romans Did

Once upon a time, Romans discovered that adding lead to their wine made the wine sweet and silkier, and it lasted longer, too. Ancient Romans also suffered from chronic lead poisoning, something that is believed to have contributed to the downfall of their society. Coincidence? Probably not.

Women Rule at Wine Tasting

Have a pretty lady as your dinner guest? She’s going to love this one. Scientists have declared women to be superior wine tasters thanks to their more developed sense of smell. This is especially true of women still of reproductive age.

Sparkling Wine Contains Approximately 49 Million Bubbles (Give or Take a Few Million)

No, no one actually counted them, but a scientist named Bill Lembeck did calculate the volume of a typical Champagne bubble, and from there he was able to extrapolate the number of bubbles in a standard 750-milliliter bottle. Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible thinks the number is closer to 56 million. Either way, right? That little factoid might not make the price of vintage Dom Perignon any easier to swallow but it’ll give you something to share while the sommelier pops the cork.

So there you have it. A collection of wine facts that can serve as great ice breakers and help you ease your way into conversation with the person you’ve been eyeing at the bar or the latest person you swiped right on. Cheers!