With some of the best vineries around the UK based in the Forest of Dean and neighbouring areas, we’re becoming something of an expert on the subject of wine here at The Wyndham.
It means we can choose many award-winning bottles to supply to our customers and guests. Olive magazine describes the Three Choir’s Classic Cuvee as a “dangerously quaffable… take on Champagne but at a fraction of the cost.” Not only can we advise you on the most suitable wines to try with food in our dining rooms, but means we’ve also increased our knowledge on the subject. And, on that note, listed here are some fun and quirky facts we’ve discovered about wine over the years (dealing first with red wine):
Red wine facts
- The health-giving benefits of red wine are to do with a substance that’s also found in dark chocolate and green tea. Called polyphenols these are a form of condensed tannin. The compound is well-known amongst the medical community for inhibiting cholesterol plaque in blood vessels. As a result, taken in moderation, red wine is good for heart health and longevity.
- Aged red wines may taste better, but when it comes to red wine’s health-giving aspects, young red wines are better for you than older varieties. That’s because they have higher tannin levels (see our last point).
- You can tell a very old red wine as it will be almost translucent in colour. That’s because the red colour fades as the wine ages. And, on that note, the tannin also helps red wine age longer than white (something wine experts refer to as a wine’s ‘structure’.
General wine facts
- There is a medical condition where the sufferer has an uncontrollable and irrational fear – or even hatred – of wine. It’s called ‘Oenophobia.’ Even thinking about wine can make someone with Oenophobia start to shake and sweat and perhaps even have a full-blown panic attack.
- Most of the world’s wine corks – around 50 per cent – come from Portugal. Around 340,000 tonnes of them are from natural cork. That’s the weight of 44,000 elephants. So important are cork trees there that you can be fined or imprisoned for cutting down a cork tree – even if it’s dead.
- Most of us love our white wine slightly chilled, but the Germans went that bit further when, in 1858, they came up with a concentrated dessert wine using frozen grapes. Eiswein (translated as ice wine) is produced using grapes that are frozen while still growing on the vine.
However, the freezing process takes place prior to fermentation so the wine is at room temperature by the time it gets served up. It’s a highly acidic wine and very refreshing to drink.
- And finally, our favourite fact relates to any kind of wine and centres around the tradition of clinking glasses as a form of saying ‘cheers’ before taking the first sip.
It was during medieval times when poisoning wasn’t uncommon. When the glasses (or silver goblets) clinked together a little wine would fall from one glass into the other and vice versa. This meant both drinkers knew the other wasn’t trying to poison them.
Thankfully poisoning by wine is very rare these days and we can honestly say we’ve never had a case here in the Forest of Dean. So, do feel good about coming to taste some of the fabulous wines we have available here at the Wyndham this year.