What's more fun than drinking wine? Dishing out amusing wine trivia. Here are 10 factoids from around the world about our favorite drink. Study them, memorize them, and use them to seem more worldly than you actually are at your next party.
1. A free, 24-hour wine fountain opened just outside Rome a few months ago. Um, why are you still reading this when any reasonable person would be booking a flight to Italy right now?
2. That well-aged Bordeaux hanging out in your cellar has got nothing on the oldest bottle of wine in the world. It's from 325 A.D., it's on display in Germany, and it proves beyond a doubt that sometimes wine doesn't get better with age.
3. The tradition of toasting began in England in 450 A.D., and it all started with actual pieces of toast, which were dropped into wineglasses as a fun hors d'oeuvre. Those crazy English. The practice was abandoned by the 18th century, but the term "toasting" has stuck around.
4. Who started bottling wine first? If your answer is the French, you're wrong. The Iranians did, back in 5400 B.C. Archaeologists know this because they've discovered special pottery jars that were the Neolithic wine drinker's version of the bottle and cork.
5. Who invented Champagne? If your answer is the French, you're wrong. Just kidding … you're right, of course; Champagne, France, is the birthplace of Champagne -- but not other bubblies such as Prosecco, Cava, Espumante and Diet Coke. Also, did you know that there are an estimated 20 million bubbles in each glass of Champagne?
6. The oldest grapevine in the world lives in Slovenia. Her name is Old Vine, she's at least 375 years old, and she's seen a few things, including Napoleon's conquest, the First World War, and the Nazi occupation. She continues to produce Žametovka, a sweet Slovenian wine grape, all these years later. She's my new hero.
7. Got a hankering for wine-flavored Kit Kat? Of course you do. Pick some up the next time you're in Japan. Or don't.
8. The ancient Romans loved adding seasonings to their wine, including seawater, pig's blood and marble dust. An exception to the "when in Rome" rule, if there ever was one.
9. Scottish Pinot Noir, anyone? No? Well, you might be singing a different tune in 2100, which is when one study projects that the U.K. will become a major winemaking region due to climate change.
10. And finally, here's a wine fact coming from Tasting Room, in the good ol' U.S.A.: Wine should be accessible, fun to learn about, and easy to enjoy. Find out more about your preferences with our mini tasting kit, designed to decode your personal taste.