Here Are the Strangest Stories about Wine You'll Ever Hear ...


Wine is one of the oldest alcoholic drinks ever invented, dating back no less than 8,000 years. What mysteries and stories has it gathered in all that time, and what crazy, unusual tales about customs, events, people and wine bottles lie hidden behind that charming, yet complex taste we've all come to know and love? Let's find out!

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Wine and Wasps

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an important type of yeast that grows on vineyard grapes and without which wine would not have the same amazing taste we are used to. Not many people know, however, that the fungus would not survive in the frosty months of winter, and it is up to wasps to provide it with a safe refuge (in their guts) and reintroduce it in spring - after having used it to feed their offspring.


In addition to providing a safe refuge for Saccharomyces cerevisiae, wasps also play a crucial role in the pollination of grapevines. They are attracted to the sweet scent of ripe grapes and inadvertently transfer pollen from one flower to another as they feed. This process helps to ensure the growth and development of healthy grapes. Furthermore, the wasps' presence on the vines helps to protect the grapes from other pests and insects. Without the help of these tiny insects, the production of wine would be significantly impacted. So next time you enjoy a glass of wine, remember to thank the hardworking wasps for their contribution to its delicious taste.


Clinking Wine Glasses

Although some believe clinking was invented to ward off evil spirits, the real reason behind it seems a lot more mundane. As the manufacturing of fine glasses became almost an art, clinking started to catch on, as the beautiful sound of stemware became far more appealing than any past customs.


Clinking glasses is a common practice when toasting with wine, but its origins are debated. Some believe it was meant to ward off evil spirits, while others suggest it was a way to ensure the drink was not poisoned. However, the real reason for clinking glasses is more practical. As the manufacturing of fine glasses became an art, the sound of clinking became a sign of quality and sophistication. This led to clinking becoming a popular tradition, especially in formal settings. Today, the sound of clinking glasses is seen as a gesture of celebration and camaraderie, making it an integral part of wine culture.


Wine Tasters Are Easy to Fool

An intriguing story about wine has to do with the old and noble tradition called wine tasting. Considered a “fine skill” that takes years of practice for learning various concepts like soil quality and “connectedness”, or the description of “chewy” or “expressive” tastes, a 2001 study fooled more than 50 people who were versed in wine tasting, by simply dyeing a white bottle of wine red.


Wine tasting is an ancient and noble tradition that has been around for centuries. It is considered a fine skill that takes years of practice to master. Wine tasters must learn to recognize various soil qualities, different flavors and textures, and descriptions such as “chewy” or “expressive”.

In 2001, a study was conducted to test the accuracy of wine tasters. In the study, a white bottle of wine was dyed red and served to over 50 people who were considered experts in the field of wine tasting. To the surprise of the researchers, the tasters were fooled and could not distinguish the difference between the dyed and undyed wines.

This study showed that even the most experienced wine tasters can be easily fooled. It also showed that color can play a major role in our perception of taste. This is an interesting story about wine that is sure to make anyone who enjoys a glass of wine think twice before they take a sip.


The Tiger's Bone

One of the saddest stories about wine comes from China. Apparently, a type of expensive wine produced through a complex process using the bone of an endangered animal – the white tiger – can sell for more than $800 a bottle. Despite having been outlawed since 1993, people using and marketing this wine often find loopholes and entice drinkers talking about the wine's alleged “special” properties.


The white tiger, also known as the snow tiger, is an extremely rare species of tiger that is native to parts of Russia, China, and India. It is the most endangered of all tiger species, with only about 3,000 individuals remaining in the wild.

The wine that is made using the bones of the white tiger is known as "Tiger Bone Wine" and has been produced for centuries in China. It is believed to have medicinal properties and is traditionally used to treat a variety of ailments, including arthritis, back pain, and joint pain.

The process of making the wine is quite complex and labor-intensive. The bones are boiled for several days, then left to steep in a mixture of rice wine and herbs for months. The resulting liquid is then bottled and can sell for more than $800 a bottle.

Despite being outlawed in 1993, Tiger Bone Wine continues to be made and sold illegally. It is believed that the wine has a special "magical" power that can bring good luck and health to those who drink it. Unfortunately, the continued production and sale of this wine is contributing to the decline of the white tiger population.


The Judgment of Paris

Named after an Ancient Greek underdog story, the Judgment of Paris was one of the most memorable showdowns in the wine tasting world. Taking place in 1976, the event pitted a Californian wine merchant against some of France's best wines and wine experts. Against all odds, a Californian Cabaret was dubbed as the winner, sending shock waves throughout the culinary world.


The Judgment of Paris is one of the most famous and influential wine tasting events of all time. It took place in Paris in 1976 and pitted a Californian wine merchant against some of France's best wines and wine experts. Surprisingly, the Californian Cabernet Sauvignon won the blind tasting, shocking the world and forever altering the way people think about wine.

The event was organized by Steven Spurrier, a British wine merchant who had recently opened a shop in Paris. He wanted to showcase the quality of California wines, so he invited nine of the most renowned French wine experts to a blind tasting. They were presented with six whites and six reds from both California and France. The results of the tasting were unexpected: the Californian Cabernet Sauvignon was voted the best red wine, and the Chardonnay from the same winery was voted the best white wine.


Music and Wine

Apparently, one strange and interesting story about wine tells about different musical pieces altering the taste of fine wine. Researcher Adrian North from Heriot Watt University conducted an experiment in which he compared the effects of both gentle classical music and fast-paced contemporary tunes, reaching a surprising conclusion: the type of music that plays in the room can actually alter the taste of the wine to a considerable extent.


In addition to the experiment conducted by Adrian North, there have been other studies that have explored the relationship between music and wine. One study found that participants rated the same wine as being more pleasant when paired with classical music compared to when paired with heavy metal music. Another study found that participants were more likely to purchase a bottle of wine when it had a label with a musical instrument on it, compared to a label with no musical association. This suggests that the influence of music on our perception of wine goes beyond just taste.


Wine in Space

One of the stranger stories of the Apollo program had to do with NASA planning to send wine to outer space, along with other foods and beverages added alongside tasteless powder protein. A type of sherry was selected that could withstand the harshness of space travel. Unfortunately, NASA was forced to pull the plug on the project due to public outrage against giving astronauts alcoholic beverages.

Wine has inspired many regular people and well-known personalities alike throughout the years. What other tales about wine do you know of that could be added to this list?


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