13 Wine Facts That Will Amaze You
What is the world’s most expensive wine? What’s the oldest bottle of wine in the world? What type of wine has the highest alcohol content? All these questions – and more – are answered as we present 13 interesting wine facts.
- The most expensive bottle of wine to ever be sold at auction reached US$350,000: The record-breaking vintage was a 2015 Setting Wines Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Proceeds from the sale were donated to charity.
- A standard bottle of wine yields approximately six glasses, so each glass of the world’s most expensive wine was worth US$50,000: Depending on how quickly you drank it, each sip would be worth up to US$10,000!
- Outside of the record-breaking sale for charity, the most expensive wine sold at a regular auction was a 1947 Cheval-Blanc: Sold in 2010, this rare wine reached US$300,000 at auction.
- Perhaps not a surprising fact, but the country with the highest rate of wine consumption is France: The average French person consumes 8.14 litres per year (2.2 gallons). Portugal and Italy are not far behind.
- While France holds the title of the world’s biggest wine consumers, the nation that produces the most wine in the world is Italy: In 2014, Italian winemakers produced over 4.7 million tonnes of wine.
- While individual bottles of rare wines can command a high value, collectors often pay a premium for a ‘vertical’, which includes multiple vintages: A collection of Château d’Yquem wines from 1860 to 2003 sold for US$1.5 million
- Grapes are the primary ingredient used in conventional wine, but there are a range of fruit wines using different ingredients: These include plums, berries and even more esoteric items such as dandelions or pineapples!
- The average wine has an alcohol content of around 11.5% ABV, but there are wines with far higher ABVs: Port wine is typically the variety that has the highest alcohol content, with an ABV of over 20% in some cases.
- The world record for largest wine bottle was set a Chinese winery in 2010: Wang Chen Wines produced a 15-feet high bottle containing 1,850 litres (488 gallons): The bottle contained ice wine, a speciality of northeast China.
- To go with that massive bottle, perhaps you’d need the world’s biggest wine glass: The record for the largest glass was set in 2012 in Malta, with a glass over 12 feet in height – we’re certain nobody was able to pick it up!
- It turns out there are some really odd wine-related world records: There’s a record for the most wine corks held in one hand! It was set in 2010 by an American man named John Michael who was able to hold 43 at once.
- The world’s oldest sealed bottle of wine was discovered in a tomb in Germany in 1867: Experts believe the wine dates back to between 325 and 350 AD, making it well over 1,500 years old. The bottle is yet to be opened due to concerns over it deteriorating.
- Oxford University has a Blind Tasting Society that holds an annual contest to taste wines with experts blindfolded: It has been contested since 1953 and the winners have an uncanny knack for isolating the wine to a specific vintage and vineyard.