Wine trivia as we endure heat and await start of football games that matter.
• Which major world cities drink the most wine? Not surprisingly, Paris prevails with 690 million bottles guzzled each year, almost 14 gallons (71 bottles) for each man, woman, and child. Buenos Aires is second with 457 million bottles, 8.5 gallons per person. In U.S., New York City annually opens 301 million bottles, Los Angeles 241 million bottles.
• Alcohol content on a label is a guess, not a precise measurement. Regulators allow a variance of up to 1.5% for wines below 14% ABV (alcohol by volume) and 1% for wines above 14% ABV. That means wine labeled 13% ABV could be be from 11.5% to 14.5%. Bottoms up.
• It takes about 2.5 pounds of grapes to make a standard bottle of wine. There are many variables, but in very broad terms an acre of grapevines will make about 800 gallons of wine, about 4,000 bottles.
• California annually produces more than 650 million gallons of wine (some 3.2 billion standard bottles), 85-89 percent of U.S. wine production.
• Sulfites in wine do not cause hangovers. Dehydration, low blood sugar, and fatigue are the bad guys. Sulfites naturally occur in wine, and white wine has sulfites added so they don’t turn brown, but sulfites in wine are much lower than common things you ingest. A single dried fruit contains more sulfite than an entire bottle of wine. French fries, canned soup, packaged meats, and soda pop contain more sulfites than wine. Less than one percent of Americans have a true sulfite allergy.
• There may be more than 10,000 different wine grapes. Italy alone commercially grows more than 440 varieties. If you wanted to taste all the different grape variety wines in the world, you would have to drink something different every day for almost 30 years.
• Lindeman’s Bin 85 Pinot Grigio 2015: Simple, straightforward; price is the selling point. $5-6
• Frei Brothers Russian River Valley Reserve Chardonnay 2014: Good expression of Sonoma County Russian River Valley chard. $16-20
• Edna Valley Vineyard Heritage Chardonnay 2013: Very nice premium Central Coast chard. $27-30
Last round: I pity empty wine glasses, and I empty full wine glasses.