We are three days away from longest day of the year, so some wine trivia to help you endure the extra minute of daylight on June 21.
How many grapes does it take to make a 750 ml bottle of wine?
Seven hundred. There are about 100 grapes in a cluster. It takes one cluster to make a small glass of wine (3.6 ounces) and seven clusters (700 grapes) to make a bottle of wine. There are 14-21 clusters on a vine, so one vine can make two or three bottles of wine. These are average numbers because different varieties and vineyard practices can mean more or fewer grapes per cluster and clusters per vine.
Is there a proper way to hold a wine glass?
Yes. Wine glasses have stems for a reason. No matter shape or size, hold your glass by the stem or base. When you cup the bowl in your hands, body heat warms the glass, usually not a good thing. Persnickety oenophiles assert globe-holding also leaves unsightly fingerprints. Tut-tut—we can’t have that.
Do Americans spend more money on liquor or wine?
Wine. Out of every $100 Americans spend, about $1 goes to alcohol, a number that has not changed over the years. How we spend that dollar has changed. In the 1980s, Americans spent 35 percent of alcohol dollars on spirits; today they spend about 12 percent. During same period, wine purchases moved from 16 percent to around 40 percent. America now is a wine drinking nation by almost three-to-one in terms of money spent compared to spirits. Beer holds steady in high 40s. In 2013, Americans drank more wine that any other country in the world (not per capita, but in quantity thanks to our 314 million population).
What if wine drinking scares me?
Psychiatrists have a name from your affliction: oenophobia. It is a dislike or hatred of wine, often classified as a social anxiety disorder because oenophobes are confused or frightened about selecting wine, drinking properly from the glass, or embarrassed because they do not enjoy wine the way their friends do. If you read this column, it is unlikely you have this malady. Celebrate with a courageous sip.
• Concha y Toro Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2012. Value pour; simple, serviceable, some fruit, some tannin; easily part of a party. $8 1.5L (about 1,400 grapes)
Last round: Does running late to wine happy hour count as a workout?