Wine

8 Facts About Wine That Are A Wake Up Call

By Alex Stein

Wine has been around for as long as history can remember. And while it’s not so great for sleep—sorry, guys!—it’s excellent for inspiring our dream of being a wine savant. Here’s what we learned about our beloved red, white, and rosé all day.

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1. Wine disrupts sleep

Although up to 20 percent of Americans use alcohol as a sleep aid, it’s not working the way we think.While wine may aid in falling asleep, it actually inhibits quality sleep by disrupting normal brain waves, blocking REM (where you get your most restorative sleep), and disturbing your natural circadian rhythm. Before you make a pour decision, avoid drinking at least two to three hours before bedtime, reports suggest.

2. Wine may boost libido

It’s no secret that alcohol in small amounts can increase your libido—and wine is no different. The musky, earthy, fruity aromas in certain varieties, like Pinot Noir and Moscato, as well as stimulating histamines are known to trigger arousal. Cabernet? More like caber-yay.

3. Red wine grapes contain melatonin

When it comes to choosing your vino, you might want to be on the red team. Research shows that the skin of red wine grapes has high levels of melatonin, a hormone produced in the brain that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. But that still doesn’t mean you should imbibe before bed (see #1).

4. Winemaking is HARD work

From harvest to bottle, it can take up to five years for some wines to make it to your glass. It all starts by picking the grapes, sorting them, followed by fermentation, and finally barrelling until the wine is ready for release. It’s quite a strenuous process—we’re getting tired just thinking about it.

5. Wine can take decades to reach its prime

Some wines are aged for up to 20 years. Why so long? Experts say cellaring wine affects taste, value of the wine over time, and nostalgia (you can recall a cherished memory with a wine). Wake us up when the vintage Bordeaux is ready.

6. The world’s oldest bottle of wine is almost 1700 years old

The Historical Museum of the Palatinatein Germany houses the oldest, unopened bottle of wine, dating back to 325 C.E. It was discovered in the tomb of Roman nobility as part of an ancient practice where corpses were buried with everyday items. Wondering if we should bring back this tradition.

7. Italy has a free 24-hour wine fountain

You read that correctly: A local vineyard in southern Italy is home to a fountain that gushes wine instead of water. Bring your cup or bottle (or bucket), and fill ‘er up for free at any hour. Finally, something worth losing sleep over!

8. Wine ice cream exists

We saved the best for last. A creamery named Mercer’s Dairy based in upstate New York makes wine ice cream, and yes, you can get your hands on some today. With flavors like Peach White Zinfandel and Chocolate Cabernet, this is what dreams are made of.

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