Grape, Bottle, Glass: What Do You Know About Wine?
Medically Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on September 08, 2020
How Many Grapes in a Bottle?
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Admit it, you’ve wondered. A standard 750-milliliter bottle of wine has 736 grapes, or about 2.6 pounds of fruit. That number may vary depending on the size, type, and water content of the grapes -- and on how much wine you had before you started counting.
How It’s Made
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It’s a process called fermentation. Tiny organisms called yeast eat the sugar in pressed grape juice and make two waste products: alcohol and carbon dioxide. The liquid that results is filtered to get rid of the solid pieces and bottled immediately or aged in barrels. The end result: That waste becomes wine.
Difference Between Red and White
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White wine is fermented without the skins, and red wine is fermented with them. That gives red wine more antioxidants called polyphenols. They bring bitterness, color, and astringency (the puckered mouth you get from vinegar or lemons), along with some health benefits. Red wine has about 7 times more polyphenols than white wine.
Aged in Oak Barrels
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Some of the more expensive wines go through this process. It slowly adds oxygen to the wine and pleasant flavors from the wood. Why oak? It goes back to the Romans, who discovered that oak was easy to bend into vessels to transport wine, and that it improved flavor.
A Healthy Pour
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The right amount of wine -- particularly red wine -- may be good for you. This may be because of the ethanol your body makes from alcohol, as well as those polyphenols, which are linked to better heart and brain health. But more than a glass or two a day can increase your risk of stroke, high blood pressure, liver disease, certain cancers, and other conditions.
Wine and Sex
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Red wine may give your sex life a boost -- particularly if you’re a woman -- but only if you don’t drink too much. In one study, women who had one or two glasses of red wine a day said they had more desire, were aroused more easily, and had more sexual satisfaction than those who didn’t drink. But those who drank more than that reported no improvement.
Countries That Love Wine
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It’s probably no surprise that France and Italy are in the top 10 when it comes to how much wine their citizens drink per year (the average citizen of Vatican City in Rome drinks more wine per year than people of any other country in the world). Other top contenders are Switzerland, Portugal, and Luxembourg. The U.S. tops the list in total wine consumed, followed by France, Italy, Germany, and China.
A Little Goes a Long Way
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A 5-ounce glass of wine has little more than half an ounce of pure alcohol -- about the same as 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of liquor. That’s the recommended daily amount for a woman and half the recommended amount for a man. And you can’t save your weekly drink allowance for Saturday night: Binge drinking can be dangerous, and it’s not the best way to enjoy good wine.