I love numbers. No, not wine ratings, which could take up at least an entire other column, but facts and figures that give us insight into the wild, wide world of wine. Some noteworthy numerals in the wine world.
80 to 100
The average number of calories in a 4-ounce glass of wine. Our favorite beverage is also fat-free and contains no cholesterol. Cin cin!
The year that the winery now known as Wollersheim was established in southern Wisconsin. Last week Wollersheim was named best small winery at the Riverside International Wine Compeition in Temecula, Calif., and its dry riesling garnered a gold medal. (Full disclosure: I was in the panel that awarded that medal — tasting blind — but was not part of deciding the overall award.) These guys are on fire in making value-priced juice (most under $15), and any wine fan journeying to either Madison or the Dells (each just more than 30 miles from the winery) absolutely needs to work in time for a side trip. The old buildings are as sturdy and interesting as the wines.
Best of Class awards at Riverside for Minnesota wineries. Chankaska Creek nabbed the honors for its Marquette Reserve and North Coast Valnot Krem distilled wine, Indian Island for its La Crescent and Carlos Creek for its Apple Cranberry Wine. Indian Island also earned a gold medal for its Frontenac Rosé.
The age of the world’s oldest bottle of wine, found in Germany in 1867 and on display at the Historical Museum of the Palatinate in Speyer, Germany.
It sounds like a lot (and OK, it is), but the value of U.S. wine exports actually fell by almost 4 percent to that figure last year from 2013, although volume rose 1.6 percent to 49.2 million cases. Europe was the main “culprit,” declining 16 percent in value and 8 percent in volume.
Countries that registered double-digit growth in U.S. wine imports last year for both volume and value: Mexico, South Korea, Nigeria, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, Dominican Republic, the United Arab Emirates (!) and Brazil. Canada’s volume rocketed by 29 percent, with value rising 7 percent.
Percent of exported U.S. wine that comes from California.
The percentage of California wine production for Napa County.
The number of 750-milliliter bottles that would fit into the wine world’s largest glass conveyor, the Nebuchadnezzar. Other ginormous bottles, in descending order: Balthazar (16 bottles), Salmanazar (12), Methuselah (eight), Rehoboam (six) and Jeroboam (four). Love those names.
Cases of wine consumed by U.S. residents in 2014, according to Britain’s International Wines and Spirits Record. The United States is now the clear-cut world leader in the volume of wine consumed, but still lags well behind France, Italy and other countries in per-capita consumption.
Liters of wine consumed per capita annually in Minnesota, according to the Beverage Information Group. The state ranks 24th nationally, but closer to the bottom (West Virginia, 2.4) than the top (New Hampshire, 19.6).
600 to 800
Grapes used to make a bottle of wine.
Bottles of fortified wine (54 Madeiras, 22 Ports) served at a celebration party for the 55 drafters of the U.S. Constitution in 1787, according to Modern Drunkard magazine (yes, that is a legit publication). Also on hand: 60 bottles of Bordeaux, eight apiece of hard cider and whiskey, 12 beers and seven bowls of alcohol punch large enough that “ducks could swim in them.”
Bill Ward writes at www.decant-this.com. Follow him on Twitter: @billward4.