5 Conversation Starters about Wine

When we talk about wine we are often talking about what's inside the bottle.  But what about the bottle itself? Or the way that wine is tasted?  The wine world has a language all of its own, so here are five fun and interesting things you may not already know that will help to get any wine conversation started.

1. What is the name given to the indentation in the bottom of a wine bottle?  it's called the 'punt'.  It's mainly there as a nod to tradition, but its also a handy place to put your thumb if you pour wine by holding the base of the bottle (like the experts!).  

2. What is a Tastevin?  Next time you see a wine taster wearing what looks a bit like an oversized Olympic medal, you can be sure that is his or her Tastevin.  Better yet, pick one up on eBay and create a stir by insisting you try the wine in your Tastevin before ordering the whole bottle.  Not sure if that tip will make or lose friends for you, but I guarantee you will have some fun.

3. Which grape varieties are used to make Champagne?  It might surprise you to know that most Champagne is made from a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.  The reason a white wine can be made from mainly red grapes is because the grapes are pressed verrrry gently.  It's a tricky business, Champagne making, and well worth learning about.