The Curious World of Wine is a fascinating miscellany about the colorful characters, celebrated places, and quirky events surrounding wine-making. Recounting wine tales that are by turns amusing, surprising, and occasionally a bit naughty, wine expert Richard Vine reveals little-known facts such as:
• The oldest vineyard still producing grapes is thought to be in Maribor, Slovenia, where vines up to four hundred years old remain fruitful.
• “Plonk,” a term used to insult any modestly priced wine, got its name from the French words for white wine—vin blanc, pronounced “vawn blawnk,” which was corrupted to “plawnk” or “plonk.”
• Thomas Jefferson was so eager to plant native French vines at his Monticello mansion that he nearly went bankrupt fruitlessly hiring experts to defeat a condition that caused European vines to mysteriously die in North American soil.
• Touching wineglasses as a toast was originally a deft move to exchange a splash of wine into each other’s cup to ensure that neither party was being poisoned.
The Curious World of Wine will keep any wine fan entertained and enlightened—from the most erudite connoisseur to Two Buck Chuck devotees.