It’s National Drink Wine Day!

Not sure which nations are celebrating this but I thought some of you may wish to join in. It would be rude not to 😉 

A glass of wine a day keeps the cardiologist away, or so they say. That may be the reason there is such a thing as Drink Wine Day, but who’s to say we needed a reason to gurgle down a glass of our favourite grape juice, anyway?

Well, whosoever thought of proclaiming a Drink Wine Day certainly pleased the gods and one in particular, Dionysus, or Bacchus to the Romans, god of merry making, wine, theatre and ecstasy. Whatever the vintage of the one you’re sipping as we speak, make sure you share it, because today is a ‘wine and dine’ day. In fact, you can leave out the ‘dine’ part because wine is said to be such a strong aphrodisiac, and red wine in particular, that your beloved will surely forgive you. In fact, let’s raise a glass to the French for the hard work they’ve put into making us more lovable.

Did you know that one of those pesky insects that buzz around us while we are trying to enjoy some alfresco dining have a part in making the vino so delicious? No? Well they do!

“Wasps – hey they are hypodermic needles with wings and an attitude. But despite their habit of stinging you for absolutely no reason, we all owe the wonders of wine to these bad-tempered bugs.

During the summer, the fungus Saccharomyces cerevisiae grows on vineyard grapes, and this particular yeast is key in making wine, beer, and bread. Sure, winemakers add even more yeast later, but if S. cerevisiae isn’t present on the grapes from the start, the wine just won’t have the same taste. However, there’s one little problem. S. cerevisiae only grows during the summer. The winter chill should kill all the fungi off.

That’s where the wasps come in. Wasps love grapes. When the fruits ripen in the summer, the bugs chow down and fly back to their nests, where they give the masticated mush to their larvae.

When they eat the fruit, the insects ingest the yeast, and their stomachs provide the perfect environment for it to survive the frosty months. More importantly, when wasps feed their young, they pass the fungus to their babies. That way, when the larvae mature, they reintroduce S. cerevisiae to the vineyards and start the process all over again.

If you are a wine lover, you may wish to read some interesting facts about wine, like why we clink glasses or how to drink wine in outer space so here is a link to 9 More Strange Stories about Wine