National Drink Wine Day: 10 facts sure to make you sound smart about wine

National Drink Wine Day is Feb. 18. Wine enthusiasts celebrate the day for spreading the love of the drink with a choice wine, of course.

Whether you prefer yours red or white, here are 10 facts you can share with friends when you're enjoying the day with your own glass.

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France produces the most wine in the world

Over 4.2 million tonnes of wine were produced by the country, according to the latest data available from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. Italy is not far behind with 4.1 million tones.

Grapes turn to wine on their own

It doesn't make good wine, but grapes start the fermentation process that turns to wine on their own. Yeast on their skin makes the wine.

Egyptians may have used wine as medicine

Researchers found a jar in King Scorpion I's tomb dated to 3150 B.C. Along with traces of wine, they found bits of balm, thyme, mint, coriander and sage. The herbs indicate that they may have been used with wine to make medicine to treat ailments like stomach and intestinal issues.

America's best-selling wine is by Barefoot

The wine is "off-premise," which means the wine is sold in grocery stores and liquor stores. Barefoot wine made $656 million in sales in 2015.

Wine has fewer calories than beer

U.S. Dietary Guidelines say that a 5-ounce glass of wine has only 120 calories. Twelve ounces of beer have 150 calories. Good to know as you celebrate a day for drinking wine.

Corks in wine bottles allow air to get inside

Don't be alarmed. It's only a small amount, but it helps smooth out tannins, which have a bitter taste in wine.

But screw caps keep oxygen out of the bottle

By keeping the oxygen out, the wine stays preserved much closer to its original state. Screw caps seal the bottle.

The oldest winery in the world is in Armenia

A 2011 archaeological study from the University of California, Los Angeles revealed a wine press for squeezing grapes. Pottery shards that once held wine were analyzed and dated between 4100 and 4000 B.C. It is the oldest known wine-making facility in the world.

Both red and white wine grapes make clear juice

The skin of the grapes is what contributes to the color. For white wines, the skin is removed earlier in the fermentation process, unlike red wines.

A European grape is the basis for most wine in the world

For European colonists, the vitis vinifera species of grapes made such good wine that it was brought from Europe to North America. Colonists from Germany, Italy, France and Spain traveled with vinifera vines.

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