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1894

Year that the classic Chinese take-out box was patented by its creator, a Chicago inventor named Frederick Weeks Wilcox. According to the website Gastro Obscura, Wilcox modeled the folded waxed paperboard box with the metal handles on oyster pails. The box was all white until the 1970s when a drawing, in red, of China’s famous “Porcelain Pagoda” was added by a designer at the manufacturing company. The designer also added the words “thank you” in a script mimicking Chinese calligraphy.

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245

Age (in years) of the oldest grapevine in Great Britain. While this doesn’t make it the oldest in the world, a two-and-a-half century-old Vitis vinifera vine that still dependably yields grapes is not exactly what one expects to find growing in the middle of London. Curiously, the vine is Schiava, a sleek, spicy red variety indigenous to the Alto Adige/Südtirol region of northern Italy. It was brought to the UK by King George III.

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96

Percentage of New Zealand’s vineyards that are now officially certified as sustainable, according to a report in Decanter magazine. The country launched its certification program known as Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand in 1995, making it one of the first countries to do so. Wineries and growers in the program are audited by an outside independent agency who assess compliance in six areas: water, waste, pest and disease control, soil, climate change, and people.

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4.6

Sales (in billions of US$) of chewy candy in 2021. The pandemic has vaulted candy sales to new heights, especially “chewy candies” which include gummy bears. According to the New York Times, the U.S. is the leading consumer of gummies, followed by China and Germany (where gummies were invented a century ago). Although gummies come in scores of flavors from gherkin pickle to chile-coated to tequila-infused gummies, we ourselves prefer Champagne gummies.

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756

Number of bottles one ton of grapes can yield. According to Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Division, you wind up with just over 63 cases of wine per ton. Multiply that by 12 bottles (2.378 gallons) per case, et voila! Of course, these numbers fluctuate depending on variables such as weather, varietal, and soil conditions.

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30

Percentage increase in the amount of wine produced in Chile last year over the year before, according to the OIV (International Organization of Vine and Wine). The 2021 total—13.4 million hectoliters (354 million gallons)—represents the largest volume of wine ever recorded in the country. The 2021 harvest was significantly bigger than in 2019 and 2020 when adverse weather caused by El Niño resulted in far smaller crops overall.

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86

Number of times William Shakespeare mentions the word “wine” in all his works. The Bard wrote mainly about three specific types of wine: Canary (a sweet wine with a yellow tint), Malmsey Madeira, and Sack—the latter was the Elizabethan term for Sherry. Perhaps he was the “OG” influencer, placing product ever so effortlessly throughout Twelfth Night, Loves Labour‘s Lost, and Richard III, to name a few of his best-known plays.

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1.5k

Approximate number of wine bottles that went to sea with the Titanic. Its parent company, White Star Line, was known to stock plenty of Sauternes, Claret, Port, Burgundy, and Champagne for first-class passengers. In 1985, salvagers recovered several intact bottles of 1907 Heidsieck & Co. Monopole “Gout Americain” (American Taste) Champagne. According to TheHill.com, it was served at a 10-course dinner at the Hong Kong luxury hotel Hullet House in 2012 as part of a $15,000 per person 10-course Titanic-themed meal.

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18

Surface area, in millions of acres, of all the vineyards in the world, according to 2021 figures just now released by the OIV (International Organization of Vine and Wine). Spain continues to have the most vineyard acres in the world (2.4 million acres), followed by France (2 million acres), followed by China (1.9 million acres). Compared to western Europe (where vineyard acreage has been relatively stable) and China (where vineyard expansion has been slowing), vineyard acreage in the U.S. and Argentina is declining.

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25

Percentage of all French wine made in the Languedoc-Roussillon. Yet, despite the region’s considerable size, historical importance, and innovative winemaking, it is still relatively unknown outside of France itself. Languedoc-Roussillon wines cover a broad spectrum from whites to reds, dry to sweet, still to sparkling, and even vins doux naturels which are naturally sweet, fortified wines.

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90

Percentage of the world’s beer production devoted to lager-style beers. Although there are several more kinds of ales than lagers, ales make up only 10% of global supply. 150 years ago, just the opposite was the case. With the invention of refrigeration, the clean, crisp, cool-temperature, bottom-fermenting lagers came into fashion and have remained so today

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2050

Year by which the member wineries of the International Wineries for Climate Action pledge to be net-zero in their carbon footprints. Founded in 2019, the IWCA has been a leading global group dedicated to addressing climate change through innovative carbon reduction strategies. There are currently 13 members of the IWCA, including some of the largest, most prestigious, and most visionary wine companies in the world. An additional 14 wineries are now pending membership.