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1948

Earliest vintage of Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico that Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino’s characters drink in The Irishman, Martin Scorsese’s latest mafia epic. The ’55 and ’62 vintages also appear.  Scorsese is known to be a stickler for historical accuracy. Since his characters are “made men” from the old Italian neighborhoods, he felt their wine of choice would come from the old country.

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55

Speed in miles per hour that a cork can exit a bottle of Champagne. At that velocity, the hot stopper could smash the waiting wine glasses, as well as shatter your spectacles. The pressure in a Champagne bottle ranges from 70 to 90 pounds per square inch—two to three times the pressure in your car’s tires.

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5500

Corkage fee (in U.S. dollars) reportedly charged to a businessman at a tony Melbourne, Australia, restaurant for bringing eight bottles of wine to be served during dinner.  This shatters the former highest corkage award worldwide, held by Per Se restaurant (New York) and its sister The French Laundry (Napa Valley): $150/bottle.  Many fine restaurants typically charge a more palatable $25-$30 per bottle.

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185

Millions of dollars of eggnog sold over the last year in the U.S.–some 53.5 million cartons. Stunning for the oft-maligned concoction.  Even more surprising–eggnog is typically available October through December only, with 40% of sales coming in the three weeks preceding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s alone. The hangover hits January 1 when sales plummet until the following year’s holidays commence.

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100

Number of active fires burning across New South Wales, Australia, where the country’s famous Hunter Valley wine region is located. The fires have been burning for more than two months. Last week, Australia also recorded the highest average temperature across the country—105.6 F. Climate crisis is said to be responsible.

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1783

Year the oldest and most productive cork oak, named the Whistler Tree, was planted, in the Alentejo region of southern Portugal. Cork trees are generally harvested for the first time when they are 25 years old, then once every decade after that. The tree’s name comes from the sound made by the songbirds who nest within it.

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4

Number of new grapes recently created in France. The new grapes—floréal and voltis (both white) and arteban and vidoc (both red)—are crosses and were created as a part of France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) ResDur project. The goal is to develop grapes that can combat extreme weather caused by climate change.

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6948

Number of millions of gallons of wine produced globally in 2019, down 10% from 2018 according to the preliminary estimates from the OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine). Spain showed the most variation compared to other countries—down 24% to 906 million gallons. U.S. wine production is up 2% to 623 million gallons.

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23.7

Number of millions of bottles of Champagne shipped to the U.S. last year. The U.S is the second largest export market for Champagne in the world, second only to the U.K. Gradually on the rise in a particularly bright spot is rosé Champagne with 17% of the total Champagne sales in the U.S. last year.

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2000

Number of Walmart stores in the U.S. that now allow adult customers with an I.D. to pickup wine, beer, and spirits via their drive-up grocery pickup service. (Needless to say, after purchase, those beverages cannot be consumed in the car). At least 10% of Walmart stores with this service are in California and Florida.