The World’s Best Wine May Be from an Ancient Fungus: a blog around wine, history, and the secrets to great wine.

You are currently viewing The World’s Best Wine May Be from an Ancient Fungus: a blog around wine, history, and the secrets to great wine.

There are a couple of ways to make wine, and the one that leads to really good wine is the oldest one. No, not the way people have been doing it for thousands of years — that’s the one that leads to mead. The real way to get good wine is by letting a fungus do most of the work.

The fungus is called Aspergillus niger, and you’ve probably never tasted it, because it’s a black fungus and it grows on walnut wood. The people making this kind of wine use oak barrels for their fermentation vessels, and the barrels are lined with the fungus. It’s like letting bread rise.

When you ferment grape juice this way, you end up with a white liquid full of sugar and alcohol and aroma compounds from the grapes (plus everything else in there), plus a bunch of flavor compounds from whatever else happens to be floating around in there — maybe tree bark or tobacco or something. You can’t tell what’s going on just by looking at it; if you’re making white wine out of red grapes, all you know is that something interesting is happening.

You may have heard that the world’s best wine is from a vineyard in Italy called Tenuta San Guido. The winery is owned by Marchese Piero Antinori. The wine is called Sassicaia, and it is one of the most sought after wines in the world. It sells for $150 a bottle on average, but some cellars sell it for $200-$400 a bottle. And there are some auctions where it has sold for as much as $2100 a bottle.

The first time I had the opportunity to taste this wine was at a wine tasting at the University of California, Davis. It was poured with other great wines like Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Margaux and many others that were all considered to be some of the best wines in the world at that time. I tasted them all in sequence, including Sassicaia, and I was stunned by its unique taste.

The taste of Sassicaia reminded me of walking through my grandfather’s vineyard during harvest time when I was five years old and eating fennel seeds while we waited for the grapes to ripen. It had this incredible mix of savory spices with an undercurrent of black pepper. I remember thinking at that moment

In the early 1980s, when I was first studying wine, a French winemaker named Jean-Louis Chave made an extraordinary white wine from the village of Ampuis in the Rhone Valley. So distinctive was its aroma that it came to be called “goaty.” One sniff and you knew you were drinking something special.

Much of the credit for this unique flavor went to a fungus that infected the local grapevines. The rare strain of lice, Oidium neolyticum, excreted aromatic compounds into the must as it grew. Though not every vintage produced wines of such purity, when they did they attracted world-wide attention.

Actually, this is not entirely true. The goatiness of Chave’s wines had been noticed by other producers before he began working with it. They called the aroma “foxy” or “flinty,” and some thought it was a fault in the vines rather than an asset. But Chave saw that there was more fruit in this particular flaw than most people were prepared to admit and decided to explore how far he could take it. He used no chemicals to control the fungus but relied instead on pure air and long macerations to coax it into producing its magic.

Fennel seeds are small and black, with a slight licorice flavor. They’re an aromatic spice, perfect for flavoring meat and fish dishes. They’re also the key ingredient in Orvieto Classico, one of the world’s finest wines.

So how did fennel find its way into wine? The answer is crazy — and it goes back more than 2,000 years to the Etruscans, who ruled Italy before the Romans.

Wine was already being made in ancient Italy by the time of the Etruscans, but much of their wine production seems to have run afoul of modern sensibilities. Archaeologists have recovered numerous wine amphora from Etruscan sites, but what’s inside those amphora has been a matter of debate. Were they filled with good wine or some sort of “vino della casa”?

The answer appears to be somewhere in between. Many of the recovered amphora contained a kind of grape must, which is a cheap wine that can be made quickly by stomping grapes rather than crushing them and then letting them dry out — a process that takes several weeks. (You can see this process on today’s popular cooking show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.)

But many

Fungi can be used to make many kinds of food, drink and medicine. One of the most interesting is the use of fungi to make wine. The use of fungi for winemaking may date back to the earliest civilizations. Many of these wines are still made today.

Truffles were considered a delicacy in ancient times and were eaten by the upper classes. They were thought to be aphrodisiac and were used in many love potions. The French word for truffle means ‘perfume from the ground’. Truffles grow underground and are found all over the world. During World War II, when food was scarce, people in France ate truffles. Truffles are not only delicious but also nutritious, containing high amounts of vitamin B12 and niacin.

Truffles are an important ingredient in French cuisine, especially in rich dishes like risotto or pasta or as a topping on pizzas. They can also be served raw as an hors d’oeuvre with fried or boiled potatoes and a dip such as hollandaise sauce or beurre blanc sauce or other kinds of sauce based on butter or oil. Truffles have a long shelf life so it is easy to buy them vacuum-packed at

Indeed, the winery’s location in the tiny village of Mâcon and its huge array of underground cellars, located next to a Roman temple and overlooking a river, makes it feel like a veritable time capsule.

You can find out more about Chateau Musar here.

Wine is a big deal in France. There are more than 3,500 wine producers, and the total number of wine producers around the world is estimated to be somewhere between 7,000 to 8,000.

The first known winery was discovered in Armenia. The grape was planted on a mountainside in the Vayots Dzor province of Armenia in an area called Areni. Researches believe that this area was home to a large winemaking facility that exported wine as far as Egypt during the Bronze Age. This discovery also places Armenia as being the oldest wine producing region in the world.

Tuscany, France is one of the few places where you can find some of the oldest vines on earth. These ancient vines are located on south-facing slopes and have been tended for centuries*.*

These vines produce these wines: Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico Riserva and Super Tuscan.** **

The Barolo grape has its roots in Piedmont Italy and is made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes. It is most famously paired with Italian cuisine or can be enjoyed on its own at around $40 USD per bottle.* *

The Brunello di Montalc

Leave a Reply