Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Toasting your health again!!

As if we needed another reason to drink a glass of wine, researchers have found yet another beneficial effect of consuming red wine.
Resveratrol, a polyhenol with powerful anti-oxidant effects is once again in the limelight. Resveratrol levels are highest in red wines and of the red grape varieties, Pinot Noir has markedly
higher concentrations than other varietals. The movie "Sideways" kicked up Pinot Noir sales a notch or two. Now we have a good healthy reason to increase our Pinot consumption.
If you click on the picture and enlarge the image, I swear that you will see smily faces on the grapes. These Pinot grapes, grown at the Blue
Grouse Vineyards on Vancouver Island were already over 26 Brix and a week away from harvest. Should produce a healthy tonic.
The latest research now indicates red wine reduces risks of colon cancer. The list is growing and I am happy to have another reason to continue my adventure with the fruit of the vine.
It is interesting to note that with the many healthful benefits derived from wine that governments on both sides of the Atlantic, insist on adding mandatory health warnings on labels.
Another slam against wine, but not too hard. Bureaucrats are always mindful of all that wonderful tax money flowing into government coffers. I say reduce taxes on wine and thereby making wine more affordable for the average consumer. This will improve the nation's health, thus reducing costly medical care and the need for all those tax dollars.
I think Thomas Jefferson said it best when he was quoted as follows: "I think it is a great error to consider a heavy tax on wines as a tax on luxury. On the contrary, it is a tax on the health of our citizens. " Are there any forward thinking politicians like that around today? Of course not, its not "politically correct". Enjoy your glass of red wine in good health.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Who's on First.......

Definitely not China. The Chinese are using recently discovered archaeological findings to claim they were the first country to produce wines. This claim was based upon finding a 9000 year old wine made from rice, honey and fruit.
Now I don't know anything about archaeology but I do know that rice makes sake and honey makes meade.
Looking at various sources including Wikepedia, wine is the " alcoholic fermented juice of fresh grapes used as a beverage" Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary Or the Biology-Online definition of wine, again grapes and fruit are mentioned but not rice or honey. So who was first?
There is evidence that the first wines were made in Georgia. Other claims indicate Iran was the origin of wine.
If a tree falls in the forrest, does anybody hear? Or for that matter does anybody care?
I am making another claim. The ancient Roman earthen vessel pictured here (and feel free to click on the picture to see the finer details) was uncovered in a vineyard in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. This proves that before the Romans planted vineyards in France and the rest of the Roman Empire, they took a detour and made wine in Canada. Well OK, I was just having some fun with my camera in my backyard. Just goes to show you, you can't believe everything you read and here is an example.

In this news release "Israel's Galilee offers world's first pomegranate wine". So in 2003 they made their first Pomegranate wine.
Funny thing is that last year, I tasted the 2001 Pomegranate Wine made by Paradis an Armenian winery. When you visit this site click on products, then click fine wine & spirits and scroll down to the bottom (or click on the picture on the left) and you will find the description of this wonderful and lush dessert wine. Paradis has been making it since the year 2000.
Amazing, claims and counter claims. I am now going to enjoy a glass or two of a 2003 Cusumano Nero D'Avola from Sicily. What a great wine! They have been making wine on this island for a long time and are not too concerned with who made the first wine, just how to enjoy it on a daily basis. Ciao!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Its a Corker....!

Just when screwcaps' march across the wine world seemed unstoppable ( stopperable..get it?) cork is fighting back. Before I get into that, glass stoppers seem to be on an invasion all of their own into the closure battle and doing well. But cork enthusiasts received a little boost when the Australian Wine Research Institute released test results confirming the Australian membrane cork"ProCork" is the best performing wine bottle closure.The study revealed that the lack of permeability of screwcap closures makes wine susceptible to a chemical reaction known as reduction. During intervals of 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months, ProCork outperformed other closures, in its ability to retain and enhance the quality of wine.

The ProCork technology involves the application of thin membranes to each end of the cork. ProCork is making inroads into the European market where it has been used for over a year.

But wait a minute, is it the best cork closure? Not according to the makers of the "Diam" closure. Diamant was developedby Oeneo, a French closure company and the French Atomic Energy Commission. High powered stuff there.
So just when I was getting used to the snappy crack when opening a bottle with a screwcap, cork is bouncing back. No real surprise there.
Interesting to note that Oeno is covering all basis and that their line up of closures includes

So for now, I won't put my favourite corkscrew away just yet. How long before we will have the next best closure making its debut? I think while I am pondering that, I will have a glass of wine, red wine of course. It feels like fall and there is a chill in the air.