Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fly the Friendly Skies with Wine!

Wine's increasing popularity has airlines looking at ways of marketing it on board to their wine savvy flying customers. A survey of frequent fliers on US Airways showed passengers rating their wine a 6.8 out of 10. An upgrade in wine has now been put into place. American Airlines has teamed up with Grape Radio to bring their podcasts on board. Listeners on board will be able to tune in whenever they want.
But Delta Airlines has really taken this seriously.

Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson tasted her way through 900 wines before settling on the perfect collection of wines to enjoy while flying with Delta. Passengers on transcontinental and international flight will also be treated to a new on-board entertainment feature called "Local Flavour" These 30 minute segments will feature Andrea discussing wine as well as wine destinations.
Meanwhile back here on earth the Paris-based National Association for the Prevention of Alcholism and Addiction (ANPAA) scored again . This time against the Dutch brewer, Heineke. The inevitable Evin Law was trotted out again. The court ruled that the internet cannot be used as a publicity vehicle in France. What next? Could pilots on American Airlines and Delta flights be making an announcement such as this? "Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Within a few moments we will be entering French airspace. It is my duty to inform you that all on board wine
entertainment will be suspended until we are once again in a friendly sky space.And yes you may finish that glass of wine, unless its French."
Now there is an issue that the CRAV could take on as their next project.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Scales of Justice not tipped in favor of French Wine!

Just when the EU wine reforms have come to a tentative agreement allowing the French wine industry
to concentrate on winning back some market share from foreign competitors, a French court has dealt the industry another blow. As reported by Decanter, newspaper articles on wine will be subject to the same guidelines as alcohol advertising. C'est très tragique. Where will this madness end? Winery web pages must also carry a warning. Will French wine bloggers be targeted next?
We all know by now that drinking wine is good for your health. A study published in the European Heart Journal seems to agree. This is not just another "wine is good for your health" claim. This study took place over a twenty year span. Read the entire report. The last line in the report states "Thus, both physical activity and alcohol intake are important
to lower the risk of fatal IHD and all-cause mortality." Sounds to me like a pretty strong endorsement for a glass or two of wine. Would a French newspaper dare to print that without running the risk of ending up in court? Have the scales of French justice tipped too far? For the rest of us, here is a suggestion.
Park your car a good distance from your usual wine shop, walk to it and purchase your wine, walk back to your car and go home to enjoy a glass or two. If its a particularly good wine and you want to get a case of it, that will mean a lot walking back and forth to fill that case. But with all that exercising you will live longer and as a bonus you will reduce CO2 emissions as well.
Dare I say "à votre santé"?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Drink more wine ....but lower the alcohol, please!

Here is wishing you all the best for 2008 and on this first post for the New Year, I would like to thank the good folk over at for my nifty new word of the day widget. I was given the opportunity to be one of the first to try out their "wine word of the day" and I love it. Its like having a daily contributor to my blog. You will find it over on their widget gallery. Hop over and have a look. Thanks Liz and Jay!
Over the last few years as more and more Americans have turned to wine as their favorite tipple, media reports on the US eventually becoming the world's largest consumer of wine have been plentiful. The latest survey confirms that not only are more people drinking wine but per capita consumption is also on the rise. Per capita consumption in the US now stands at 2.77 gallons and projected estimates for 2007 will place the US ahead of Italy in total consumption of wine. Predictions are for the US to replace France as the number one wine consuming nation within three years. One of the reasons for the increased consumption is all the publicity about the potential health benefits red wine bestows upon us and I have blogged about that a number of times myself. But will that create a demand for lower alcohol wines? After all three glasses of wine at 15% alcohol is about equal to four glasses of wine at 12%. So if you like to drink about 3 glasses the second option is a healthier choice.
The higher alcohol wines and ways of reducing the alcohol levels have been a controversial subject for some time. Two techniques employed have been the reverse osmosis and the spinning cone method. Vinovation and Conetech are two California companies in the forefront of
using these methods. Dan Berger, editor at Appellation America, shares some good insights into this subject.
"Superstition" says Wine Enthusiast's Jim Gordon, about the believe by some winemakers that yeasts are getting stronger and are contributing to higher alcohol levels. And Jim Patterson at Wines & Vines debunks this myth in his sound explanation on the subject of yeasts.
Growing world wide consumer demand for lower alcohol wines has however spurred research into the production of lower alcohol yeasts as reported in a recent article by Wynboer from the Institute for Wine Biotechnology at the Stellenbosch University. Researchers at the Australian Wine Research Institute are also attempting to generate lower alcohol yeasts.
In the meantime make 2008 the year to learn one new wine word or fact per day by visiting my blog regularly and above all enjoy your daily bread with a good glass of wine.