Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Eat, Drink (Wine) and be Merry.....

..... for tomorrow you die! Or so British Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo and her anti-wine drinking cohorts would have women believe, if they consume one glass of wine a night. A report released by the minister claims that "Women who regularly drink too much are 50 percent more likely to develop breast cancer."
Ever since the now famous French Paradox was aired on the CBS weekly program "60 minutes" back in November of 1991, the clock has been ticking and almost weekly another "scientific" report tells us about the benefits of drinking red wine. The latest study from Spain states that polyphenols in red wine can prevent high blood pressure in older women. A new study at University of Rochester Medical Center shows antioxidants to be effective in killing pancreatic cancer cells. The media of course jump on these reports to bring you both negative and positive claims about the consumption of wine. Some of the evidence for the healthful benefits is almost anecdotal, some semi-scientific and but a lot are studies undertaken using classic scientific methods. None seem to be totally conclusive and will remain that way until a study involving a large number of wine drinkers, consuming equal amounts over a long period of time can be evaluated. In the meantime governments will continue to reap the benefits of collecting huge amounts of revenue in the form of additional taxes. Not much we can do about that, I guess. There are human endeavors that are much more dangerous than drinking your favorite glass of wine. Try white water rafting, mountain climbing, skiing or just plain driving your car. So my advice to you based on personal research over many years..... drink your wine and enjoy to the fullest, for tomorrow you....

Monday, March 17, 2008

Overwhelmed by Wine!

Are you an overwhelmed wine drinker? I am. But not in the sense that the marketing gurus have determined what the definition of an overwhelmed drinker is. In a study commissioned by Constellation Wines US. Wine consumers were broken down into six categories. So why am I overwhelmed? Not by the sheer numbers of wines available from around the globe but rather by the "so much wine, so little time"factor. And I love trying wines from different regions in the world whenever I can get them. When I travel to different parts of the country and to other countries I drink "local" wines as much as possible. I read a lot of wine blogs but I have to say that I do not find the endless reviewing of wines on these blogs to be particularly useful. Mostly because I cannot purchase the wine described at any of the wine shops I frequent locally. But also because of my philosophy about wine. Wine to me is the most wonderful drink in the world to be enjoyed to the fullest. This frenetic chasing of one wine after another does not give me the peace and joy I have come to expect from wine. I have a dozen or so I fall back on for that purpose and then will taste others for a change of pace.
Having said all that I have a wine newsletter by the same name as my blog "Wilf's Wine Press" and I have a panel of 8 tasters to help me review wines. You will not often see me reviewing a wine on this blog because of the fact that chances are you will not be able to find them where you live. So what's the point in you reading about a wine you cannot get. My newsletter's subscribers are for the most part (95%) local and at least the wines I review will be available to them.
So keep on drinking. (wine of course) And perhaps someday soon we will be able to try a wine from a far off Arab state. There might be a rocket or two resting among the rocks in their vineyards but that will just add to the "terroir" taste. Or is that terror?

Monday, March 03, 2008

I Saw Three Sailing Ships....Delivering My Wine!

Yes, coming to a port near you, will be your next shipment of wine. Talk about history repeating itself. In the late 17th century a flourishing trade relationship developed between Britain and Portugal with the shipment of Port wine. To help the wine survive its voyage it was found that the addition of brandy made the wine more stable and thus the forerunner of todays Port wine came into existence. This time around it is France and Ireland. Going green does give rise to new investment opportunities, does it not? But there is a thin line here between sincerely believing you are contributing to the reduction of that carbon footprint and just using this as a means of adding more greenbacks to your bottom line. You have to wonder when "the Canadians have already ordered 20,000 bottles" whether or not this is just a marketing opportunity being exploited. Of course they could ship the wine in plastic bottles to reduce weight and perhaps carry a bigger load. But then you do not want to be consuming those BPA's, do you? Or perhaps now that we know wine just does not taste as good when bottled in plastic, we will be demanding "green" containers. You cannot get anything more natural and socially responsible than glass. If you thought that the cork versus screw caps debate was controversial, the glass and plastic bottle should keep us all busy for a while. I know this is a traditional Christmas carol but follow the link below to a musical version of it and close your eyes, glass of wine in hand and picture your next wines being delivered by three sailing ships.
Three Ships