Monday, April 13, 2009

Summit Needed to Stimulate Slumping Sales in Le Champagne

There has been a dramatic decrease in sales of Champagne and calls for drastic cuts in yields may be required. Domestic sales for the first two months of 2009 were down 29.3% and European exports dropped a whopping 47.7%.
So perhaps what Le Champagne needs is a great Ambassador. And of course no one was better at it than Napoleon Bonaparte himself. The image portrayed here
is of Napoleon and his good friend Jean-Rémy Moët in July of 1807 at Moët et Chandon
click on pictures to get the enlarged versions for more detail
It was Napoleon who commented "That in Victory you deserve Champagne,in defeat you need it." A lot of Champagne was bought and consumed.
When we visited
Moët et Chandon
during the 2005 harvest season we were taken to the pleasant garden courtyard with the Three Emperors' Tree and taken back in time when Europe's great leaders met there to enjoy Champagne and of course talk about the issues of the day.

It was a thrilling moment enjoying our own glass of Champagne and stepping back in time to March of 1814.This was followed by a magnificent lunch in the
Moët's residence formal dining room. Our hospitable host, Arneaud de Mareuil, the Vice-President Public Relations, Communication & Heritage was a true champagne ambassador.
That is Sanjoy, my wine travel friend, on my left and Arneaud on my right. The rest of the guests were media and movie types from Denmark. I ended up calling them the Great Danes (That's a veterinarian's mind)
So is it time to move forward and have a Champagne Summit to discuss how best to support the Champagne industry? The picture on the right shows who might be meeting under that old Three Emperors Tree today.
Now the faces may not fit too well as I adapted them to the lunch scene, but you get the picture. That is Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the left, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merchel and of course Obama. On the right is President Nicholas Sarkozy. Somehow, I get the impression that he may not be the most popular guest. I think the question could be asked 'What have you done for us lately?' A toast to you all!!

Friday, April 03, 2009

For Goodness Sake...Wine is Good for Your Health!

Seems like a day does not go by without some health minded organization or government agency telling us how bad wine is for our health. I say stop picking on wine and use those valuable research dollars to enlighten us about the benefits of drinking wine. Look at those grapes, one of nature's greatest gifts to humankind.

For thousands upon thousands of years they have been picked and turned into the most pleasurable drink known to mankind. But no the tea drinking anti-alcohol crowd must tell the world about their latest research detailing how 3247 women and men were followed for the last three years (or were there 7423 ? ) drinking wine and now..ouch they have a 27% greater chance of getting cancer. I am not trying to make light of this terrible disease. There is nothing more devastating for a woman to be diagnosed and go through the ordeal of breast cancer but so many other factors have to be considered. I know of women who hardly ever drink wine or anything else and yet have suffered with this dreadful malady. Cancer needs a cure but there are many, many things that can cause it. So men, have you been taking extra folic acid supplements? It turns out that men who have, are at much greater risk of getting prostate cancer.
Of course there are studies indicating that drinking wine is a preventative for cancer. Barrett's Esophagus is a precursor to esophageal cancer and drinking wine may lower the risk by as much as 56%.And here is more good news. This study indicates that the combined polyphenols from red wine was found to be effective against breast cancer.
The latest anti drinking wine study finds that even your teeth are in trouble. Yes, they used cow teeth for this one.Could they not have found a human skull or a set of human teeth for this experiment? You will really be in trouble if you drink wine during dinner and follow that up with tea or worse if you get up and brush your teeth. Me? I usually don't drink tea after a delightful dinner with a good wine. I certainly won't be getting up to brush my teeth. How about grapefruit juice folks, which I happen to like very much, its very acidic. So could you please do some research to tell me I am going to loose my teeth prematurely?
Plato, wise man that he was, said, "Nothing more excellent or valuable than wine was ever granted by the Gods to man."
And would Jesus have turned water into wine at a wedding feast if he thought for one moment that it was harmful to the guests?

Peace be with you! Especially when you are enjoying the 'fruit of the vine.'