Posts Tagged ‘by’

 

Two bottles of Champagne seized by the Nazis during World War II then ‘liberated’ by an RAF serviceman are to go under the hammer this month.

According to Hansons Auctioneers, both bottles – Château de Mareuilsay Montebello 1937 and Monopole Red Top by Heidsieck from an unknown date – are unopened and in good condition.

Each bear a red stamp in German and French that reads: “Sales in the free market are prohibited”, and “Reserved for German army not for resale or purchase.”

They were discovered by a British member of the RAF who was serving in France following D-Day in 1944.
Detail from the Heidsieck Monopole label
He left the bottles to his daughter, who sold them to the unnamed vendor a decade ago.

While Hitler was teetotal, chief of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Goering, filled vast cellars with stolen bottles of Champagne following the invasion of France.
Read on …

 

Throughout human history, alcoholic beverages have treated pain, thwarted infections and unleashed a cascade of pleasure in the brain that lubricates the social fabric of life, according to Patrick McGovern, an archaeochemist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

For the past several decades, McGovern’s research has focused on finding archaeological and chemical evidence for fermented beverages in the ancient world. The details are chronicled in his recently published book, “Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages.”

He argues that the mind-altering effects of alcohol and the mysterious process of fermentation may explain why these drinks dominated entire economies, religions and societies. He’s found evidence of fermented beverages everywhere he’s looked, which fits his hypothesis that alcohol “had a lot to do with making us what we are in biological and cultural terms.”

The author, shown here examining an ancient pottery sherd, spoke with msnbc.com about his research. Click the “Next” arrow above to learn about 8 ancient drinks uncorked by science.
China: First known brew

Dogfish Head Brewery While the human relationship with alcohol may trace back to our ancestors, the earliest chemical evidence for an alcoholic beverage dates back 9,000 years to the ancient village of Jiahu in China’s Henan province.

Based on the analysis of residues extracted from pottery fragments, McGovern and colleagues concluded that the people were drinking a mixed wine-and-beer-like beverage made with grapes, hawthorn fruit, rice and honey. The finding was published in December 2004. The following year, McGovern collaborated with Sam Calagione and his crew at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware to re-create the millennia-old drink. Their creation, called Chateau Jiahu, won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2009.

“We worked hard on getting this interpretation right. Since it does represent the oldest alcoholic beverage, it was really gratifying to get that gold tasting award,” McGovern said.

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Read on …

Chinese wine industry could endanger Panda's habitat.

Chinese wine industry could endanger Panda’s habitat.

The habitats of endangered giant pandas are being threatened by planned vineyard plantings in the Chinese provinces of Shaanxi and Sichuan.
According to the South China Morning Post, authorities in Shaanxi plan to plant 18,000 hectares of vineyards, and similar schemes are in the pipeline for Sichuan, putting the 1,600 wild giant pandas that inhabit the provinces at risk.

While the Chinese government has set up reserves for giant pandas, the animals don’t always remain inside them.

“Vineyards around a panda reserve can definitely affect the animals.

“Pandas move outside of reserves, so the forest outside is an important habitat. If forest is cleared to plant grapes, there may be direct loss of panda habitat,” climate change specialist Dr. Lee Hannah said in a study of the impacts of climate change on wine production and conservation.
Read on …

 

 

Technicians assure that 50% remains unpicked. Up to now, quality and health are the premises of this crop.

As it was expected at the end of last year, the 2013 yield seemed to be higher than that of 2012. At that moment, it was too early for a forecast due to the unpredictable climate conditions. However, reaching mid-April, and in spite of rains lashing down most of the summer, technicians of Argentine wineries have anticipated that they expect around 20% more of grape. But, in some regions, this reality varies, and winemakers maintain that harvest will be the same as in 2012.

This is the case of Patricio del Chañar, Río Negro. Marcelo Miras, winemaker at Bodega Del Fin del Mundo, commented that they expect the same amount as in 2012. As regards the harvest, he pointed out: “it corresponds to a Patagonian harvest, with warm days and cool nights, enabling us to reach an excellent ripening”.

In San Patricio del Chañar, about 30% of grapes are still unpicked, and in the Upper Valley of Río Negro, 50% approximately.

In addition, Adrián Meyer, winemaker at Chandon and Terrazas de Los Andes, explained that in general, the trend shows a 15-20% increase of the crop per hectare, compared to 2012. Regarding the grape already harvested, he stressed that all white grapes and only a 15% of reds have already been picked.

Read on …

A brave new world lies ahead!

A brave new world lies ahead!

A report has warned that climate change is likely to push viticulture into new areas with potentially “disastrous” consequences for several endangered animal species.
Credit: Conservation-International photo-by-Russell-A.-Mittermeier
Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the study claims to be “the first ever worldwide analysis of the impacts of climate change on wine production and conservation.”

The international team of researchers led by Conservation International warned that in certain parts of the world the area suitable for wine production is due to shrink by “as much as 73% by 2050”, with particular pressure on local water resources.

A Google Earth “flyover” (see video below) compiled by the report’s authors shows a significant northerly shift for Europe’s viticultural regions, putting even areas such as Bordeaux and the Rhône under threat.

Read on …

 

 

 

British air passengers have been voted the heaviest drinkers according to a survey of 700 international cabin crew by Skyscanner.
Holidaying Brits beat the Russians into second place according to the travel site, which also polled UK passengers for their reaction to the concept of alcohol-free flights.

According to Skyscanner research, over half of Brits admit to starting their holiday with a drink either in the airport or onboard the plane.

However, 41% of respondents said they would book an alcohol-free flight should it be offered – with a quarter of those saying that this was to avoid the risk of sharing a plane with drunken passengers.

Read on …

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Counting that calories now made easy!

 

Bottles of wine, beer and spirits could soon display the amount of calories they contain under new Government plans to discourage people from binge drinking.

 

According to public health minister Anna Soubry, officials have been in talks with the drinks industry about the possible inclusion of calorie content on labels.

Ministers are hoping that displaying the calorie content in beers, wines and spirits could encourage those who are watching their weight to drink less.

Most manufacturers already include information on units of alcohol on labels in a voluntary agreement with the Government.

A recent study by the Drink Aware Trust has linked the large amount of calories in alcoholic drinks to people being overweight and obese.

At around 250 calories per pint, lager is as fattening as a slice of pizza, while two large glasses of wine contain around 400 calories – the same amount as a beefburger.

Half of those polled by Drink Aware knew how many calories there are in a cheeseburger but just one in three knew the correct number in a glass of wine.

Read on …

 

Frog Butler 6h

 

The French wine industry wants wine to be given heritage status and protected under law.

Backed by prominent journalists, the industry says wine should be officially recognised as part of the cultural and gastronomic heritage of France.

Wine was recognised as an essential part of the ‘French gastronomic meal’ and declared an ‘intangible world heritage’ by UNESCO in November 2010, but it so far has no specific protection rights under French national law.

Foie gras, in contrast, was accorded protection as a ‘gastronomic and heritage product’ according to Article L63-27-1 in the French Rural Code from January 2006.

The push for wine to be given the same status dates back several decades,… read on

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Penfolds has announced its most expensive collector’s item to date – a complete vertical for £1.2m.
The centrepiece of the one-off ‘Penfolds Collection’ is a complete vertical of Grange from its first experimental vintage in 1951 (pictured) through to the current 2007.

It comes hot on the heels of its controversial £100,000 Ampoule launch earlier this year,

Each bottle of Grange has been authenticated and signed by one of Penfolds’ Chief winemakers including the late founder Max Schubert, John Duval and current incumbent Peter Gago.

The deep-pocketed purchaser of the collection will also receive a set of 13 magnum cases which include both the ultra-rare 2004 Bin 60A and the 2008 Bin 620 Coonawarra Cabernet-Shiraz. They will also be sent a case of Penfolds icon and luxury wines for the next ten years.

That’s not all. An additional part of the package is £50,000 to spend on acquiring other older Penfolds wines to add to the collection. Also included are two business class tickets to Adelaide, followed by a VIP tour and tasting at Penfolds Magill Estate. This comes with two nights’ accommodation and dinner at the Magill Estate Restaurant.

Gago believes this is probably the finest set of Penfolds wines ever to be… read on