Posts Tagged ‘Good’

 

 

Winemakers in New Zealand are hailing the 2013 vintage as ‘one of the best in history’, with a record harvest 28% bigger than last year’s crop.

 

New Zealand Winegrowers CEO Philip Gregan described the summer as ‘outstanding’ with ‘near-perfect conditions for growing grapes’.

‘The result is that we expect the 2013 wines to be vibrant, fruit-driven and complex expressions of our diverse grape-growing regions – 2013 looks set to be a vintage to remember.’

Nearly 350,000 tonnes of grapes were harvested in 2013, a record volume up 5% on 2011 and 28% bigger than last year’s small crop, which left New Zealand short of wine to feed its expansion plans.

Key region Marlborough and key grape variety Sauvignon Blanc both had good years, with volumes up 33% and 26% respectively, while the Pinot Noir crop was 36% bigger than in 2012.
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A big drug firm seems less interested in resveratrol-related research; grapes offer heart benefits

A new study provides good news for breast cancer survivors—there is no need to give up wine drinking in moderation. According to a study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, drinking before and after breast cancer diagnosis does not impact survival from the disease. In fact, a modest survival benefit was found in women who were moderate drinkers before and after diagnosis due to a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, a major cause of mortality among breast cancer survivors.

Previous research has linked alcohol consumption to an increased risk of developing breast cancer, though the nature of the link and exact risk of consumption patterns is unclear. For this study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, about 5,000 participants with breast cancer were questioned about alcohol consumption habits.

The researchers found that the amount and type of alcohol a woman reported consuming in the years before her diagnosis was not associated with her likelihood from dying from breast cancer. They also discovered that women who consumed three to six drinks per week in the years before their cancer diagnosis were 15 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than non-drinkers. Moderate wine drinkers showed an even lower risk, the study states.

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Drinking wine may well prevent kidney stone problems.

Drinking wine may well prevent kidney stone problems.

 

Coffee, tea, beer, and wine seem to make kidney stones less likely.
PROBLEM:

Kidney stones cause the sort of pain that people rate as highly as childbirth. They also cost the U.S. about $2 billion per year, caring for them and in terms of the missed work they cause. Ounces of prevention being worth ounces of stone-free urine, what are the best things to drink to keep kidney stones from forming?

METHODOLOGY:

Researchers led by Dr. Pietro Manuel Ferraro at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome and Dr. Gary Curhan at Harvard reviewed data from 194,095 patients who had never before had kidney stones, for an average of eight years. The subjects all reported what they drank (on an annual or biennial basis), and how many stones they got.

The research did not involve ultrasounds or CT scans on all of those people to look for stones — CT scans on 194,095 people would cause at least a few to get cancer — so they only counted people who experienced symptoms from stones, like pain or blood in their urine. That means there were others who had secret stones that no one ever knew about.
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10 Reasons why women should drink wine!

10 Reasons why women should drink wine!

 

The red wine is useful if you don’t drink too much. There are some benefits about drinking some red wine for you, women! Have a look:

1) Red wine making your skin younger, i.e. a kind of anti-aging.

 

2) Red wine helping you to sleep better.

 

3) Red wine helping your stomach.

 

4) Red wine increasing your appetite. If you need to eat more food, it’s a good decision.

 

5) Red wine making you stronger. This is a kind of tonic effect.

 

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South African wine exports to reach now high in 2013.

South African wine exports to reach now high in 2013.

 

South African wine exports are poised to beat their 2012 record this year following high yields and on demand for premium vintages from North America and Asia, industry executives and growers said.

Wine exports rose to 469 million liters (124 million U.S. gallons) in the year ending April 30, up 25 percent from the previous 12 months and more than triple the total shipped in 2000, data from the Wines of South Africa trade body, or WOSA, show. Bulk shipments rose 53 percent while those of bottled and packaged wines fell 5 percent, as large producers bottled more in export markets.

Although wine has been grown in South Africa since Dutch settlers arrived in the 17th century, the country was cut off from trade during the apartheid era of racial discrimination, which ended in 1994 with the first all-race elections. Two decades on, exporters are seeking to consolidate in established markets such as the U.K. and Germany while boosting sales in Asia and Africa.

“If you think about South Africa’s history, we’ve been making wine for 350 years but it’s only really since 1994 that we’ve actively pursued the export market, that we’ve been welcome and accepted,” Johan Erasmus, general manager of the Glen Carlou winery in the Paarl Valley north east of Cape Town, said at a London tasting in March. “We are much more in touch with consumers worldwide.”

A wet winter meant plenty of underground water, helping to boost yields in 2013, according to Su Birch, Chief Executive Officer at WOSA. Yields at the 2012 harvest rose to 14.13 metric tons per hectare (2.471 acres), the highest for at least six years, and probably climbed to about 14.90 tons this year, according to estimates based on preliminary data from WOSA.

 

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3 Glasses a week improves your memory.

3 Glasses a week improves your memory.

 

Champagne usually marks a memorable occasion for most of us – but scientists are now claiming three glasses a week can help to ensure it’s a memory that lasts.

Researchers say that a healthy dose of bubbly can help against brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.

Jeremy Spencer, a biochemistry professor at Reading University, said anyone over 40 would be wise to drink two or three glasses a week.

‘Dementia probably starts in the 40s and goes on to the 80s,’ he said.

‘It is a gradual decline and so the earlier people take these beneficial compounds in champagne, the better.’

His team say the source is a compound called phenolic acid, found in the black grapes, Pinot noir and Pinot meunier, both of which are used for champagne.

 

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Russian girl stomping grapes during Russian wine harvest.

 

Cheap sweet whites dominate the home market but a handful of ambitious Russian wine producers are raising the standards.
For most westerners, the whole concept of “Russian wine” sounds a bit like an oxymoron. And if you ever sip wine at a Russian party, the chances are you won’t like it much. Or at least you will find it perplexing.

That’s because four-fifths of wines sold in Russia are poor quality semi-sweet varieties, and involve the use of concentrate.

The reasons for this date back to Soviet times, when Russians’ taste for semi-sweet and sparkling wines was formed. Many Russians today consider dry wines too sour. It was Joseph Stalin, an ethnic Georgian, who did most to foster this tradition.

It may be hard to believe but, according to the International Wine Office, the Soviet Union ranked fifth in the world in terms of area under vines and seventh in terms of wine output by the end of the Fifties.
The young Soviet winemaking industry found enthusiastic support from Stalin and from Anastas Mikoyan, his Armenian minister for food production. Both Georgia and Armenia, in the fertile, Mediterranean-like climate of the South Caucasus, have a rich tradition of winemaking that predates even the ancient wine culture of Greece.

Wine was drunk in Russia only by the aristocracy before the 1917 Revolution. But all this changed under Stalin, who believed wine had to be affordable for every Soviet citizen.
Scientists managed to produce frost-resistant, high-yielding varieties of grape. But the quality suffered: wines made from such grapes were barely palatable because of their high acidity and lack of taste. To remedy this flaw, grape sugar and often ethyl alcohol were added to the wines – practices that are still widely used in the Russian wine industry to this day.

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An Sotheby's employee holds a rare Jeroboam of Château Mouton Rothschild from 1953 on Jan. 17, 2012 in LondonPhoto by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

An Sotheby’s employee holds a rare Jeroboam of Château Mouton Rothschild from 1953 on Jan. 17, 2012 in London
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

 

Some are excellent, others undrinkable.

Testimony began this week in billionaire William Koch’s lawsuit against Eric Greenberg, who Koch claims sold him some very expensive counterfeit wine. (Mike Steinberger wrote a detailed investigation of the case for Slate in 2010.) Some of the bottles went for nearly $30,000, which has Koch so miffed that he refuses to settle the case. If you spend $30,000 on a bottle of wine, can you expect it to be better than a $20,000 bottle or a $10,000 bottle?
Not really. Full disclosure: The Explainer has never tasted, and has no discernible prospects of ever tasting, a $10,000 bottle of wine. The wine experts he consulted, however, emphasized that the difference between wines in this price range is not quality, but rather prestige, rarity, and age. Upon opening, some four- or five-figure bottles of wine “justify” their price—at least to experienced wine critics and people who can conceive of paying $30,000 for 1.5 liters of fermented grape juice. (A 1947 Cheval Blanc, for example, blew away Slate’s wine critic.) Other bottles have slid far beyond their peak, losing their volatile fruit flavors to age and, frequently, improper storage. Occasionally, giddy wine lovers uncork an ultra-expensive wine only to find that it has turned to vinegar. As wine enthusiasts say, there are no great wines, only great bottles. However, just like a high-roller going all in at the poker table, some wealthy wine lovers perceive value in unpredictability.

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The magic of blending.

The magic of blending.

 

The question of varietal versus blend comes up often when I’m taking groups through the wine country or conducting wine education seminars. And there seems to be a stereotypic image in the minds of many that blend is a “dirty word” and only the best wines are varietal.

This is definitely a regional phenomenon and one I believe is false. It only serves to intimidate consumers from experimenting with some of the world’s best wines.

The centuries-old custom for wines of the old world (as most of Europe is referred to in the world of wine) has been to name the wine by the region or producer. Historically the consumer identified with that practice.

By this nomenclature old world wines could be blends (e.g. Bordeaux or Chateauneuf-du-Pape) while others were 100 percent varietal (e.g. Burgundy or Barolo). For the most part the consumer was unaware of the varietal composition and often didn’t care. They identified with the wine and not the grape.

In the 1950s and 1960s, American wine writer Frank Shoonmaker — a visionary of his time — and others lead a concerted move in the U.S. to use varietal labeling (the name of the grape) rather than the more universally used “generic” names (Chablis, Burgundy, Chianti, Champagne) to connote quality and identity.

At that time in the industry’s pursuit of excellence and to differentiate U.S. wines, “blend” definitely became a dirty word.

 

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2012 is a good year!

2012 is a good year!

 

Champagne producers including Dom Perignon and Philipponnat have confirmed they will make a vintage in 2012.

Despite what vignerons at the time called one of the worst growing seasons they had seen for decades, with April frosts, hailstorms, and one of the wettest summers on record, they are highly optimistic for the quality of the vintage.

‘The quality and the intensity are definitely there to make an outstanding vintage,’ Dom Perignon chef de cave Richard Geoffroy told Decanter.com.

Winegrowers said the warm weather in August was a saving grace. As harvest grew closer it became apparent that the small amounts of grapes on the vines were of excellent quality. In September as grapes were picked and pressed, often at close to 11% alcohol, winemakers were amazed by the concentration of flavour, natural sugar and acidity, and talk of a potential vintage began to be widespread.

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