Posts Tagged ‘johan botha’

Sauvignon blanc vines from Marlborough, New Zealand.

Sauvignon blanc vines from Marlborough, New Zealand.

 

Few words in the UK wine market provoke a reaction as polarising as “Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc”.

For a host of consumers those heady aromas of passion fruit, gooseberry and the entire spectrum of fruit salad ingredients in between act like catnip. Among others, however, including many in the trade itself, it is possible to detect a degree of fatigue with New Zealand’s hugely successful flagship style.

This latter camp saw its numbers swell when the bumper 2008 vintage saw shelves flooded with discounted stock. On top of oversupply came the observation from several corners that quality was slipping as fast as the prices. Just as this golden goose was starting to look decidedly wobbly on its feet, New Zealand’s producers regrouped, rallied and within just a few years have taken major strides towards revitalising the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc landscape.

At a mainstream level, the classic style is clearly going stronger than ever – just visit a UK supermarket and compare the shelf space dedicated to this single combination of variety and region with the area allocated to other entire countries. Against this backdrop of stability, however, many Marlborough producers have now identified an opportunity – a need even – to shake up the stereotype and show what else they can do.
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It is just getting healthier!

 
The health properties of red wine have long been debated but an Australian biochemist believes he has created a drop so loaded with antioxidants that it could treat a range of ills.

Brisbane-based Greg Jardine said he has patented a group of compounds created during the wine-making process which he says act as an anti-inflammatory and could help battle conditions such as arthritis and chronic fatigue.

While previous studies have suggested a small daily intake of wine could help men live longer and may protect against heart disease, they have always been countered by those pointing out the dangers of alcohol consumption.

Jardine, however, believes he has created a palatable drink which could have discernible health-boosting effects.

“We take this antioxidant, which exists in tiny amounts in wine, to a level where it can actually do something,” he told AFP on Tuesday.

Jardine said loading up wine with antioxidants usually made it too tannic and undrinkable, but by also making the antioxidants more fat-soluble, and more easily absorbed by the body, they surprisingly also became more palatable.

“So it’s a double whammy,” he said.

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Sonoma's old vines.

Sonoma’s old vines.

 

In Sonoma’s Bedrock Vineyard, I’m surrounded by 124-year-old twisted vines with the arthritic look of stumpy bonsai trees.
The mad mix includes a couple of dozen varieties. Bedrock winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson points out familiar zinfandel, little-known bastardo, nearly extinct castets and some grapes no one’s yet identified.

He makes a pretty delicious red that contains almost all of them.

“Old vine field blends are the only California wines that aren’t ersatz,” he says. “They’re unique. What’s magical is the sum of the parts.”

His dozen or so red and white cuvees from historic vineyards are among the state’s most fascinating wines, high on bold personality, with warmth, intensity, perfumed aromas and layers of flavor. Tasting them, I’m drinking California wine history.

While Sonoma has the largest concentration of old vineyards in the state, they’re in danger of disappearing.

Twain-Peterson, 32, is one of the people on a mission to save them.

In old tan shorts, grey shirt, and a three-day beard, he tours me around this vineyard he owns with his family, filling me in on its backstory. The founders, in 1854, were “Fightin’ Joe” Hooker and two-time shipwreck survivor and banker William “Tecumseh” Sherman, who later became famous Civil War generals.

After root-louse phylloxera wiped out the vines in the 1880s, mining magnate Sen. George Hearst, father of newspaperman William Randolph Hearst, splashed out part of his fortune from the Comstock
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Rather have a glass of wine!

Rather have a glass of wine!

The risk of depression is significantly lower in women who drink moderate amounts of wine, a study has found.

 

More than 13,000 adults in Spain were studied over a ten-year period, with the outcome based on a doctor’s diagnosis or on the habitual use of anti-depressant drugs for four or more years.

Reported depression was much higher among women than men, but for those women drinking 5-15g of alcohol a day (approximately one glass), the risk of diagnosis of depression was significantly lower, when compared to… read on

 

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A CDC survey reports alcohol drinkers consume more calories than recommended, lumping wine in with soda

how-to-loose-belly-fat

Just when Americans are drinking and making merry at holiday parties and dinners, a new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that alcoholic beverages may be adding extra calories to our waistlines. But is it simplistic to lump wine, beer and spirits in with sugary sodas?

Published by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, the survey finds that the average consumer of alcoholic beverages takes in more than their daily-recommended intake for the kinds of calories that come from added sugars, a category that includes beer, wine and spirits. But some experts argue that the survey paints with too broad a brush.

For the survey, the authors examined data from the long-running National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which involved more than 11,000 people across the country over the age of 20 who provided details on the foods and drinks they consumed in a typical day. The good news is drinkers don’t pass the calorie threshold by much. The survey finds that, on average, Americans who drink daily take in 16 percent of their calories in the form of added sugar. The recommended intake is between 5 percent and 15 percent.

The authors calculated that 12.5 ounces of wine contains roughly 150 calories. So, if drinking in moderation, a man could consume up to… read on

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  • The Big 5 reasons why people should drink wine! (By Johan Botha)