Posts Tagged ‘Light’

 

Moderate drinking is safe, studies find...

Moderate drinking is safe, studies find…

 

 

Children born to women who drink moderately during pregnancy are no more likely to have cognitive or behavioural problems than those of abstainers, a new study has found.

 

This study, reported in BJOG, An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, put together data from the Millennium Cohort Study, a national study of 10,000 infants born in the UK between 2000-2002.

The study assessed whether light drinking – defined as to two units of alcohol or the equivalent of on 175ml glass of wine per week – in pregnancy was linked to unfavourable developmental outcomes in seven-year-old children.

Researchers from University College London used information on over 10,000 seven-year-olds, looking at their social and emotional behaviour as well as their cognitive performance in maths, reading and spatial skills.

Their parents and teachers were also surveyed via questionnaires.
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Alcohol to high in wines?

Alcohol to high in wines?

 

Alcohol levels in just about everything are rising, and a lot of people aren’t happy about it. Nonetheless, winemakers would really rather you not know that they’re doing something about it. Or, at least, one particular something about it: dealcoholization, or “dealcing.” While there are alcohol-free or very low alcohol wines on the market, what I’m talking about is bringing super-hot 14-17% alcohol wines down to the more comfortable 11-14% range.

 

Why alcohol levels are rising is no mystery. Winemakers are working with riper grapes to satisfy contemporary tastes for the big, the luscious, and the fruit-forward. Wine growing regions are warming up so that grapes have the time and sunlight to accumulate sugars like never before. Better yeasts are able to handle both more sugar and more alcohol without giving up, so winemakers don’t have to add water to ensure that high-sugar musts will ferment.

What to do about all this heat is a different matter. You might argue that we shouldn’t do anything about it at all; higher ABVs are a natural consequence of riper fruit, riper fruit is good, and so there we are. But plenty of other people, including a lot of consumers, aren’t happy about seeing numbers in the 14-16% range on their bottles, and a substantial industry has emerged in an effort to make those people happier.

Reducing alcohol isn’t just about pleasing customers who want lower-alcohol wines, though that’s part of it. It’s also about taxes. Both in the United States and the EU, wines with more than 14% alcohol reported on the bottle (labels only have to be accurate by plus or minus 0.5%) accrue higher taxes than wines under that limit. For mega-wineries with lakes of wine to process, “dealcing” to slide below that threshold can save money. And then there’s the “balance” argument; some winemakers feel as though their wine tastes better with super-ripe flavors but less alcohol than that ripeness usually produces. The EU allows winemakers to reduce the alcohol content of their wines by up to two (ABV) percentage points either via the reverse osmosis or spinning cone approach. American winemakers are free to reduce as they please.
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Low-alcohol-drinks-cut-bo-007

 

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) has adopted new definitions of low-alcohol and de-alcoholized wines.

The move by the OIV comes amid a rise in the popularity of low-alcohol wines, with producers such as Skinnygirl targeting female consumers in particular. Other winemakers are seeking to reduce the high alcohol content of their more potent wines, created by factors such as better vineyard management and the picking of grapes later (and riper). Some can have alcohol levels of up to 17 percent. Alcohol reduction can also improve the taste balance of particular wines.

Alcohol is reduced or removed using techniques such as spinning cones and reverse osmosis. Conetech, a California-based company which specializes in “alcohol adjustment,” says it treats six million gallons of wine annually from around 600 clients. It also has plants in Chile, Spain, France and South Africa, with Australia soon to follow.

The difficulty is that the rules governing the use of alcohol-reduction technology vary worldwide.

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A new study has found that darker and heavier bottles can protect the quality of white wine.

 

The research conducted at the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) at Charles Sturt University (CSU), in collaboration with Dr Daniel Dias at The University of Melbourne, examined the impact of light on the quality of white wine, with the ultimate aim to improve its shelf life.

Lead researcher, Dr Andrew Clark said, “A series of experiments dating back to 2008 have attempted to better understand the impact of light on several white wine components that have previously not been investigated. The components were tartaric acid, which is a major organic acid in wine, and iron, a metal ion found at low concentrations in all wines.

“Although not well understood in wine, these same agents were in fact used as photographic emulsions by the pioneers of photography in the mid-1800s.

“We have shown that a chemical process, known as iron (III) tartrate photochemistry, can adversely affect white wine as it may… read on