Its official, wine is good for you……………sort of!

See other posts on wine drinking here and here

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

champagne

The recommended daily allowance for alcohol consumption in Britain may well be around the size of a medium to large glass of wine depending on your gender, but a leading scientist in the field has claimed drinking just over a bottle a day would do no harm to your health.

Former World Health Organisation alcohol expert Dr Kari Poikolainen has analysed decades of research into the effects of alcohol on the human body. His conclusion – drinking is only harmful when you consume more than 13 units a day – that’s four to five pints of beer or more than a bottle of wine – which typically contains around 10 units.

SantaJulia

He also believes that drinking more than the current recommended daily intake may in fact be healthier than being a teetotaler.  “The weight of the evidence shows moderate drinking is better than abstaining and heavy drinking is worse than abstaining –…

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The psychology of drinking

wine_glass_toast_1600_wht_3574If you’re going to serve cheap gin – put it in heavy glasses, preferably tinted blue.

According to psychologist Charles Spence at Oxford University, who works with Heston Blumenthal, it’s easy to manipulate your guest’s drinking habits.

Plastic glasses are associated with poor quality and cheapness whereas heavy glasses add significantly to the taste.

If you want to get your guests drunk more quickly play German techno music. It dulls the taste senses and people drink more (I’m off to Germany this week so must remember that).

The colour of a room can change the taste of red wine and the shape of a glass can affect how sweet and refreshing you find a drink.

If you’re having a dinner party makes sure you buy wine in heavy bottles and let the guests hold the bottle. People think that the heavier the bottle the better the taste and for every extra £1 you spend on a bottle it has 8% more glass.

There’s been a lot of research about the impact of cutlery on eating habits and the impact of music and the sounds of the seashore when eating fish.

It just shows that there’s more to enjoying a good meal than having it nicely cooked.

A Drive in the Country

redstuffdan

Had to go into Bordeaux today – it was very busy with traffic jams everywhere. It was such a beautiful day we decided to take the country route home along the north bank of the Garonne through the vines via Langoiran and Cadillac. The vendange has just started which means the main harvest in the vineyards will start very soon.  Couldn’t miss the chance of taking a few pictures along the way and picking up an excellent bottle of the local redstuff at Portets – Delicious.

(All of the photographs, Artwork and other Images in this blog are copyright and cannot be reproduced without my written permission and consent)

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French experts not impressed by British wine drinkers

wine_and_glass_1600_wht_10688Leaving aside our historical dislike of the French (I’ve just finished reading Bernard Cornwell’s Harlequin about the battle of Crecy) it seems that the French wine experts may be right, at least when it comes to drinking wine.

Research as part of a marketing campaign by French Wines with Style identified a number of mistakes that we Brits regularly make when we drink wine – even though we might think we are experts.

If you do any of these you’re not as expert as you think you are about wine:

  • Warming wine on the radiator
  • Keeping champagne in the fridge
  • Storing wine in the kitchen where it’s hot
  • Diluting the flavour by adding ice cubes
  • Mistaking floating bits of cork with the wine being “corked”
  • Ordering wine by its number because we can’t pronounce its name
  • Complaining that the waiter hasn’t poured enough wine when you’re only being offered enough for a taste
  • Ordering expensive wine in the belief that it will taste better
  • Ordering wine with a high alcohol content in the belief that it is of better quality

The French advice is “If you want advice don’t be afraid to ask whether in a store or a restaurant”

roséfriends: your week has arrived!

grapefriend

Rosé Week is here!!!rosé wine rainbow

As most grapefriends know, I drink rosé all year round. Most people, however, associate it with summer and really that’s fine with me if that’s what it takes to get people to try it out.

One thing I’ve noticed lately is that people have serious rosé preferences for either pale or ruby. I get that you might be more in the mood for one or the other, but I don’t get why you’d only drink one type. That bugs me as much as when people say the only drink red wine or only drink white – you’re missing out on half the wine world!

As with any wine, the color of rosé comes from the skin of the grape and the time spent on those skins during the winemaking process. The thinner the skin and lesser the time, the lighter the color will be.

So…

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Playing Wine Bullshit Bingo…………………….

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

As a wine drinker for over 40 years I have long-held the view that most critics utter a load of bullshit in their descriptions of wine. Here are just a few of the hackneyed terms that wine critics love to spout:-

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ANGULAR
An angular wine is like putting a triangle in your mouth – it hits you in specific places with high impact and not elsewhere. It’s like getting punched in the arm in the same place over and over again. An angular wine also has high acidity.
AUSTERE
This is a very unfriendly wine. It hits your mouth and then turns it inside out. It usually means the wine has very high acidity and very little fruit flavors. An austere wine is not fruit-forward nor opulent.
BARNYARD
This means the wine smells like poo. It’s never used anymore describing a wine, unless the wine writer is attempting to dig…

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malbec madness

I missed Malbec Day!

grapefriend

Confession: I don’t love Malbec. I find it gritty, rustic, and can usually find something else on a wine list or in the store that I’d rather have. But I know a lot of people drink it and today is Malbec Day, so in anticipation I went on a quest to see if I could find one I loved. I can’t say I fell head over heels, but I definitely found a few I really liked.

Plus, what I really like about it is that you can find a good one for not a lot of coin – hard to do with red wines. Most of the ones I really liked or at least would consider buying were under $20 – maybe that’s why people drink it so much! The best ones usually come from Mendoza, Argentina, but I was psyched to see a few good ones from the US. Here are…

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Wine, Women, and Health

I tweeted last week about the latest research showing that after marriage men tend to drink less but women drink more – and there are probably some women who would say “do you wonder?”

In a recent Times’ Body & Soul section John Naish gave a really good overview about women and alcohol consumption which was also a reminder of how stingy recommended allowances are.

A standard 175ml glass of wine = 2 units. So one glass of wine each day of the week is the UK government’s recommended upper limit for women.

And it’s a class thing but not what you might think. The more middle class or the better educated you are the more you are likely to drink. Graduates are twice as likely to drink every day compared to non – graduates, too much practice on cheap booze in the student bars perhaps?

And according to official statistics 1 in 6 professional women drink more than 6 units at least once a week. That’s three glasses of wine in one session which is the NHS definition of binge drinking!

Experts say it’s probably because better educated women have wider social circles or are more likely to work in male-dominated environments. And that’s part of the problem.  Women can’t tolerate alcohol in the same way as men. Not only do they have lower body weight and less water in their bodies but their livers don’t deal with alcohol as efficiently as mens’.

A major US study of over 100,000 women over 20 years showed that women who drink 2 glasses of wine a day have 50% more chance of developing breast cancer, probably because alcohol raises levels of oestrogen which can trigger tumour growth.

Women who drink more than recommended are also more vulnerable than men to developing a whole range of cancers. Perhaps slightly less seriously excess alcohol consumption is also linked to fatigue, weight gain, and depression.

Drinking in excess in middle age is linked with increased risk of dementia and memory loss even for people who were abstinent earlier in their lives.

Women in their 30s and 40s are also more likely to be prosecuted for drink-driving than men, according to research at Nottingham University. Naish’s article said it wasn’t because they are more reckless but because they drive over the limit when picking up stranded children who need a lift home. So no good deed goes unpunished.

However a report on the same research published in Clinical Psychology Review last May said the profile of  women drink-driving offenders was; ” divorced, widowed or separated with fewer previous convictions than their male counterparts. … they may be distressed by their situation and turning to drink”.

But giving these women rehabilitation programmes designed to shame them, such as meeting bereaved families, doesn’t work with middle-aged women because the negative emotions induced will increase emotional distress which could lead to more drinking and their committing more alcohol-related offences – as these researchers found had happened in the USA.

So women should stick to 1 glass a day and not be tempted to finish the bottle. Wine boxes help in that regard as you don’t feel the same need to finish the box!

And there is some good news if you can stick to that level of drinking.

A range of research studies show that women who drink no more than a glass and a half a day are less likely than teetotallers to get rheumatoid arthritis; they are also less likely to develop a stroke than those who stop drinking, and less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.

Harvard School of Public Health found that women who drink moderately in middle age are more likely than non-drinkers to be in good physical and mental health in their retirement.