Talking Wine – August 2012

Who says crime doesn’t pay? Those of you who have been reading my various snippets about wine fraud will be amazed to hear that one simple 5 day scam, which netted £380,000, resulted in a £30,000 fine and a short prison sentence. The culprit has been given time to pay as well – extraordinary really.

It is not rocket science but thankfully the latest research into drinking alcohol suggests that two glasses a day enhance quality of life!! In fact the maximum one should drink is 4 glasses a day for men and 3 for women and only 14 glasses a week overall. (The glass size was not mentioned – phew!). Looking at factors such as dexterity, emotion, cognition and mobility it was concluded that those who did drink within these boundaries had better overall scores than those who did not drink. The author of this comprehensive study of 5404 Canadians wrote, “Overall this study shows a positive relation between regular moderate alcohol intake and quality of life in middle aged adults.” I suspect we now have a few mightily relieved middle aged readers!!!!!

Christopher Trotter, an award winning food writer, has apparently planted a vineyard in Scotland. Is he mad? He hopes to produce 2500 bottles within a couple of years and he says that the early results are encouraging. I know we have global warming but one act of revenge from Mother Nature could prove very costly. No one has previously attempted to produce wine commercially north of the border so I wish Château Largo, as it will be known, a hefty slice of good luck.

The runner up in the Apprentice was wine entrepreneur Tom Gearing who at 24 had no official wine qualifications. However, following the filming of the program he completed his Level 1 and 2 Wine and Spirit Education Trust exams and aims to go on to complete Level 3 and possibly even tackle the Diploma, the penultimate qualification in the wine trade. Incidentally at The Oxford Wine Company we have 1 Master of Wine, 2 Master of Wine students and 6 members of staff with the Diploma. All staff are encouraged to take the appropriate exams and as a company we are now able to offer WSET courses to any member of the public interested in wine.