Talking Wine – August 2020

What would you give to be able to wake up after a heavy night and have no sign or feeling of a hangover? Well – researchers from Helsinki University may have come up with a solution. There have been many claims over the years and there have been housewife’s tales galore, but it seems 1200 milligrams of amino acid L-cysteine could solve the problem. It is to be taken in pill form, both before and after drinking, and alleviates hangover, nausea, headaches, stress, and anxiety. However, don’t expect to see it in Boots soon as there are still a few hurdles to jump before it is on general release but I think a small investment in the company that finally solves this age-old problem may reap dividends.

The actress Cameron Diaz has got involved in making a wine called Avaline which she calls a “clean wine” made in conjunction with European wine makers . I really wish these wretched “celebrities ” would keep out of the wine market. We have recently had Kylie Minogue producing a Provence rose and now a white and red but what the hell does she know about wine and this follows a long list of other celebrity endorsements. Think of Cliff Richard, Graham Norton, and Ian Botham – sorry Lord Botham.

Apparently, Miss Diaz was horrified to discover that so much wine had additives so decided to make a wine which was vegan friendly and organic. I wasn’t aware that this was a new idea – we increasingly sell a host of organic, vegan friendly wines so I simply don’t understand this, but gullible Americans will lap it up. Donald Trump will probably tell you it cures Corona Virus if it helps him win the election.

It is interesting to hear the comments of Dr Creina Stockley , a pharmacologist and world authority on wine additives and processing aids at Adelaide University. She says,” It is a marketing exercise – I’ve been in this business for 30 years and this comes up periodically under different names”. She goes on ” unlike the food industry winemakers don’t have to list ingredients which has opened the door for opportunists who profit by claiming that other wineries fill their wines with noxious chemicals ” (They don’t!)

Interestingly she says very little about where the wine come from – just France and Spain. A little more provenance would sound more convincing !

A bottle of 55-year-old Japanese whisky has just sold for 6 million HK dollars despite an estimate ten times less. That works out as just over £600,000 a bottle. At 46% it is described as having a deep redddish amber colour with a sweet and complex aftertaste. The Yamazaki whisky, released by Suntory only a few months ago, is beautifully presented in a gold dusted bottle and oak box plus some other fine trimmings which suggest it may not actually ever be drunk. Quite absurd!