Thursday, November 8, 2007

This & That: News Briefs from the Wine World

Hey gang, here are just some interesting tidbits I came across this week in wine news...

Go ahead, drink up. Don't' worry about hangover headaches...anymore?

The effects are all too familiar: a fancy dinner, some fine wine and then, a few hours later, a racing heart and a pounding headache. But a device developed by University of California, Berkeley, researchers could help avoid the dreaded "red wine headache."

Chemists working with NASA-funded technology designed to find life on Mars have created a device they say can easily detect chemicals that many scientists believe can turn wine and other beloved indulgences into ingredients for agony.

The chemicals, called biogenic amines, occur naturally in a wide variety of aged, pickled and fermented foods prized by gourmet palates, including wine, chocolate, cheese, olives, nuts and cured meats.

The prototype — the size of a small briefcase — uses a drop of wine to determine amine levels in five minutes. The researchers found the highest amine levels in red wine and sake and the lowest in beer. For now, the device only works with liquids.

CONGRATS TO NEW ZEALAND...Seems they're entering the big leagues.

A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir have been voted the best in the world at the International Wine and Spirit Competition. The competition is considered one of the top wine awards in the world, and makers of Malborough's Vavasour Sauvignon say the win should help put them on the international map.

Villa Maria Pinot Noir was also judged best of its category and the winery also won best wine producer in New Zealand.

With over 300 other wines to compete with, it was the aroma and fine lingering finish of Marlbourgh's Vavasour Sauvignon that captivated the judges.

"It literally means it is the best of the best for that particular variety," says Executive Director of the competition, Alan Gibbons.

The event carries some impressive credentials. It started in 1969, with winemakers from around the world entering to have their best bottles judged by 40 international masters.

And prices are reasonable too, the wine crowned the world's best Sauvignon Blanc can be yours for around $20.

Docs Continue to find benefits of Grapes

New York researchers are focusing on grape polyphenols in wine and grape juice to help maintain long-term cognitive health.

Researchers at the Center for Research in Alternative and Complementary Medicine in Alzheimer's disease research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York say Concord grape juice and red wine polyphenols show promise in counteracting beta-amyloid plaques associated with cognitive decline.

Two recent population studies associated moderate red wine and 100 percent fruit juice consumption with lowering the risk of Alzheimer's disease dementia.

That's all...enjoy your weekends!

1 comment:

Grape Nut said...

I really feel bad for people who get those headaches from red wine. Nothing better than the weather we're having now (a high of 50 degrees) and a bottle red wine inside. I love the fall.