This Week in Wine–11.6.11

A New Harvest at Chateau Changyu.

The picture to the left shows an artist’s rendering of the newly updated “Disney-esque” Chateau Changyu Baron Balboa winemaking facility, scheduled to be completed next year. The Chinese chateau now has a combined 16,666 hectares of vineyards in Xinjiang, Ningxia, Shandong,Shaanxi, Liaoning and Beijing – a quarter of the entire grape growing area in China.

With dry weather, favorable soil conditions and 2,700 hours of annual sunshine, the area is regarded as one of the best places in the world for quality grapes [so they say]. The vineyard is irrigated by water from the snow-covered Tianshan Mountains 200 km away.

The wine from Xinjiang will have “a stronger fragrance” [their words, not mine] this year according to Cheng Guoli, chief agronomist at Changyu Pioneer Wine Co.

"Grapes from our vineyards in various regions have different flavors, so they’re used for different types of wines," Cheng said. [Errrrrmmmm, thanks Cheng, for that valuable insight.]

Click here for the full article.

My Thoughts

“It seems like it  only yesterday that I was at my vacation home, close to Chateau Changyu Baron Balboa, and taking bike rides through the vineyards of Xinjiang, Ningxia, Shandong, Shaanxi, and Liaoning! Those were some wonderful times!”
Anyway, I digress……yet again……
The problem with every single one of these Chinese names is that they don’t exactly roll off the tongue, now do they? As we all know, the Chinese are very loyal to their heritage, so on the other hand, I don’t exactly see them “dumbing down” just to satisfy the West.
It’s going to be really interesting to watch what happens over the next 5+ years with Chinese wine. From a lot of what I’ve been reading, numerous sources suggest that Chinese wine will be the “next big thing”. I’m not so sure. If I was to put money on it, I don’t think China will make any serious impact. At least in my lifetime.



I'll Give You $5 for That Bottle.

Loan Company to use Wine as Sole Collateral

An asset management company is offering what it claims are the world’s first pure wine investment loans.

Loan Against, an arm of Prestige Asset Finance, is offering loans of up to 70% of the value of blue-chip wines, with no other collateral required.
According to the company this is ‘the world’s first non-recourse, non-status wine investment loan, enabling private investors to  buy premier crus…and other wines of distinction…’
Managing director James Constantinou said, ‘We create instant liquidity for UK and offshore-based investors who are looking to acquire fine wine at auction or through private sale.’
Spokesman Mark Fielding said the system is unique for wine because it requires no credit check, and money is advanced using the wine as sole collateral.
Loan Against will provide tax-deductible loans of between £100,000 and £10m for purchases of wines including Bordeaux First Growths, super seconds, top Right Bank wines, Sauternes, top Burgundies, Penfold’s Grange and other blue chip properties.

Loans against en primeur wines are not possible at the moment due to the ‘risky’ nature of that market, but it is something that ‘might be entertained in the future’.

Click here for the full article.

My Thoughts

Surely, it’ll only be a matter of time before some bloke wanders into the offices of Prestige Asset Finance with a case of Boone’s Farm, looking for a loan. I’d love to see the look on their faces when that happens!


A Drink a Day Increases Breast Cancer Risk...this week...apparently...

A Drink a Day Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Even moderate drinking increases a woman’s breast cancer risk, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The research found as few as three to six glasses of wine a week increased the chance of developing breast cancer. In this study, funded by the National Institute of Health, researchers found a 10% increase in risk with each 10 grams (3.5 ounces) per day of alcohol consumed. For example, women who consumed 3-6 glasses of wine per week had a breast cancer risk about 1.15 times higher than women who don’t drink.

There was no difference in cancer risk among wine, beer and liquor when the amount of alcohol in each was considered.

Click here for the full article.

My Thoughts

So let me get this straight…wine in moderation, and as part of a balanced diet, has been proven by numerous medical reports to be the most beneficial alcoholic beverage there is. However; now (reportedly) even just a glass-a-day will give women breast cancer? The amount of conflict between reports on the health benefits of wine, I don’t mind saying, really pisses me off. What does it take for their to be one all encompassing study that puts all these “theories” in their place!?!?




Macca - He's After Your Meat.

Sir Paul McCartney Launches a Cookbook

Sir Paul McCartney will go head-to-head with Jamie Oliver with the launch of his first cookbook, aimed at persuading people to eat less meat.

The former Beatle, recently celebrated his wedding to Nancy Shevell with a star-studded party in New York, has co-written The Meat Free Monday Cookbook, which is based on his family’s 2009 campaign to make people go meat-free for one day a week.

In launching his book just weeks before Christmas, Sir Paul will be taking on celebrity chef Jamie Oliver at his own game.

Mr Oliver’s new cookbook – Jamie’s Great Britain – was last week tipped by English betting office William Hill to be this year’s Christmas best-selling book. His 30-Minute Meals book last year also topped the Christmas best-seller list in the U.K.

Click here for the full article.

My Thoughts

Macca! Stick to what you know, my friend! I don’t tell you how to sing Paperback Writer, don’t tell me what to eat on a weekly basis!


Cheesey Thief!

Cheese is the Most Stolen Food in the World

Move over Kobe beef and aged whiskey. It turns out cheese is the most stolen food in the world, says a recent global study. Liquor, wine and beer actually have one of the lowest shrinkage rate, out of all the business sectors studied.

That’s the finding of a new report by the U.K.’s Center for Retail Research, which surveyed 1,187 retailers representing more than 250,000 retail outlets across 43 countries.

The figures showed 4% of cheese went missing from store shelves.

“The biggest threats for retailers are employees and shoplifters,” said Dr. Joshua Bamfield, Director of the Center for Retail Research in a phone interview with The Huffington Post.

With the price of cheese rising, Bamfield says this is far from surprising given it could be seen as “a lucrative business opportunity for small time criminals.”

Click here for the full article.

My Thoughts

Sir, is that cheese in your pants, or are you just pleased to see me?

Be first to comment