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Resveratrol, Red Wine And The Fountain Of Youth

Vinted on September 23, 2011 binned in wine health, wine news

In the immortal words of William Shatner, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news.”

But… you should know that, according to research very recently published in the journal Nature, our old pal resveratrol (a compound found in red wine, among other things) might not be the key to everlasting youth.

OMG! Who would ever have guessed such a terrible thing?! Oh wait, haven’t we been cautioning against the resveratrol craze for something like four years here on 1WD?

Anywaaaaaay… long-story-made-short, a 2006 Harvard study once found that resveratrol might increase production of proteins called sirtuins, which were found at the time to possible prolong the lives of obese mice.  Good news for you red-wine-drinking obese mice out there, or so it was thought at the time.

Turns out, according to the findings being published in Nature, the initial study might have been flawed, and all this stuff around red wine/resveratrol/sirtuins prolonging life might have been a bit overblown. Bad news for you red-wine-drinking obese mice out there. And maybe also for GlaxoSmithKline, who paid over $700 million for the company that the initial study’s author David Sinclair founded to make a drug from the substance.

NPR.org has a great detailed report on all of the above, embedded below for your listening pleasure.  I suggest relaxing with a glass of red wine while you listen to it – not because the red wine will make you live longer, but because the relaxing might help you live longer (or if not, at least help you enjoy the moment a bit more than usual).

Cheers!

Whose Ratings Should A Wine Drinker Pay Attention To?

Vinted on September 14, 2011 binned in best of, going pro, wine news

Well… whose ratings should a wine drinker pay attention to?  Or, stated with a tad more more grammatical correctness (warning: sounding-like-douche-bag-potential alert!), To Whose Ratings Should A Wine Drinker Pay More Attention?

An American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) working paper with that tile was just released, though, interestingly, it doesn’t actually answer the question.  I will answer it, in a few minutes anyway, but not before torturing you with exposition and report dissection first. Because, well, I’m really just not that nice of a guy.

Despite the bait-and-switch title, the paper starts with a fascinating premise: given that ratings for the same wines vary between professional wine critics (called “experts” in the paper’s lingo), is there an established expert whose ratings correlate closely with those of the general wine-drinkin’ public?

Turns out, there is one – at least,there is one out of the three expert sources that the paper used.

The paper’s authors, Omer Gokcekus and Dennis Nottebaum (no, I do not know how to pronounce those), chose to examine ratings/scores of 120 Bordeaux wines from the 2005 vintage.  The voice of the people was played by the scores for those wines as recorded in Cellar Tracker, subsets of which were then compared with the scores for the same wines as reported by three pro wine critic sources.  Big-time influencer Robert Parker (via The Wine Advocate) was included, as well as Wine Spectator, so they covered the 1.5 most influential wine critics in the U.S.  The third included was Stephan Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, though to be honest I’ve no idea why they included that last one.  Just kidding, Stephen!

Anyway… It’s important to note the results were aggregated, and this makes them a tad misleading because the same wines were not compared between the three pro critics and Cellar Tracker – a subset of the wines were compared (CT to RP, CT to WS, and CT to ST).  These were not the same wines (or the same amount of wines) in each case, so while there will be some wines in the group that were compared against all four ratings sources, there will also be some wines that were only compared between Cellar Tracker and one of the pro sources.  Got it?  Good!

Overlooking that minor cavil, the results are pretty darn fascinating…

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Get Off Your Duff And Turn The Towels Teal For Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month!

Vinted on September 12, 2011 binned in overachiever wines, wine news, wine review

The important part about Turning The Towels Teal is that you can do some good just by drinking wine, which I’m pretty sure most of you reading will agree is the coolest helping-out-a-good-cause activity variant.

Throughout September (Ovarian Cancer Awareness month), Frederick Wildman and Sons will be donating $.50 of the U.S. sales of every bottle of Folonari and Trapiche wines (which they import) to the Turn the Towels Teal® campaign, which promotes Ovarian Cancer awareness and donations. 

If you friend up Wildman on Facebook, they will also donate $1; tweeting about their donation page via twitter will generate a $.50 donation. Now that I think about it, you don’t even actually have to get off your duff to help out. But since getting off your duff will be a lot more fun, here are a couple of Trapiche recommendations to get you started…

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Consorzio Votes Next Week To Make Montalcino Wines 15% LESS Awesome

Vinted on September 2, 2011 binned in commentary, wine news

On September 7, the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino will vote on a proposal to potentially make Brunello’s little brother, Rosso di Montalcino, less awesome. 

Specifically, they are proposing to allow Rosso di Montalcino, currently made with 100% Brunello (a form of Sangiovese) grapes but with less aging requirements than Brunello di Montalcino wine, to be made with up to 15% other grapes – as in, any other grapes.

To make a long story short(ish), using a time-honored approach in which Italian regulatory bodies seem to liberally apply double-standards, the Consorzio’s plan to effectively water-down Rosso di Montalcino seems to undercut entirely their stated life’s purpose: “The work of the Consorzio consists in safeguarding, controlling and enhancing the value of the Denomination of Origin wines of Montalcino.”  My suggestion is that you flood their Inbox at info@consorziobrunellodimontalcino.it, tell them to pull their heads out of their… barrels… and make sure this proposal gets a NO vote.

Why am I upset about this, aside from loving Brunello enough that I named my dog after it?  Because this move is, as my grandmother would have said, the “lazy man’s load”…

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