Did you know…?

Wine News

… that the introduction of the Indian wine in the UK supermarket Waitrose was so successful the wine fly off the shelves and was sold out shortly? The two wines at Waitrose are a red, Zampa syrah 2008 and white, Ritu viognier 2010, made from grapes grown in the Maharashtra region of India, south of Mumbai on the western coast. Read more about the Indian wine here.

… about Hong Kong’s retail wine scene? The Hong Kong wine scene is as good as it gets anywhere in the world and still one of the most bustling wine countries at present. Read more about the Hong Kong wine market here.

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Five for Friday

Every Friday we are announcing five award winning wines we recommend to you.

This week: 5 lovely white wines

Simonsig Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2010

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Wine Tweets 3

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Ronan Sayburn
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Calling Guest Bloggers

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We want to create a place for engagement and conversation. What better way to do it that to invite you to write a post on our blog.

If you like a wine and want to write about it, if you have visited a nice restaurant with an amazing wine list, tell us about it. If you have visited a winery or a nice wine region why not tell your story.

No matter how experienced a wine drinker you are, your experience and your views and opinions will be respected here, so why not share them with us.

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Wines Made Easy – Blogroll

Our Blogroll is very important to us.

Over the coming months the blog roll will become a wealth of information and knowledge which you can dip in and out of.

Broken down into relevant categories, our blogroll is a source of information for you all to enjoy.

Live longer with red wine

Every now and then you can read that one glass of red wine every day won’t harm and is even seen as recommendable and healthy.

The latest and probably most spectacular findings are that red wine is good for astronauts in the orbit. Normally astronauts wouldn’t have any alcohol around but researchers found a few sips every now and then might be good for their health. The ill effect of long-lasting weightlessness on the human body could be prevented with red wine.

So what is it that makes red wine that healthy?  It is grapevine stalk (resveratrol) that occurs highly concentrated in the skin of red grapes. This element can have amazing benefits. It belongs to the class of antibiotic compounds produced as a part of a plant’s defence system against disease. It is said to be an antioxidant, anti-cancer agent, and treats heart, blood vessels and liver diseases. Furthermore red wine contains anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.

This compound may also prevent the negative effects of being a couch potato. Sedentary people that are not moving around enough or whose body suffer a lack of physical activity can get help with red wine. So instead of going to the gym you can just sit in front of the TV and sip your red wine? Well, not really but it can slow deterioration until someone can get moving again and is an extension to a healthy lifestyle.

Moderate alcohol consumption is included by researchers as one of the “eight proven ways to reduce coronary heart disease risk. Especially red wine is the most beneficial to heart health. It can drop down your heart rate and blood pressure.

Resveratrol is said to prevent muscle loss, bone mineral density or insulin resistance. This would especially benefit those with high level of diabetes.

 

Red wine can even do something for smokers. Moderate consuming red wine can negate the harmful effects of smoking. A study concludes that wine has the ability to reduce the detrimental effect that smoking causes in the part called endothelium.

Resveratrol, when tested on animals, prevented “the growth of some cancers in mice, inhibits enzymes that cause inflammation, shrinks tumours and increases blood flow, thus reducing cardiovascular diseases. In many cases, it also extends the life of obese animals.

Red wine is also indicated to have anti-aging properties. That’s probably the reason for the production of this skin care line “Clearing Out My Wine Cellar”, an exfoliating treatment spiked with red wines and grapes cultivated from a New Mexico vineyard. It shall scrub away scales, prepares pores and skin for shaving and can also be used as a face mask. Additionally to anti-aging benefits contents in red wine even offer some UV protection. Interesting: this product is directly targeted at men. Why not at women? I think at the end it will have the same effects for both….

Grapevine stalk (resveratrol) is a fantastic anti-wrinkle and firming ingredient for the skin.
So this product can help you age a little more gracefully. Very high concentrations of resveratrol significantly extend life by preventing a number of age related illnesses (that doesn’t mean you should down a whole bottle of wine now). The question how much wine someone has to drink to attain the anti-aging benefits was answered by a researcher with “1,000 bottles.”

Drinking red wine can actually supports longevity and just general wellbeing. With prospect of a long life, you can now lean back and enjoy a glass.

Off course this is all about moderately drinking wine every now and then and it only goes together with an appropriate healthy lifestyle. It is more beneficial to associate healthy lifestyles with wine drinking to protect against diseases and fast aging than only drinking wine by itself.

Only regular, moderate consumption of red wine is beneficial to your health and too much alcohol can have many harmful effects on your body.

Browse our wise range of red wines on WinesMadeEasy.ie. We delivery red wines, white wines, sparkling and champagne throughout Ireland.

The myths about wine

Every now and then some myths about the quality, price, tasting, and smelling of wine come across – some “traditions” in which even I used to believe at the beginning of my wine exploration.

So let’s see which stereotypes about wine are still in some wine drinkers mind.

1. A spoon or fork keeps the fizz in sparkling wine or Champagne

You’ve probably heard of it and, like me in my early wine exploring stages, even tried to put a fork or spoon upside down in an open bottle of sparkling wine to keep it fresh and fizzy. Some also might think is has to be the good sterling cutlery of your grandparents… But the truth is no matter what kind of cutlery you put in or if you just leave the bottle open and put it back into the fridge – it won’t make any difference. In reality there is no fundamental reason why a spoon or whatever object of steal or silver should stop the CO2 gas escape the bottle. But what does actually happen inside the bottle? The bubbles in sparkling wine are Carbon Dioxide, a heavy and inert gas, heavier than oxygen and nitrogen. It only takes minutes after popping the cork that CO2 forms a protective area just above the fluid level which forestalls oxidation and hold much of the remaining carbonation in liquid form – that keeps the fizz. This happens with or without the spoon!

2. Price dictates quality

Probably the biggest misnomer about wine. But you don’t have to pay a fortune to get a wine with good quality. Price doesn’t reflect quality. The price tells different things about the wine e.g. how many cases were made or how much was spent on marketing by the producer – both indicators that don’t say much about quality but have an effect on the bottle price. Prices of wine can differ due to the types of grapes used, the land of the vineyard, or price of packaging. In the end it is all about what you like. You can get a cheap wine and enjoy it while you probably wish you wouldn’t have spent that much on the expensive one…

3. Rosé is just white wine and red wine mixed together

Probably you have tried it at a party: Mix red and white wine and what do you get? Rosé? No. Typically quality rosé wine is made of red grapes. During the fermentation process the WHITE juice from the red grapes are in contact with the grapes skin and all red pigments are contained. This process can take from a few hours to a couple of days until the juice becomes its typical delightful pink colour and is then further fermented into wine.

4. Smell the cork and you know if it’s a good quality wine

Smelling the cork won’t tell you anything about the quality of wine – because cork smells…like cork! To check if the wine is corked you need to smell the wine itself, the cork won’t tell you. So, what should you do when the waiter hands you the cork of the bottle of wine you want to enjoy? Check if the cork is broken, or has any mould. Older and more expensive wine corks should have the vintage date on it which should be identical with the date on the label. Additionally the winery’s name, logo or other branding information should appear on the cork of a quality wine. Since natural corks are more and more replaced by synthetic corks or screw caps smelling the cork will probably not be seen that much anyway…

5. Screw tops are a sign of cheap wine

This leads us to the next myth: Wines with alternative closures, especially screw caps are cheap wine. False! The problem with natural cork is it makes the wine faulty. The chemical known as Cork Taint (Actually it is called Trichloroanisole) and can, if it appears in the cork, completely destroy the wine. The wine then smells and tastes dusty; like wet newspaper. If the bottle had a screw cap this wouldn’t have happened.

A big advantage of the screw cap is the ease of use. Doesn’t it go much faster? No corkscrew needed and when you don’t finish the whole bottle you can close it easily. And the wine itself has the same quality as a wine with a natural cork.

Have you heard any more interesting, funny myths about wine? Let me know!

Brazil on a catch-up race

We are very proud to say that we just added a variety of high quality and tasty Brazilian wines to our product range. I got really excited when we took in red, white and sparkling wines from Brazil after concentrating on the more “typical” wine countries first.

I’ve never tasted any wines from this country before. What will they taste like? Are they of good quality? Some people might think: Don’t they just drink Caipirinha in Brazil? And how can they produce wine over there when the country is covered with rain forests?

Brazil is, indeed a comparatively young wine producer on the world market with just 4 years of international wine recognition and in an early stage of development when it comes to promoting the wine abroad or supporting the export. Actually the country has a relatively long history of wine making since Italian immigrants settled in South Brazil in the 19th century which brought grapevines and the tradition of wine. Most of their wines are hardly known outside of Brazil. That is a shame since it is wine of high quality and fantastic flavour.

The country currently exports 20% of its wine production and is becoming more and more famous for its sparkling wines. Opinions I received on wines from Brazil just back it up: surprisingly good sparkling wines, excellent red wines, fresh and juicy with moderate alcohol level.

According to a survey by the Brazilian Wine Institute Ibravin (Instituto Brasileiro do Vinho), in 2010 12.5 million litres of sparkling wine were sold, compared to 11.1 million gallons placed in 2009. And now for 2011 exports are expected to rise by a third in value again. The UK is the strongest import market for Brazilian wines and just topped the US.

90% of production is concentrated in the south of the country, an area called Serra Gaúcha located between Uruguay and the Atlantic Ocean. Also the São Francisco Valley, a hot desert area only nine degrees south of the equator is famous for growing wine and allows two productions of crops per year.

So what to expect from these wines? Often mentioned and dominant wine brands are Miolo, Lidio Carraro and Pizzato. The Miolo Group of wineries remains to be one of Brazil’s high quality producers with wines in many quality ranges from basic-popular to Icon ranges all consisting of award winning wines.

One of the Super Premium Range wines is Miolo Brut Millésime. Made of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes it creates a refreshing and fruity sparkling with 12% volume in alcohol.

Miolo Lote 43, an Icon wine with Caberent Sauvignon and Merlot grapes is an easy to enjoy and full flavoured red wine with aromas of dried plums, currants and mints.

Another excellent wine producer Lidio Carraro holds vineyards in the Vale dos Vinhedos appellation which has become known as the origin of Brazil’s finest wines. One speciality Carraro’s wine have is that no oak is used for wine production. Its Dadivas Chardonnay comes with vanilla aromas and natural freshness.

Wines from Brazil are never too heavy and their ordinary alcohol volume of 13% makes the wines easy to enjoy for every occasion.

Brazilian wines are definitely here to stay. A look at the brilliant prospects for the wine industry in Brazil shows that there is big potential for these wines. Although still the “traditional” old world and new world wine countries are in people’s mind due to the growing wine consumption Brazil will get its chance and hopefully become a more prominent player in the world of wine.

Curious now? Go to WinesMadeEasy.ie and check out our Brazilian wines.

Wine Auction follows Investor Fraud

It’s almost two years ago that the American former stock broker Bernard Madoff has been jailed for 150 years after pleading guilty with restitution of $170 billion to masterminding the biggest fraud ever seen in America. The founder of Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities was arrested in June 2009 after he ran a hedge fund which allegedly racked up $50bn of fraudulent losses – the largest investor fraud ever committed by an individual.

Instead of paying early investor’s high return with profits made from his investments he used money given to him by later investors. But the Ponzi scheme, like Madoff’s cannot go on forever. The number of new investors that must be found to keep the earlier investors paid off increased exponentially.

The Ponzi scheme defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars. His estimated 20,000 victims included hedge funds, executives, banks (HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland), foundations (Steven Spielberg’s charity the Wunderkinder Foundation, university endowments, famous (Elie Wiesel), and thousands of ordinary people whose lives were devastated.


Now Bernard Madoff’s wine collection will be auctioned. On 18 May at its Fine Wine Auctions the wine shop Morell & Co will auction up to 58 of Madoff’s wines and spirits. The value of the wines is estimated $15,000 and contains a range of Bordeaux which show his mogul life style. The proceeds from the auction will be deposited in the United States Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Fund to compensate the victims’ of Madoff’s ‘multi-billion dollar fraud’ Morrells catalogue says.

The catalogue includes a case of 1996 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild ($3,200-3,800), six bottle of 1990 Chateau Beychevelle ($350-480), one bottle of 1964 Chateau Cheval Blanc ($500-750) and six bottles of 1997 Antinori Tignanello ($850-1,200).

Even bottles which normally wouldn’t make it into the auction and are more called “conversation pieces” will be sold at the auction due to “the unique artefacts of history”.

What Wines do you have

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We have a vast range of wines available on the site. Everything from the wines you will find in your local supermarket on to the more unusual and lesser known brands. We hope to cover several different types of customers.

The way we see it:

There are 4 different types of wine drinkers out there

1. The Person who drinks wine and likes it.

This is where the vast majority of people sit. They buy wine, because the enjoy it. They don’t neccessarily know anything about wine but they know what they like and they sometimes step outside their comfort zone and try what their friends are drinking or what’s on special offer or what is in an ad or TV show.

2. “When I was on a Wine Course…” Guy

They reach for the wine list, browse the collection of wines and pick the one they know based on how much they can talk about it.

3. The Experts

The problem I have with the experts is they tend for the most part to make things over complicated. Maybe I am wrong about this and If I am I will apologise in the future when I know more. I will also point out the good ones when I find them!

4. The Novice

The person who knows nothing and feels a little intimidated by a wine list. Why? You shouldn’t be. Wine is really simple. If you like it and enjoy it, then it’s good for you. And thats all that matters. Hoefully our site can cut through the haze and help you understand wine more so as you feel more confident in choosing wine the next time your in a restaurant.

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