Thursday, 28 February 2013

Depression session!

We are not surprised to discover that soft drinks and particularly diet soft drinks may cause depression, with a 22% (or 31% for diet soft drinks) increased likelihood that soft drink consumers will have been diagnosed with depression. The American researchers emphasise that there is only an association and not a causality, but what surprises us most is that the people surveyed were between 50 and 71! Are we alone in thinking that if they haven't progressed on to wine by that sort of age then they are certainly likely to be depressed?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Ages Old

A new system for 'ageing' spirits is set to land from the United States. This uses ultrasonic energy and oxidation to mimic the chemical changes normally achieved by the natural ageing process. It is rather unclear as to why this should be needed. Brandy and whisky have minimum genuine ageing requirements whilst gin and vodka are not spirits that require age - and the UK is not reputed for its rum production! This leaves the only potential for the system to age spirits such as vodka or gin that do not normally receive it. This probably leaves scope for 'new improved' vodka that is, for example, darker and more substantial. Though it must be doubtful whether 'artificially aged' on the label will have customers flocking....

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Bootleg Electricity

It is not often we praise Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs but full marks to them for putting all the bootleg alcohol they seize through anaerobic digestion to produce biogas (methane and carbon dioxide) and then to produce electricity.

Not an urban myth

There is much fuss in Bordeaux about a Russian Oligarch who bought a run down Château and with a view to returning it to its former glory, got planning permission to demolish some outhouses. The council were very surprised when they discovered that the outhouses were still standing but the Château had been completely razed to the ground. Yes, the builders were Polish and yes, the Russian Oligarch has promised to reinstate the Château brick by brick and no there wasn't (yet) a vineyard attached..

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Patchy Hangover

No sooner has the United States invented 'Bytox' Hangover Prevention Patch launched in the UK than it is being banned by the Medicines and Healthcare Agency, who consider it to be an unlicensed medicine - as it claims to prevent hangovers. One might have hoped that prevention was better than cure and if you are not ill when you take it, or it is to be hoped, afterwards, is it a medicine at all? The Hangover Patch replaces vitamins and folic acid (through a patch - like a nicotine patch - on the arm) which are usually lost during the diuretic process, which is a consequence of drinking. This system is superior to a pill because it allows for continuous release over a long period. It is applied 45 minutes before consuming alcohol - so it could be fixed at about the same time as you are putting on your glad rags to go out - and then it is recommended that it should be left in place for up to 8 hours afterwards. (On this basis there will be some who might have to consider whether they wear it permanently - perhaps on the forehead would be best). Even so, the Bytox website is emphatic that it "will not prevent you getting drunk and definitely won't prevent embarrassing and/or regrettable behaviour." Now that would have been a real medicine.

Motorised bar stool

Perhaps only in America - it's taken a couple of years to reach us but we could not pass by a lovely story of a man drunk in charge of a motorised bar stool. What might have been the ultimate petrol head's machine or the ultimate drinker's seat turns out to have been neither, because it was a bar stool welded on to a ride-on lawn mower engine and chassis - it gives the impression of being neither stable nor comfortable. Pity because it surely would, if better constructed, be the supreme present for the man who has everything. It's getting near Christmas so further details by following this link:

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Tiny cost in bulk

It has been revealed that that of the world's 10 largest importers of bulk wines one country pays the least. The popular perception is that this position is likely be taken by the UK but no, it is in fact France! The French pay an average of Є 0.34/Litre whilst the United Kingdom pays getting on for three times as much at Є 0.92/Litre. What this is more likely to reflect is the esteem of imported wine in France, a country that is certainly self sufficient in its own production! The UK by contrast is beginning to bottle 'better' wine as the green agenda means that bottling nearer to the consumer is produces lower emissions and import costs are lower. A double benefit which it would be foolish to resist...