Tuesday, 26 August 2014

King Richard III, Luxury Wine Enthusiast?

Fascinatingly, Ideal Wine Company has learned that tests have revealed that 15th Century English King Richard III had a penchant for luxury wine. 

What Happened When Scientists Tested the Body of Richard III? 
Recently, CNN reported that scientists at the British Geological Survey carried out tests on the recently recovered skeleton of Richard III. Thought lost until discovered in a Leicester parking lot back in 2012, scientists took to testing the skeleton to measure the body for isotopes.  

What they discovered was astonishing – although probably not that surprising. The final Plantagenet monarch had a penchant for the finer things in life. This included a taste for the sumptuously rich foods of the day, such as swan, heron and even peacock, as well as most notably, luxury wine.  

A Meal Fit for a King 
Angela Lamb, an isotope specialist who led the study commented on its finding to CNN. Lamb said that "obviously, Richard was a nobleman beforehand, and so his diet would be reasonably rich already," and further said that "once he became king we would expect him to be wining and dining more, banqueting more. Food was a real mark of status in the medieval period. 

Lamb went on to elaborate, saying that: "we have the menu from his coronation banquet and it was very elaborate -- lots of wildfowl, including real 'delicacies' such as peacock and swan, and fish -- carp, pike and so on, which were cultivated in special fishponds." 

The History of Luxury Wine 
This is just absolutely fascinating isn’t it? Looking at that coronation menu, and knowing the monarch had a taste for fine vintages, we’re dying to know which types of wine the Plantagenet king set off his dishes with. Obviously, it wouldn’t be anything we would be likely to recognise in the modern day, but such information could tell us so much about the history of luxury wine.  

Lamb indeed went on to talk a little about the King’s wine habit. The specialist said that given the discrepancy in oxygen isotopes in Richard’s body, it was clear he was drinking something other than water and that "we needed something that would tie in with the luxury food he would have been eating." Lamb went on to conclude that "back then wine was very much the preserve of the upper classes -- it was imported, expensive and only the very wealthy could afford it." 

For Ideal Wine Company, This News is Fascinating 
For wine enthusiasts like Ideal Wine Company, this news is fascinating. Although not unexpected – kings tended to drink the best of the best when it came to wine – it certainly gets us wondering! 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Unique Chemical ‘Fingerprints’ in Fine Wine?

This week the Ideal Wine Company explores the idea that wine holds unique chemical ‘footprint’s’ that can be used to determine its origin and quality.

It can be Hard to Determine Class from Swill
As a provider of first rate luxury vintages at reasonable prices, Ideal Wine Company understands the difficulty that comes with identifying bottles of true quality. Often, it’s hard to know when you are buying class or swill.

That means that it can sometimes be hard to ensure that first rate bottles end up in your collection. However, that could be a thing of the past, as last week, the BBC reported that scientists have found that fine wine holds chemical footprints, These can be used to determine its quality, as well as it’s region of origin.

How Was the Study Carried Out?
According to the news service, researchers from the University of California Davis reported the findings at the recent meeting of the American Chemical Society. Their aim was to fingerprint the terroir in luxury vintages. This is the climate, geology and geography that a certain place infuses into a bottle of wine.

To determine their findings, the team took wines from the same Malbec grape variety from a range of regions in California and Argentina. The idea was to examine compounds in wine, which can only be determined through smell. They then employed the skills of a team of trained experts to evaluate the vintages based on 20 sensory characteristics. These characteristics included texture, taste and aroma.

What Did the Study Find?
What they ultimately discovered was that despite the fact that the two Malbecs were produced by the same wine-maker, the vintages from Argentina and California had unique molecular signatures and flavours. Yet, the team also reported that the delicate aroma attached to each fine vintage was shown to quickly erode when subjected poor storing at the post bottling stage.

This comes at a time when wine enthusiasts across the world are calling out for a more objective test to determine quality in luxury wine. Previous methods have been somewhat subjective; this has led to the development of less reliable processes designed to determine quality in fine vintages.

Quality throughout the Fine Wine Trade
This finding could be monumental. Here at Ideal Wine Company, we’ve often seen how people struggle to determine the true value of a luxury vintage. This test could streamline the process, to ensure quality throughout the fine wine trade. 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

What Can Italian Vintages Teach Us about Luxury Wine Branding

The ultimate luxury item, Italian wine has mastered the art of branding, which has led Ideal Wine Company to ask, what can Italian vintages teach us about luxury wine branding?

A Luxury Wine has to Be Branded to Perfection
Here at the Ideal Wine Company, we aim to provide with the finest luxury wines at prices you can afford. That means, we know what sells. Whether you like it or not, we live in a world where marketing is king.

Therefore, if a vintage seeks to attain the status of ‘luxury wine,’ it has to brand itself to perfection. Wine producers should take their cue from Italian wines. Just ask Forbes.

Earlier this year, Forbes featured an article explaining what the luxury banding industry can learn from Italian wine. Conversely, it shows us why luxury Italian wine branding is so effective. According to Forbes, it is effective in three ways

It Thinks Very Long-Term
Italian wine will spend years building up the hype. Forbes went on to point out the example of Giulio Ferrari’s French Chardonnay purchase from Italy’s Trenton region in 1897. Notably, this led to the m├ęthode Champenoise sparkling wine.

Alessandro Lunelli went on to explain Ferrari’s branding technique. He said: “He took his time with it,” and “he created an expectation, which created the marketing for this luxury product.”

It Isn’t About You, It Isn’t About the Wine Either
Lunelli went onto explain to Forbes why the Lunelli Group took part in a ‘hackathon’ for Italian wine earlier this year. It was basically to promote Italian wine as an ambassador abroad.

Of the strategy, Lunelli said “We want people to feel part of the Italian community, we’d like to give them recommendations on how to live the Italian life in their own hometown.” Basically, he is saying that it’s better to be indirect. Don’t tell people to drink your wine, just let them know how your vintage can afford their lifestyle an air of luxury.

It Really Isn’t About the Advertising
Forbes basically went on to explain that normal methods of advertising don’t work for luxury wine. Take Italian luxury wine brand Barolo.

Paolo Damilano of the Damilano estate in Barolo went on to explain, saying “for luxury brands, you have to wait. I have a great wine but if you want the experience, you try it first and let us explain.” Here he’s basically saying, let the quality of the wine speak for itself.

That is How a Wine Gains a Place on the Ideal Wine Company Product List!
What this article points out, is that Italian wines didn’t build up their reputations with flashy ad campaigns. Rather, they played the long game and established a reputation for quality. That is how a wine gains a place as a luxury vintage on the Ideal Wine Company Product List!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

This is why France is the Wine Capital of the World

If Ideal Wine Company had any doubts that France was the wine capital of the world, they were allayed this week.

Ideal Wine Company Hails France, Wine-Making Capital of the World
As a provider of luxury wine, naturally, we have a lot of French vintages on the Ideal Wine Company product list. France is one of the oldest, most renowned viticulture centres in the world. Bottles from the land of liberty, equality and fraternity, are beyond compare.

It’s also said that the French have always known how to live well; look at their devotion to wine, for example. However, news this week has suggested that the French know how to die well too, and once again, it’s all about wine.

You Die as You Lived, With a Glass of Wine!
So what are we talking about? Well, according to Yahoo Health, one French hospital has opened a wine bar for its terminally ill patients. The thinking behind it seems to be that if your time is up, you might as well die as you lived. With a sumptuously decadent glass of bubbly in your hands.

Specifically, Central France’s Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital has announced that it will soon open the wine bar for its terminally ill patients. The bar will allow patients to indulge in medically supervised tasting sessions with their friends and family.

Why Should We Deprive People of Wine?
The idea was conceptualised by Dr Virgine Guastella, who has suggested that she did so to improve her patients’ quality of life in their final days. Dr Guastella will provide patients with tasting sessions for local wines, whiskeys and champagnes.

Yahoo Health reported the Guastella commented on the matter. The doctor said quite simply, "why should we deprive people reaching the end of their lives of the traditional flavours of our land?" 

The French recognise that Wine is a Passion
The idea may seem odd, and we have no doubt that it will offend some people, but Ideal Wine Company, we see its merit. It’s not like Guastella is prompting terminally ill patients to down the bottle. They will be medically supervised tastings; meaning no patient will be allowed to consume more than they can handle.

This is why Ideal Wine Company hails France as the capital of the wine-making world. They understand, just as they always have, that for enthusiasts, wine is a passion. Why should people give up that passion just because their days are numbered?