Monday, 29 June 2015

Can Drinking Red Wine Help You Lose Weight?

The Ideal Wine Company recently discovered that a debate is currently raging throughout the medical world over the health effects of red wine. Can your favourite tipple help you lose weight?

Wonders of resveratrol

You must be familiar with the drill by now. Every few weeks, the national press will latch on to another study that shows that drinking red wine can improve your health. This is because it contains something called resveratrol.

This is an anti-oxidant compound that’s found in the skin of grapes, blueberries, raspberries and mulberries. Various research has shown that it has a range of health benefits, from improving physical fitness and curing acne to acting as a memory aid and even improving your attractiveness.

Weight loss aid

According to the Independent, research conducted by experts at Washington State University has proved that resveratrol can now act as a weight loss aid as well. They discovered that it has the ability to turn “white” fat into active “brown” fat, which burns calories.

The researchers proved this by dosing mice with the same amount of resveratrol that a human would consume if they ate 12 pieces of fruit in one day. The experts discovered that these mice gained 40% less weight than the ones who didn’t receive dosages of resveratrol.

This finding has been contended by the NHS. Decanter reported that the Health Service went on record saying that with the research in question “based on mice studies only, we don’t know whether resveratrol will have the same effect in people.”

Try yourself

So does this mean that red wine can help you lose weight? The jury’s still out on that one but you could always help clear up the confusion by trying the theory out for yourself.

We sell a fantastic collection of luxury Bordeaux wines here at the Ideal Wine Company. This historic French wine making region is known for creating some of the most scintillating reds the world has ever known. You could buy one and see whether red wine really does help you lose weight; even if it doesn’t, you’ll have a great time trying to solve the question!

Monday, 22 June 2015

The History of Veuve Clicquot

When you buy a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, you receive a vintage of the highest quality and character. To determine why, the Ideal Wine Company explains the fascinating history of this extraordinary Champagne maker.

The founding of Veuve Clicquot

Veuve Clicquot is a Champagne house that was founded by Philippe Clicquot in 1772. According to the Veuve Cliquot website, he decided to use his prominent family’s vineyards to establish a Champagne brand whose wares would “cross all borders.” Philippe then passed the business to his son François in 1798, as France was entering its notorious revolution.

Madame Clicquot

Yet the story really gets interesting when ownership of the company fell into the hands of François’ widow, Barb Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin in 1805. She had such an effect on the House that its modern name, Veuve Clicquot, is an homage to her memory; “veuve” is French for “widow.”

Madame Clicquot was such a character. After becoming the first woman to run a Champagne house at the tender age of 27, she created what has since became known as the first recorded “vintage Champagne” in history. Madame Clicquot is particularly famous for breaking the continental embargo that prevented trade with Russia during the Napoleonic Wars, by shipping 10,550 bottles of Veuve Clicquot to the realm of the Tsars in 1814.

Invention of the riddling table

However the widow’s greatest achievement was the invention of the riddling table in 1816. Prior to this date, Champagne was cloudy because there was no way to remove the lees (dead yeast) that built up during its unique double fermentation process.

The problem was that it was almost impossible to remove the lees without sacrificing a large portion of Champagne. The invention of the riddling table changed this; it allowed Champagne producers to remove the lees without losing too much liquid to create crystal clear wine in a process called “disgorgement.” A moderated version of this process continues to be used to this day.

Try the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 1998

In conclusion, when you purchase a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, you buy a bottle that’s the product of one of the greatest minds in wine history. You can taste Madame Clicquot’s genius in every drop. If you want to see what we mean, why don’t you try the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 1998, which you can buy for only £112 from the Ideal Wine Company today; it’ll blow you away. 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

When Can You Add Ice to Wine?

There’s nothing better than an ice-cold drink on a scorching hot day. With summer just around the corner, the Ideal Wine Company felt inspired to ask; when can you add ice to wine?

Striking a balance

You need to be very careful when you pair something with wine. The wrong match can offset the subtle balance of flavours that characterise this complex drink and ruin your favourite vintage.
Let’s take the popular pairing of wine and cheese as an example. There are certain rules you should follow when pairing wine with cheese if you want to ensure the vintage in question is cast in the best light. One rule, for instance, demands that you contrast salty with sweet; the saltier the cheese, the sweeter the wine needs to be to make a good match.

Follow storage guidelines

We can apply the same logic to pairing ice and wine. You should always think about how a particular match will affect the flavours of the wine, so you should keep in mind when using ice that it melts, watering down the power of your chosen bottle.

Apart from this, we would say that there are some instances where it’s OK to pair ice with wine; where doing so can even enhance the flavour of your drink. Use the Ideal Wine Company’s guidelines for storing wine as a rule of thumb. You’re supposed to chill white and rose, but you should store red somewhere warm. Translation; you can add ice to a white or a rose (especially for a spritzer), but you should never couple it with red, as the result would offend your taste buds.

Social conventions

There’s one final element we need to discuss here; wine snobbery. There are certain social conventions that have developed over time to govern how people drink wine and this has created an elitist attitude towards what is an acceptable match for the world’s oldest tipple. These conventions abhor the pairing of ice with wine.

Personal preference

Ultimately, it’s a matter of preference. If you feel like plonking a few ice cubes into your glass of dry white go ahead. However we would advise you to refrain from pairing ice with reds such as the Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1978. You should also remember that people may look at you a little strangely if you add blocks of frozen water to wine; it’s simply not done. 

Monday, 8 June 2015

Would You Like a Burger with Your Wine?

Two businesses in Cheltenham recently challenged an established myth by holding an event to find the best way to pair burgers and wine. Here at the Ideal Wine Company, we thought it was a fabulous idea!

The rise of the fancy burger bar

You don’t often hear the words ‘”wine” and “burger” in the same sentence. The latter immediately conjures up images of a late night takeaway. The range of fare produced at fast food burger joints doesn’t exactly act as the perfect complement to the types of products you’ll find on the Ideal Wine Company product list.

But the classic American dietary staple has recently been the focus of an image overhaul. Fancy burger bars are careening rapidly into vogue and the patties they create are succulent, flavourful and delicious. As such, people are starting to realise that burgers can be paired with wine, as long as the quality of the burger matches the quality of the wine it’s paired with.

The best burger/wine pairing

Two businesses in Cheltenham decided to capitalise on the trend. The Gloucester Echo reported that fancy burger bar Real Burger and classic wine bar The Grape Escape decided to join together to hold an event to find the best wine/burger pairing in all of Cheltenham.

The event was held on Saturday 6th June and was a roaring success. Gloucestershire locals were able to choose from the full range of Real Burger’s menu and have their chosen meal delivered to The Grape Escape. When their dish arrived they could choose from the latter’s specially selected wine list, which featured vintages that the owners of both establishments believed would be the perfect complement for a nice, juicy burger.

Get experimental

Here at the Ideal Wine Company we love it when people get experimental with wine. Often it can produce revelations that introduce unlikely yet fabulous new wine pairings to the world.

Why don’t you follow the example of these two Gloucestershire businesses and start experimenting for yourself? We’d suggest you begin by grilling a meaty burger and pairing it with a Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques 2000 from the Ideal Wine Company. 

Monday, 1 June 2015

Alcohol Doesn’t “Necessarily Affect Productivity”

A ground-breaking new study has shown that drinking alcohol doesn’t necessarily stop you from being productive at work. Naturally the minute we heard this news, everybody here at the Ideal Wine Company gave a cheer so loud they probably head us down the street.

Who’s thrown a sickie?
We want to ask you a question and we’d like you to be honest. Have you ever had a few too many glasses of Dom Perignon 2000 on a Wednesday and called in sick the next day?

Trick question! We’ve know you have; we’ve all done it at one point or another. The reason people think that they should throw a sickie after indulging in a few glasses of their favourite tipple the night before is because common sense suggests that they’ll be useless the next day anyway.

Alcohol and productivity
What you’re about to read next will rock your world. A study conducted by scientists at The University of Cambridge and Rand Europe has shown that alcohol doesn’t effect productivity; as long as you get enough sleep.

Cosmopolitan reported that the scientists used the survey data of 21,000 employees gathered from companies that took part in Vitality Health's 'Britain's Healthiest Company' competition. It showed that people are far less productive when they get six or less hours sleep per night than the universally recommended seven-eight hours of sleep.

Remarkably, the study concluded that there was no discernible link between alcohol consumption and employee productivity. However it did find that lack of exercise, money troubles and mental health issues do lead to reduced productivity in the work place.

Life changing news
This news could set you free. Now you have an excuse to crack open that Two Hands Deer in Headlights 2004 you’ve been keeping in the back of the kitchen cupboard the next time you have a particularly hard day at the office. Just make sure you head to bed at a reasonable hour!  The downside? You’ll no longer be able to use “I drank too much last night” as an excuse for underperforming at your desk the next day!