Archive for May, 2009
Wine producers from France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland held firm against European Union plans to allow rosé wine to be made by mixing red and white wines.
Their stand in Brussels came a month ahead of an expected EU vote – by experts on either June 19 or June 26 – to allow the mixing practice, which the vintners claimed will usher in the ‘industrialisation’ of the wine industry.
Winegrowers fear such a move could lead to thousands of job losses and endanger their traditional rosé, made by the more time-consuming method of leaving crushed red wine grapes to soak with their juice.
‘We are heading towards a clone product, one that is denatured and which will confuse consumers,’ said Fernando Prieto Riuz, president of Spain’s wine regulatory board.
Claude Bocquet-Thonney, head of the Swiss winemakers association said: ‘Will the next step be to add artificial colouring?’
The practice of mixing reds and whites is already done by New World wine-makers in countries such as Australia and South Africa.
In an attempt to resolve the row, the European Commission had proposed a compromise whereby wines created by the old method would be marked ‘traditional rosé’.
EU governments approved the plans in 2007 and European experts gave them a another green light in January.
A new vote by experts is needed now that the World Trade Organisation has given tacit support to the idea.
France is leading the charge for a veto, and while it has the backing of the Greek and Italian governments, it would also need the backing of Germany and Spain to stand any chance of blocking the move.
For those of you who enjoy a glass of wine (or two or three…), I’ve got some great news.
We’re having a massive Market Day wine sale at our Welmoed farm in Stellenbosch (next to Spier).
Dates: Thursday 28 May to Saturday 30 May 2009
Venue: Welmoed Cellar door. Here’s a link to directions: Directions to Welmoed
The following wines will be on sale:
1. Welmoed 4-pack @ new rock bottom price of R 54.99
2. Welmoed Shiraz 2006 @ R 19.00 per bottle (case lots only – R114.00)
3. Arniston Bay Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay 2007 @ R 14.00 per bottle
4. Arniston Bay Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 @ R 12.00 per bottle (case lots only 12x750ml = R 144.00)
5. Thandi Chardonnay/Chenin Blanc 2007 @ R 14.00 per bottle (case lots only – R 84.00)
6. Thandi Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 @ R 12.00 per bottle (case lots only – R 72.00)
7. Thandi Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon @ R 12 .00 per bottle (case lots only – R 72.00)
If you’d like more details, please contact Anri or Zoliswa at our cellar door on 021 881 8041.
Kumkani has teamed up with the South African Chefs Association and Joburg School of Tourism and Hospitality to host an evening of fine dining on 29 May, paired with our award-winning wines.
For more info, contact:
South African Chefs Association | SACA
| c +27 83 519 3599
| t +27 11 482 7250
| f +27 11 482 7260
Top winemakers, wine experts and chefs will be in Joburg for the Wine Show Joburg, running from 29 to 31 May at Gallagher Estate in Midrand.
Exhibitors who have booked to be at the show include vineyards Vriesenhof, Arniston Bay, Kumkani, Versus, Bellingham and Annandale Shiraz, and the Cape Wine Academy. While most of the exhibitors have been at the show before, new names are also appearing, including Ken Forrester, KWV and Nederburg.
The celebrities are out in force at this years Show, too! On Saturday you can sip delicious Versus wines with the big man Vernon Koekemoer himself. Vernon is on Versus’ stand from 2pm until 5pm on Saturday May 30th.
“The Cape Wine Academy participated for the first time in 2008,” said Marilyn Cooper, the managing director of the institution. At the Wine Show Joburg, it was able to “reach a particularly special person, who is usually knowledgeable about wine and keen to learn more”.
The academy is an educational and training body that promotes awareness and appreciation of South African wine. It was founded in 1979 in Stellenbosch.
In all, there will be 130 stands, where wine can be tasted and bought from the vineyards and distributors; punters can also learn more about the drink and viniculture.
Besides wine tasting, top chefs will take part in the Friends for dinner theatre, on Friday from 6.30pm, on Saturday from 12.30pm and again on Sunday from 12.30pm. Participants will learn about food and wine pairing and get the hottest entertaining tips.
Chefs at the show will include Jonathan Duiker from Melrose Arch Hotel, who will team up with Arumdale Wines and Bilton Wines; and Debi van Flyman from Cullinary Productions, who will team up with the Cape Wine Academy.
And it’s not all food and drink – there is boules and golf too, with cases of wine up for grabs.
There will also be an exclusive vintage tasting, called the Whole Nine Yards, with wines going back to 1909. Hosted by sommelier Jörg Pfützner, it will take place on 29 May at 7pm and costs R8 900 per person – and there are only 12 tickets.
Wines that will be tasted include the 1909 Armagnac, the iconic 1919 Corton Hotel St Petersburg, a 1929 Cos d’Estournel and a Meursault from 1969, according to the show’s website.
Over the past years, creative ways have been devised to use the wine show as an opportunity to raise funds for charity; this year is no different. Organisers worked hand in hand with Getpix Images and Photographic Academy to launch a competition themed Wine laid bare.
For a R50 entry fee, amateur and professional photographers will be able to submit their photographs interpreting the theme. The cash will be donated to breast cancer awareness and research. The best entries will be exhibited at the show.
Judges from Getpix will choose the 12 best entries that will feature in a charity calendar. Sold for R100 each, the calendars will be available at the show.
The Wine Show Joburg runs from Friday, 29 May to Sunday, 31 May at Gallagher Estate in Midrand. Doors are open from 5pm to 9pm on the opening night, from noon to 9pm on Saturday and from noon to 6pm on the final day.
It’s not all doom and gloom in the US economy. Some products are bucking the recession and flying off store shelves.
Sales of chocolate and running shoes are up. Wine drinkers haven’t stopped sipping; they just seem to be choosing cheaper vintages.
Gold coins are selling like hot cakes. So are gardening seeds. Tanning products are piling up in shopping carts; maybe more people are finding colour in a bottle than from sun-worshipping on a faraway beach.
Consumers have trimmed household budgets and postponed cars, major appliances and other big-ticket items. Yet they still are willing to shell out for small indulgences and goods that make life more comfortable at home, where they are spending more time.
Recession shoppers also are drawn to items that make them feel safe, both personally and financially.
“The focus on the family hearth is something that has happened in nearly every recession. It’s, ‘How can I have more fun at home?’” said Paco Underhill, whose company, Envirosell, monitors the behaviour of shoppers and sellers across the US and in other countries.
“People are much more focused on their homes and their immediate happiness and they’re buying things that they can use themselves – seeds, fishing equipment. Lipstick and chocolate are small rewards that make you feel better.”
Profits in the first three months of 2009 at Hershey Co., the nation’s second-largest candy maker, surged 20 percent and beat Wall Street’s's expectations. Kraft Foods Inc. reported double-digit growth in macaroni and cheese dinners – the consummate comfort food.
Recessions, it seems, are good for love, too. Over the final three months of 2008, condom sales rose 5 percent and Match.com reported its strongest performance in seven years.
But economic woes are as rough on the tummy as they are on the wallet. Chicago-based market researcher Information Resources Inc. reports that sales of laxative liquids and powders rose 11.5 percent for the 52 weeks ending April 19. Sales of stomach remedy tablets, including Pepto-Bismol and Phillips brands, climbed 8 percent.
As expected during any economic slump, recession shoppers looking for deals have boosted sales at discount chains such as Wall-Mart Stores Inc. Dollar Tree Inc. sneaked into this year’s Fortune 500 for the first time, at No. 499.
These trends will probably be true in South Africa as well with chocolate, condoms and value-for-money wine flying off the shelves during the credit crunch.
New world wine has continued to gain share in the global wine market, from 26.4% in 2006 to 27.6% in 2007. By 2012, new world wine will grow its share to just under 30% of all international trade.
Over the course of the last 20 years new world wine sales have exploded in international markets. This growth is underpinned by the development of the international trade for wine, which again reached a new record of 9.1bn litres in 2007, an increase of 6.5% on 2006.
The global wine industry is in fundamental transition. While overall consumption is rising slowly, there are big shifts in consumption patterns. The traditional wine drinking countries are consuming less, while non-traditional countries particularly in the English-speaking world and Asia are drinking more.
Wine is the preferred alcoholic drink for consumers in the UK, according to a survey commissioned by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.
The survey, published to coincide with this week’s London International Wine Fair, saw white wine emerge as the number one drink of choice, the WSTA said on Saturday (9 May).
According to the survey, which was carried out by research group Wine Intelligence, one in three (34%) UK consumers who drink alcohol said they prefer wine, compared to just over one in four (27%) who expressed a preference for beer and one in five (20%) who prefer spirits.
Asked to name what they drink, over half (54%) of all UK adults said they drink white wine, with 48% saying beer and 47% saying red wine. Rosé wine is next in the league table with over a third (35%) saying they drink it.
When alcohol drinkers were asked to specify why they like certain drinks, they put wine top in terms of taste (77%), as a relaxing drink without food (75%) and good with food (89%). Beer comes top as the drink for outdoor occasions (75%), just ahead of wine (69%).
Brian Howard, of Wine Intelligence, said: “This survey provides the most up-to-date and possibly the most comprehensive picture of who drinks what across alcohol categories in the UK. One thing is clear: wine is a strong and stable fixture in UK adult social life.”
So you’re going on another business trip… but don’t let bad past experiences jade you. Work travel can be a career and personal growth booster. Here’s how…
While the chance to escape from the office environment may be a welcome reprieve, a domestic business trip often brings new challenges and limited relaxation. Yet, proper preparation and time management can maximise business travel benefits. We get advice from Brent Combrink, who owns Cape Town-based company ProMentor, coaching and mentoring executives and entrepreneurs throughout South Africa.
Before you leave
Start your trip on a good note by ensuring that you have attended to all details before you leave. Combrink suggests the following preparation tasks:
-Change office voice mail intros.
- Activate out of office auto-response on email.
-Take your ID book (or passport for international travel) and all travel reference vouchers, including flight, car hire and hotel documents.
- Enjoy special time with family before you leave.
- Ensure that all relevant clients have been informed that you will be away.
- Complete all urgent work tasks so that you are not inundated when you return.
Always ensure that you have your laptop with you so that you can work during flight delays and after take-off on flights. Otherwise use this time to unwind as you mentally prepare for the trip ahead.
When it comes to time management, Combrink stresses the importance of scheduling appointments. “When I go on business trips, I ensure my schedule is booked at least a week in advance with back-to-back appointments,” says Combrink. “After hours I visit relatives and associates, or I often work in the evenings.”
Work trips can also be a way of expanding your client base. “Schedule as many sales appointments as you can around existing client appointments, even if that means doing coffee at 7pm,” suggests Combrink. “You can also reconnect with past colleagues to keep the network healthy.”
Claiming back expenses
If you’re not a business trip veteran, investigate what expenses you can claim back from your company. According to Combrink, you should generally claim for any expenses you may not have incurred had you not been on a business trip. These include dinners, parking expenses, airport transfers, and so on. While it is a good idea to keep slips, SARS allows a tax-free R240* “subsistence allowance” per night out of town for domestic travel without needing proof of payment vouchers.
Combrink provides the following tips to make your business trip a successful one:
- Have a checklist for items you need to pack.
- Have everything (travel, accommodation, appointments) booked well in advance.
- Cover your risks: get travel insurance for big trips. When clients finance your trip, have written agreements that they either pay for the travel directly (avoids impact on cashflow for contractors and small businesses) or ensure that the client is liable for trips that they need to move or cancel.
- Have a good support structure for whatever needs to happen back home, whether it’s a reliable, self-managing PA at the office or someone to take care of things at your house.
- Mix business and pleasure; make time for sightseeing or enjoying something unique in the town that you can’t do at home.
Dom Perignon famously said “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars” when he discovered champagne.
A local wine producer helps to answer some questions about this revered drink.
Why is it called sparkling wine and not Champagne?
“Champagne (the bubbly) is named after the region of Champagne in France, which is 160km north-east of Paris. Only the traditionally bottle fermented “Méthode Champenoise” sparkling wine, made within the area of Champagne, is allowed to be called Champagne. Everything else in the world is classified as sparkling wine.
Each country has its own name for bottle fermented sparkling wine – for example, Spain calls theirs Cava and in Germany it is Sekt. In South Africa, we’ve named ours Method Cap Classique (M.C.C.), which simply means Cape Classical Method.
Why is Champagne (oops, we mean M.C.C. or sparkling wine) served in a flute and not a regular wine glass?
“The Champagne flute has a tall, narrow bowl, which is designed to retain the bubbles by reducing the surface area at the opening of the bowl.
The long, thick stem allows the drinker to hold the glass without affecting the temperature of the drink and quite conveniently the smaller diameter of the Champagne flute allows more flutes to be carried on a tray, thereby giving pleasure to more people.
Another Champagne glass sometimes used is the saucer-shaped stem glass, but this is now more commonly used for certain cocktails such as daiquiris. Legend has it that the shape of the glass was modelled on the breast of Marie Antoinette; however it is my personal belief that Louis XVI of France probably just drank lots of Champagne off her ample bosoms…:)
How long does sparkling wine keep for?
“As long as your will-power holds and you can resist opening the bottle…
Actually, for drinking purposes, sparkling wine can be considered a ‘white wine’, meaning it is ready to drink within months of release and you need not mature/age the wine like a red wine.
Some vintage sparkling wines and most luxury cuvées [denoting a specific blend] can benefit from two to four years of further aging, but it isn’t necessary and definitely don’t over do it. However, if stored well, the best sparkling wines will quite easily hold for up to 10 years after release, but since it is a natural product, you are taking a risk.
Best way to store your sparkling wine is to keep it in a cool, dark room away from direct sunlight. Lay the bottle flat, to keep the cork moist, and make sure there aren’t any major temperature fluctuations in the room.
How is sparkling wine made?
“Eish… How am I supposed to answer that in only a couple of lines?! Can’t I just say we use “magic” & leave it at that?
OK, there are three main different methods of producing sparkling wine:
1) Carbonation: This is a simple injection of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) into the wine – kind of like the process used in soft drinks / Soda-Stream, but this produces big bubbles that dissipate quickly in the glass, and the quality is not very good. These are mostly your sweet ‘el-cheapo’ sparkling wines that tend to give you a hang-over from hell.
2) Charmat: For this process the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in bulk tanks, which builds up natural CO2 gas, and the wine is then bottled under pressure. This produces smaller, longer-lasting bubbles for lighter ‘drink now’ sparkling wines.
3) Method Cap Classique / Méthode Champenoise: This is the original and most important method of sparkling wine production, and it began in the Champagne region 300 years ago. Only three varietals are commonly used in Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
The juice undergoes alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in stainless-steel tanks; then the wine is stabilised and filtered. Up to this point the process is the same as normal still wine production, but then the real magic begins…
The winemaker blends the various tanks together into a cuvée to maintain the house style. Then a measured amount of sugar along with very specific yeast is added to the still wine. This wine is stored horizontally in a cellar where the second fermentation begins. The yeast converts the sugar to carbon dioxide and alcohol and this carbon dioxide is dissolved in the wine, which gives the wine its sparkle.
It requires a minimum of 12 – 18 months of bottle fermentation to completely develop all the flavour. After bottle fermentation, the pressure inside the bottle is 6 bars / atmosphere, which is three times more pressure than a standard car tyre!
The bottles are shaken and riddled at an upside-down angle to slide the sediment (spent yeast) to the neck of the bottle and then the tip of the bottle is flash-frozen so that when the metal crown-cap is removed, the frozen yeast plug shoots out of the bottle. The small amount lost during this process is replaced, the bottle is then corked, and the muselet (wire cage) is placed on top.
Does the spoon in the open sparkling wine bottle trick really work?
“The theory behind the ‘silver teaspoon in the bottle’ trick is that the silver is supposed to react with the wine and CO2 gas in such a way as to prevent the gas from escaping. After many, many bottles and serious drinking… um, testing… I can confidently say this theory is a load of rubbish.
The CO2 gas produced in PROPER bottle fermented sparkling wine is so inherent in the wine and has developed naturally over many months, that it gives it a fine, long-lasting bubble – so that once you open a bottle of PROPER bottle fermented sparkling wine, the bubbles will keep going for a long time.
What is the right way to open sparkling wine? Does trying to hit someone with the cork affect the wine?
“Ha, ha – only if it results in you having to sleep alone on the couch that night!:)
It’s actually very easy to open a bottle of sparkling wine without injuring your date or killing your grandma’s pet budgie – the secret is to chill the bubbly and to turn the bottle instead of pulling the cork.
Of course, if you are a F1 driver, then shake-and-bake baby!
Alternatively, why not try Sabrage? Sabrage is the technique of opening a sparkling wine bottle with a sword / saber by sliding the sword along the body of the bottle toward the neck. The force of the blade hitting the lip of the bottle breaks off the top from the neck and the natural pressure in the bottle (6 bar) shoots off this tip, while the cork and collar remain together after separating from the neck. You can easily use a heavy kitchen knife instead of a sword. Once you get the hang of it, it really is lots of fun, but just be careful that you don’t accidentally hit your dog Fido, or your aunt Petunia in the process!
Does sparkling wine gather value over the years?
“Most definitely. In certain years, the conditions are such that a specific vintage produces truly excellent sparkling wines, and while there are many factors involved in the aging potential of these wines, some of these Champagnes (especially specific vintages) are very sought after and sold for exorbitant prices.
Plastic or cork?
“For sparkling wine – always cork.
Our next Market Day Sale will take place at Welmoed Cellar Door on Friday 8 May and Saturday 9 May 2009.
Here is the list of wines that will be promotion this weekend:
- -Thandi Chardonnay/Chenin Blanc 2007 @ R 16.00 per bottle (Case lots only – R 96.00)
- -Kumkani Chenin Blanc (Barrel fermented) 2006 @ R 10.00 per bottle (Case lots only – R 60.00)
- -Bergschaduw Ruby Cab/Cinsaut @ R 10.00 per bottle (Case lots only – R 60.00)
- -Arniston Bay Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 @ R 12.00 per bottle (Case lots only 12x750ml – R 144.00)
- -Thandi Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 @ R 12.00 per bottle (Case lots only – R 72.00)
- -Thandi Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 @ R 12.00 per bottle (Case lots only – R 72.00)
- -Welmoed 4-Packs @ R 59.95
- -Arniston Bay The Tides Range @ less 20%
Kumkani, the South African fine wine range from the company of wine peopleTM, is to launch its award-winning Lanner Hill Sauvignon Blanc and Cradle Hill Cabernet Sauvignon varietals at Harrods. The single vineyard wines will be available from the beginning of May to coincide with the London retailer’s South Africa promotion. The wines will retail at GBP11.50 (US17) and GBP9.50 on promotion.
Crafted by award-winning winemaker Nicky Versfeld, Kumkani Lanner Hill and Cradle Hill are produced from choice vineyard pockets in South Africa and are characterised by exceptional character and superior quality. They are also consistent award-winners with Cradle Hill winning gold at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles and Lanner Hill crowned Best Sauvignon Blanc in South Africa at the SA Terroir Wine Awards in 2008.
Barney Davis, Brand and Business Development Manager at the company of wine peopleTM, anticipates the wines will be very well received by Harrods’ customers. He says: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Harrods. Our award-winning Kumkani wines showcase South African wines at their very best and will offer the Harrods’ clientele a fine wine of exceptional structure and quality.”
Lanner Hill Sauvignon Blanc:
This superb wine, with its ripe gooseberry flavours and crisp, lingering finish is the perfect accompaniment to dishes ranging from pork tenderloin and wholegrain mustard sauce to an aromatic lamb stew. Lanner Hill is also suitable for vegetarians, and is delicious paired with fresh, colourful salads and couscous.
Cradle Hill Cabernet Sauvignon:
With fresh blackcurrant and ripe berry fruit on the nose, the palate is layered with ripe fruit and oak flavours and a soft tannin structure. This wine is best suited to roast beef or rack of lamb but is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
A Lucrative invitation to tender for the supply of South African wines for thousands of VIP fans attending the Fifa Confederations Cup in June has some of the country’s wine makers in a froth.
The tender, worth R600,000, calls for 948 six-bottle cases of red wine priced between R40 and R70 a bottle, and 1137 cases of white wine for between R35 and R60 a bottle. The booze is for the tournament’s official hospitality programme.
Match Hospitality, Fifa’s catering, food and accommodation authority for the Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup, has given South Africa’s wine exporting association, Wines of South Africa (Wosa), the job of supplying wines for the matches.
But some wine producers were fuming after Wosa released news of the tender on Thursday, leaving them only five days in which to submit their wines for consideration.
Also angering them was the stipulation that the wines had to be “rated three-and-a-half stars or better in Platter’s [wine guide],” South Africa’s best-known guide, with over a million copies sold.
Wosa’s communications manager, Andre Morgenthal, said the association did not receive the tender details from Match Hospitality until last week, which was why it had given the producers short notice of the tender.
About using Platter’s wine guide as the benchmark for submissions, Morgenthal said: “Platter’s is the most internationally recognised wine guide. It is the easiest guideline, as we had to have a certain standard of wines submitted.”
But wine critic and writer Neil Pendock said many producers had problems with this arrangement and that “quite a few refuse to have their wines rated by Platter … and they are automatically excluded by this requirement”.
Spar supermarkets’ national liquor executive, Ray Edwards, who does not participate in the Platter publication, also believed the stipulation was unfair.
“There will be some wine producers, and some very good wines, that will be sidelined and disadvantaged because of this process,” he said.
But Morgenthal said “anyone can submit their wines; this is just a guideline”.
He said the wines selected would be served only during the Confederations Cup. T he process would be repeated for 2010 “depending on how this goes”.
Match Hospitality will sample tenderers’ wines at a blind tasting on May 15. Successful bidders will be named on May 27.
It’s happened to you and it’s happened to me… why does there always seem to be a white shirt, carpet or couch involved? Yes, I’m talking about the dreaded red wine stain!
So what exactly is the best way to remove a red wine stain? When push comes to shove, everyone seems to have a different remedy and no one seems to know whether their remedy actually works! Well, I have decided to give some of the popular “quick fixes” (and some unusual ones) a try, to see which works the best.
My testing procedure began by pouring some red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon to be exact) on white fabric and then applying each remedy immediately. I also tried each remedy after a few hours, once the stain had dried. Here are the results, in no particular order (see “after” pictures of the fresh stains below):
Water: This seemed to fade the “fresh” stain only slightly more than the “old” stain, with both leaving a very noticeable mark on the fabric. Score: Fresh stain: 6/10; Old stain: 4/10
White wine: I found that the white wine didn’t work much better than the water, in fact the water did a better job with the “old” stain. So, instead of wasting your white wine, rather use water to treat a red wine stain. Score: Fresh stain: 6/10; Old stain: 2/10
Salt: Salt didn’t make much of a difference to either of the two stains (fresh and old). In fact, it just made more of a mess than any of the other methods tested. Score: Fresh stain: 2/10; Old stain: 1/10
Milk: Being white and packed with goodness, I thought milk would do the trick, but yet again I was disappointed. The milk faded the fresh stain a fair amount, but hardly made any difference to the old stain. Score: Fresh stain: 6/10; Old stain: 1/10
Cleen Green: This common cleaning agent worked wonders, removing the fresh stain COMPLETELY in no time. The old stain however turned to an ugly green/grey colour after being treated with the Cleen Green. Score: Fresh stain: 10/10; Old stain: 1/10
Hydrogen Peroxide: This might just be the answer to the world’s red wine stain problems… Mix equal parts of Hydrogen Peroxide (available from any chemist) and dish washing liquid. After a few seconds of rubbing.voila.fresh stain GONE! The old stain required a bit more elbow grease, but in the end it was reduced by approximately 80%. However, as this is a bleaching agent I would not recommend using it on coloured fabrics or carpets! Score: Fresh stain: 10/10; Old stain: 8/10
Source: SA Wine Advocate
Drinking up to half a glass of wine a day may boost life expectancy by five years-at least in men, suggests research published ahead of print in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
The Dutch authors base their findings on a total of 1 373 randomly selected men whose cardiovascular health and life expectancy at age 50 were repeatedly monitored between 1960 and 2000.
The researchers looked into how much alcohol the men drank, what type it was, and over what period, in a bid to assess whether this had any impact on the risks of their dying from cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, and from all causes.
They also tracked weight and diet, whether the men smoked, and for how long, and checked for the presence of serious illness.
During the 40 years of monitoring, 1 130 of the men died. Over half the deaths were caused by cardiovascular disease.
The proportion of men who drank alcohol almost doubled from 45% in 1960 to 86% in 2000, with the proportion of those drinking wine soaring from 2% to 44% during that period.
The researchers found that light long term alcohol consumption of all types-up to 20 g a day- extended life by around two extra years compared with no alcohol at all. Extended life expectancy was slightly less for those who drank more than 20 g.
And men who drank only wine, and less than half a glass of it a day, lived around 2.5 years longer than those who drank beer and spirits, and almost five years longer than those who drank no alcohol at all.
Drinking wine was strongly associated with a lower risk of dying from coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and death from all causes.
These results held true, irrespective of socioeconomic status, dietary and other lifestyle habits, factors long thought to influence the association between wine drinking and better health.