Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New 'White Wine' Has Red's Health Benefits : Study

After red wine, now it’s turn for white wine to contain all the goodness of health. The researchers from Technion, the Israeli Institute of Technology have developed white wine with the same health benefits as red.

Israeli scientists revealed that they have developed a white wine with boosted levels of plant chemicals and polyphenols which are believed to fight heart disease.

Various studies have shown that regular drinking of moderate amounts of alcohol helps in combating cardiovascular diseases and some studies have put red wine at the top chart with stronger effects than other beverages.

Red wine, made from the crushed dark colored grapes which remain in contact with the grape skin during fermentation, contains antioxidantsdefine called polyphenols which helps in lowering cholesterol, preventing cancerdefine and fighting heart disease. On the other hand, white wine lacks the properties as it is fermented only from the pressed juice of the grape.

Professor Michael Aviram, a researcher at Technion's Faculty of Medicine said, "There has been an incredible response from those that have heard about the research, with many thinking of taking up drinking white wine more seriously."

The researchers developed an incubation technique i.e. incubating squeezed grapes in the presence of alcohol for 18 hours prior to removing skin, to increase white wine polyphenols six-fold.

This new wine will have same taste, color and aroma just like regular white wine but will also contain the same beneficial substances of red wine.

An Israeli wine manufacture, Binyamina Wine Cellars and Distillers has already started using the recipe to manufacture the healthier white. It is expected to hit the shelves in the United States by the end of the year.

In year 2002, a research was published in the magazine New Scientist and the online version of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry which showed that scientists at the University of Montpellier in France developed a white wine named as Paradoxe Blanc which they claimed has the same health benefits as that of red wine.

The wine was named after the famous paradox that the French have a remarkably low rate of heart disease despite their rich diet and smoking habits -- possibly because of all the red wine they drink with their meals.

The lead researcher, Pierre-Louis Teissedre and team produced a chardonnay which was 4 times rich in polyphenols as typical white wines.

Called as new generation of wine, Paradoxe Blanc was deliberately enriched with antioxidants and was developed specifically to treat people with juvenile, or type 1 diabetesdefine, whose bodies are less able to mop up spare free radicals. Dr. Teissedre said drinking a glass or two of the wine a day could benefit people with diabetes.

When on one hand many international studies are going ga-ga over health benefits of wines there are few studies which reveal that consumers do not get much protection from wine than they do, from drinking beer and spirits.

Abby Kapoor

Bacchus plans to have around 8-10 portfolio wine companies

A-B "Limited" Partner with Winery Investor

Recent buying sprees of U.S. wineries and increased consumption among consumers has resulted in a wave of investment funds specializing in the wine business. And just in the nick of time as family-owned wineries are preparing to hand the business off to the next generation. Coincidence?

Here enters Bacchus Capital Management, a winery investment firm based in San Francisco, that formed last year by Seagram heir Sam Bronfman II and partners Peter Kaufman and Henry Owsley of the Gordian Group.

Gordian is known for its efforts to guide companies through restructuring and back to health, including Spiegel, Smithfield Foods, and, more recently, Summit Global Logistics, according to an article in The New York Sun.

One of their first ventures has been to launch a fund that will provide mezzanine capital and, to a lesser degree, private equity funding to wineries "maxed out at their banks," says Kaufman. Bacchus is prepared to lend at four to eight times earnings before income taxes, depreciation, and amortization, compared to banks who typically will only lend up to three times EBITDA. Most acquisitions in the field fetch prices as high as 12 to 18 times EBITDA.

In addition, Bacchus plans to have around 8-10 portfolio wine companies in the initial phase of the fund.

It has been well documented that most family-owned wineries are facing the challenge of how to pass the business onto the next generation without losing control. Silicon Valley Bank's survey last month said 51% of family-owned wineries are anticipating a change in ownership by 2017. So, expect a lot more companies like Bacchus in the next couple of years.

Kaufman and Owsley can help wineries pass their business to the next generation, while Bonfman and recently hired colleague Mike Jaegar are proficient at running wineries and promoting brands. Recall that Jaegar is a former Constellation and Vincor USA senior exec, who became Bacchus president and coo in April.

ANHEUSER-BUSCH LIMITED PARTNER. Bacchus has also signed Anheuser-Busch as a significant limited partner. A-B is contributing money, a full-time employee (senior exec Keith Wesselschmidt) and use of its distribution system. Distribution is key since most wineries (96%) sell less than 100,000 cases a year and often have a difficult time gaining distribution through wholesalers.

"The key to success is distribution. There are only about 10 national distributors that matter, and a lot of wineries can't get distribution. Sam Bronfman is extremely conversant with these organizations and can be incredibly helpful. Worst case, some can game the system and make an end-run around the distributors, going through Anheuser," said Kaufman in the article.

According to The Sun, Kaufman says he's not sure how Bacchus's arrangement with AB might be affected by an anticipated bid from InBev.

Wine & Spirits Daily

Wine maker eyes pack innovation amidst industry complacency

As winemakers come under greater pressure to ensure they are offsetting the environmental impacts of their operations, one global vintner believes that the humble carton may offer a productive new solution.

Jean-Charles Boisset, president of the Boisset family estate, said that its use of an octagonal multi layer carton for its French Rabbit brand of varietal wines had allowed the group to reduce material use by 90 per cent compared to glass-based wines.

Although only five per cent of the company's wine output, which totals about 5m cases of wine annually, comes from glass-alternative packaging, Boisset said that he believes operational improvements can be achieved from innovation in this area for more immediate consumption wines.

Wine companies are facing a challenge in finding new ways to package and distribute their products as part of wider calls for the entire beverage industry to ensure sustainability in production and sourcing.

The Prisma pack

Speaking over video link at an environmental conference being hosted by Tetra Pak, which supplies the eight-sided Prisma packaging for the wine, Boisset said that the wine industry has been "complacent" in adapting to packaging innovations and needed to change.

The carton, which combines polyethylene and aluminium to protect the wine from the impacts of UV rays, has a twist off plastic cap, making the product fully recyclable.

Besides the potential improvements of the Prisma pack regarding material use, the company claims there are convenience benefits as well related to using such packaging.

Boisset claimed that in opting for an octagonal product over the more traditional brick shape, the group have found a packaging that is still eye catching, while allowing for easier fridge storage and shatter proof alternative to glass during the product distribution.

Glass alternative push

While not a solution for ageing wine, with the aluminium-lined Prisma packaging offering a maximum storage life of about 24 months, Boisset said that he hoped to be part of a revolution in the wine industry to encourage acceptance of new types of wine packaging.

"We are not keeping innovations such as the French rabbit packaging to ourselves," he stated. "By helping to encourage greater competition in the carton and alternative wine-packaging sector, we hope to actually create an entirely new segment in the industry."

Boisset suggested that the main challenge would be consumer and retailer attitudes to the notion of drinking a carton of wine, though with French Rabbit on sale across Canada as well as the Stade de France in Paris, the message may be catching on.

With the product available in a number of countries worldwide, he added that demand in different markets for innovative new wine packaging was being driven by a variety of requirements.

These range from greater convenience in storing and transporting a product, to improved carbon footprint levels and other green factors.

However, the Boisset family remain far from the only wine group hoping to expand into new areas for pack innovation.

Industry-wide focus

Back in March, major players in the UK wine industry said they would team up with packagers and other stakeholders to improve cooperation in supplying lightweight glass bottles to tackle environmental concerns over the product.

The pledge was made at the closing of a forum between winemakers, retailers and their supply chain partners, which aimed to discuss ways of increasing the availability of lighter weight glass bottles.

Glass support

The decision followed the publication of findings by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP),which suggest that manufacturing glass emitted less carbon dioxide than manufacturing PET (polyethylene terephthalate) on a per unit weight basis.

A number of groups including WRAP, as well as producers and packagers like Constellation Europe, Kingsland Wine & Spirits, and Ardagh Glass UK, attended the forum.

The participants agreed to improve communication and cooperation in the supply chain from bottle makers up to retailers on how to better obtain light weight glass for packaging.

However, John Corbet-Milward, a technical director for industry body the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) said there was a lot of work to be done in order to meet its green ambitions.

"This is a challenge facing the whole industry because it's clear the UK wine sector needs to reduce the thousands of tonnes of packaging waste it produces every year," he stated. "We are pleased to have brought industry players face to face and delighted they have agreed to work more closely in future on the issue of lighter weight bottles."

Wrap findings

According to the WRAP study, manufacturing glass is less carbon intensive than manufacturing PET on a per unit weight basis.

However, a PET wine bottle can be manufactured of lower weight than the glass equivalent and light weighting has been shown to reduce CO2 emissions with regard to transportation of loads.

Neil Merrett
Lund, Sweden

"The Sipping Point" Demystifies Wine for Overwhelmed Wine Drinkers

According to a recent study the majority of wine drinkers report feeling confused by the sheer volume of choices on store shelves or restaurant wine lists and are looking for help to expand their knowledge. A new book, The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine written by Laurie Forster, provides a solution to "overwhelmed" wine drinkers.

Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) June 24, 2008 -- Do your eyes glaze over and feelings of sheer terror envelop you when you're handed the wine list at your favorite restaurant? Have you ever wandered aimlessly through the aisles of your favorite wine store searching in vain for that perfect bottle of vintage vino to gift the hostess of a dinner party you're attending?

Whether you are overwhelmed, an enthusiast or just plain curious about wine, readers can find help in a new book from Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach®, entitled The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine. The book showcases a variety of topics including the secrets to dealing with a sommelier, great gifts for wine snobs, the keys to food and wine pairing, proper serving temperature for wine, how to start your own wine club and more!

I wrote The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine in plain, everyday English so that everyone can discover how to buy, taste, and enjoy wine with ease instead of anxiety. I also include some secrets and shortcuts that only seasoned wine experts know about so my readers can feel a bit more like wine insiders by the time they finish my book
Earlier this year, Constellation Wines released the latest findings of Project Genome™, the largest market research study on the habits of wine drinkers to date. They categorized consumers into one of six segments--Image Seekers, Enthusiasts, Savvy Shoppers, Satisfied Sippers, Traditionalists, and Overwhelmed. The largest group or 23% of wine consumers, fell into the Overwhelmed segment, while one of the second largest group were the Enthusiasts which account for only 12% of consumers, but purchase 25% of wine sold. The amazing common thread among most segments of the study was this - most people are totally inundated by the sheer volume of choices on store shelves or restaurant wine lists and are looking for help to expand their knowledge of what is contained in that vast array of bottles in the wine shop.

"As a wine educator, I find that many of my clients are looking to demystify wine so they can sit back, relax and enjoy it!" says Ms. Forster. "I wrote The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine in plain, everyday English so that everyone can discover how to buy, taste, and enjoy wine with ease instead of anxiety. I also include some secrets and shortcuts that only seasoned wine experts know about so my readers can feel a bit more like wine insiders by the time they finish my book" explains Ms. Forster.

Written in a no-nonsense and entertaining style, The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine will also tell you how to get those nasty red wine stains out of a white sofa, remove a broken cork out of a bottle of wine, how to feel comfortable reading a wine list that seems as long as a New York telephone book and how to properly open champagne without putting an eye out.

Ms. Forster's wine career began in 2002 as a way to blend her passions--wine and people. She studied with the American Sommelier Association to earn her certificate in Viticulture and Vinification and also trained as a life coach with CoachU, the leading global provider of life coach training programs. As The Wine Coach® she combines her training as a professional sommelier with her experience as a life coach to create unique corporate events, seminars and culinary tours that help people connect with wine and their passions. In addition to her extremely successful career as a wine educator, Ms. Forster is a columnist for several magazines, has her own weekly radio show "Something to Wine About®" and is a sought after guest on radio as well as TV shows. Ms. Forster is currently serving as the national media spokesperson for the "Pour on the Joy" campaign sponsored by Lindemans® Wines where she is helping people increase their happiness by making the wine-joy connection.