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ThirtyFifty - Hens

Wine News

With Christmas approaching how much do Brits drink on Christmas day?

A survey commissioned by Drinkaware claims men drink the equivalent of six medium glasses of wine or pints of beer, while women claim the equivalent of four and half glasses of wine on Christmas day.
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A survey commissioned by Drinkaware into Christmas-time drinking habits claims men drink the equivalent of six medium glasses of wine or pints of beer on Christmas day, while women claim the equivalent of four and half glasses of wine.

Nearly two thirds of drinkers say they over-indulge during the festive season, with work Christmas parties the most likely to make people feel pressured to drink more. Only 18% claim they experience more hangovers during the festive period.

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The rise and rise of Burgundy sees exports from Burgundy hit €1 billion for the first time

Burgundy’s exports hit a €1 billion for the first time in the year to September, while Liv-ex continues to see the fine wine market fall.
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Burgundy’s exports hit a €1 billion for the first time in the year to September, while Liv-ex continues to see the fine wine market fall.

Exports rose by 6.5% in volume and 9.8% in value with most markets up. The UK, Burgundy’s second biggest export market, rose 1.1% by volume while Switzerland, Hong Kong and Japan all had big gains of 23.8%, 12.9 and 11.7% by volume.

The rise is against a general drop in fine wine sales, as the fine wine market index Liv-ex, saw another 1.3% drop in value. This drop has been attributed to the strengthening pound against the euro, US punitive tariffs imposed in October and on-going instability in Hong Kong.

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Canned wine on the rise but problems can cause rotten eggs smell

Canned wine in the US is worth US$70m, up 70%, while the UK has increased sales by 125% to £3.6m, but not all smells so sweet, as canned wines can highlight viticultural and winemaking problems.
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Canned wine in the US is worth US$70m, up 70%, while the UK has increased 125% to £3.6m, but not all smells so sweet, as canned wines can highlight viticultural and winemaking problems.

Wines stored in cans can be difficult to manage because of heavy metals and high acids. The acids can corrode the liner that keeps the wine from touching the aluminium, creating problems. However the main culprit is wines that have been heavily sprayed and can have high levels of sulphur and copper, which cause the wine to become reductive and develop rotten egg smells.

To manage these faults, wines that are destined for canning need to be sprayed less than normal, with significantly lower levels of sulphur dioxide added during the wine making process.

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Naked Wines CEO Rowan Gormley to step down as losses grow

Rowan Gormley announced he is stepping down from Naked Wines, after Majestic paid for his takeover and listing of Naked Wines.
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Rowan Gormley has announced he is stepping down from Naked Wines, after Majestic paid for his takeover and listing of Naked Wines. Replacing him is new CEO Nick Devlin who will take the business forward.

Naked Wines' core business has yet to make a profit and losses are growing at a faster rate than sales growth. Losses for the half year to the 30th September 2019 grew by 21% to £6.4m from £5.1m a year earlier while sales grew by 15.6% to £87.5m.

The growth in sales and associated losses stem from a focus on growing the US division which saw half year sales grow by 24%.
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UK general elections - what are the main parties’ positions on wine?

All the main parties have plans that will affect the wine industry, so what are their positions?
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With the UK general election looming on the 12th December, we ask what are the main parties plans affecting wine, and what are their positions regarding tax, minimum unit pricing and labelling.

The right leaning Conservatives plan to review alcohol duty rates to ensure the tax system is supporting British drinks producers.

The Liberal Democrats, a centralist party, plan a review of the UK excise duty structure, but with the explicit aim to 'better support whisky exports'. They also plan to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol nationwide.

The left leaning Labour party plan to review the evidence on the effect of minimum unit pricing of alcohol and require alcoholic drinks to have 'clear health warnings'.

The review of alcohol tax rates in favour of spirits and beer by Liberal Democrats and Conservatives will mean an increase in taxes for wine if the total tax take stays the same.

Minimum unit pricing of wine is proposed by the Liberal Democrats and Labour will review it. In Scotland, the minimum unit price is 50p a unit, setting a minimum price of £4.50 for a 12% abv bottle of wine. There is still significant volume sold in the £4-£5 price range - it is the second largest price bracket in the UK and is about two thirds the size of the leading £5-£6 price range. (Numbers supplied by the WSTA).

Labour is the only party planning on adding more health warnings on wine bottles. Unique health labels increase costs as labels need to be designed specifically for the UK and could make it more costly for smaller producers to export. However, under the Conservative's Brexit plans, wine labels will need to include the name of the importer once we leave the EU and this will again require specialist labels for the UK market, adding cost.

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New protein bar could help reduce the effects of alcohol

The Sobar has launched in the US. High in protein it claims to reduce the rate of alcohol absorption by 50% compared to eating on an empty stomach.
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A new protein bar called Sobar, designed to help reduce the effects of alcohol, has been launched in America by Zero Functional Foods. The snack bar has been clinically tested by consuming the bar before 2 drinks and measuring the peak blood alcohol level over the next 90 minutes. The test was repeated while drinking 2 drinks on an empty stomach, with a full meal and with a popular snack food.

The results showed that the Sobar resulted in a 50% reduction in peak blood alcohol compared to an empty stomach, 68% better than a full meal and 25% better than a popular snack.

Doc Harvey, an instructor at the Raleigh Bartending School says carbohydrates speed up alcohol absorption while protein slows it down. Bubbles also speed up absorption. Either way if you continue to drink your blood alcohol level will continue to rise as food only slows, rather than stops, the absorption. Your body typically removes around one standard unit of alcohol per hour.

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Which one of the following do you prefer to drink when going out?