It’s well known that French men and women are less likely to suffer heart disease compared with Americans and some researchers speculated drinking red wine helps French people. How extactly red wine could help reduce the heart risk remains unknown though.

A study in the May 27, 2011 issue of European Journal of Pharmacology suggests resveratrol found in red wine and red grapes may be responsible for this reduced risk.

The study showed resveratrol helped prevent endothelial dysfunction in rats. Endothelial dysfunction is associated with hypertension and vascular oxidative stress or eventually cardiovascular disease.

In the study, Siddhartha R. Bhatt of the University fo Houston in Texas and colleagues treated some spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) aged 3 to 4 weeks with resveratrol in drinking water for 10 weeks. Some rats remained untreated as controls.

At the end of the study, the researchers found that compared to rats treated with resveratrol-added drinking water, rats untreated with resveratrol were more likely to have higher blood pressure, oxidative stress and reduced endothelium dependent relaxation.

On the other hand, rats treated with resveratrol lowered blood pressure; reduced hydrogen peroxide and increased superoxide dismutase activity, meaning that the oxidative stress was reduced; and normalized endothelium dependent vasorelaxation, nitrite/nitrate levels and nitrotyrosine content.

More importantly, according to the study, resveratrol treatment prevented the uncoupling of endothelial nitric oxide synthetase (eNOS) and scavenging of nitric oxide (NO), both of which would be otherwise observed in vascular diseases.

The study suggests that resveratrol can help prevent cardiovascular diseases including hypertension.

Food consumers do not have to drink red wine to prevent cardiovascular disease; resveratrol is now available as a dietary supplement.

Pontoon: Floating Champagne Bar Opens In London

As London’s al fresco venues jostle for position this summer, one company have created a unique location for the city’s revellers to party outdoors.

Situated in St Katherine Docks, a vibrant Marina in the heart of historic London, Pontoon is London’s first ever floating Champagne and seafood bar. Pontoon is the brainchild of pop up restaurants and events company P.U.R.E.

The 5-berth yacht can hold up to 80 guests for private parties and drinks receptions, with luxury brands including Relais & Châteaux, Wine Story and Pommery providing on-board hospitality.

A classic motor yacht built in 1975 by Camper & Nicholsons, Pontoon has been updated with high-end fittings, including a natural wood terrace and luxurious lounge.

Open daily from 9am until midnight, guests can enjoy a drinks menu that includes Pommery Champagne and a diverse range of seafood dishes including oysters, whole crabs, langoustines and scallops, as well as spit roasted meats.

The venue will also play host to weekly wine and seafood tastings, salsa dancing classes, live Jazz music performances and weekend DJ nights.

Champagne Harvest Comes Early

It’s official August holidays have now been cancelled Champagne in anticipation of an early harvest, possibly the earliest on record for a number of reasons.

Due to the warm weather in March and which continues into early June has caused flowering early this year. Flowering has generally been completed before the end of May, and this year, the vines were in full flower by 21 May. Adding 92 days, the average time over the past decade in Champagne between flowering and the start of the harvest—picking could start on 22 August.

Dominique Moncomble, The Director of Technical Services at CIVC said flowering has taken place around three weeks in advance this year and was especially early in the Côte des Blancs area.

However, August is usually warmer and has more sun than September, it is possible the period between flowering may be even shorter, perhaps 80 days, which means the first grapes may be picked on August 16.

The lack of rain this year could also accelerate the date. Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon winemaker for Louis Roederer and Didier Mariotti, winemaker for GH Mumm are both ready to start early August, if not earlier.

The earliest harvest in the Champagne Region, on record, was during the ‘heat wave summer’ of 2003.

Photo by
Liz Palmer
May 24, 2011

Today is Race Day: Investec Derby @ 4 pm (Pol Roger is the Champagne Sponsor)

At 4 pm this afternoon you will hear the deafening roar that greets the start of the greatest flat race in the world, as Britain’s biggest one day sporting crowd signal the start of the Investec Derby, one of the world’s iconic sporting moments.

Today is unique in the sporting calendar – the first Saturday in June is always Investec Derby Day, so make sure to add it to your diary now for next year and will also be celebrating The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Saturday 4 June 2011 is particularly special because of one horse, Carlton House, who will line up at 4pm this afternoon for his owner Her Majesty The Queen, providing perhaps her best opportunity in her 10th attempt at winning the Blue Riband of the turf.

The Sir Michael Stoute trained three-year-old colt has dominated the headlines since winning the Dante at York on 12 May and will be ridden today by Ryan Moore, last years Investec Derby winner on Workforce.

Sponsors include: title sponsor Investec, Audemars Piguet (Timing), Jaguar (Automotive), Pol Roger (Champagne), and William Hill (Betting).

Today Acker Merrall & Condit Set Another World Record with Ancient Shipwrecked Champagne

Acker Merrall & Condit, the world’s premier wine auction house, announced today that it surpassed the world auction record for a bottle of Champagne, selling a bottle of shipwrecked Veuve Clicquot for $43,630. The landmark sale took place today in Mariehamn, Åland, where Acker Merrall auctioned two of the world’s oldest bottles of Champagne salvaged last year from a 19th century shipwreck off the Åland Islands, along with 15 special lots direct from Veuve Cliquot’s cellars.

In a most exciting climax, an anonymous internet bidder from Singapore outdueled an American phone bidder, Robert A. Rosania, legendary Champagne collector and American real estate entrepreneur. When asked about the epic battle for both lots of shipwrecked Champagne, Rosania commented, “I’ll be back.” Ironically, Rosania held the previous record set in 2008, that time as a seller, when bottles of 1959 Dom Perignon from his collection sold for $42,350 each.

“We are overjoyed by today’s outcome,” said John Kapon, CEO of Acker Merrall & Condit. “We felt privileged to work with the Government of Åland and Veuve Clicquot to produce this unprecedented sale. Today proved to be one of the most historic and exhilarating events in the world of wine. To have America and Asia battling it out here in Europe, setting a new world record, is a testament to the globalization of the fine wine market, and this is only the beginning. What was equally amazing was the fact that the sale took place in Aland, an incredibly beautiful yet remote region of the world. It just goes to show that the most discerning and passionate collectors will go wherever it takes to acquire the world’s greatest wines.”

“This sends out a strong message that the oldest and rarest drinkable champagne is sold in Åland. We are also happy that the financial surplus that is generated by the sale of the Champagne bottles will go to charitable causes, such as environmental measures for improving the quality of water in the seas,” said departmental head Rainer Juslin of the Åland Government.

Acker Merrall’s next and final auction of the season will be held in the Hamptons in New York on June 25th.