Can drinking wine keep flu away?

As we head out of summer and into flu season, it’s always worth keeping an eye out for any kind of remedy for the sniffles. Ideal Wine Company review if wine will help to keep the flu away this winter.

While you might reach for the paracetamol and cough medicine when you’re struck down by the symptoms of flu, it seems that there is another potential remedy that could be more fun.

New research shows that the best medicine could be either in your wine rack or in your favourite cup of tea.

Ideal Wine Company wine and health
Can wine prevent the flu?

Flavanoids fight infection

The study was overseen by scientists from the Washington University School of Medicine and published in the journal, Science. Results show that a common compound found in foods including black tea, red wine and blueberries appears to help gut bacteria fight off infections and, in turn, helps to prevent severe flu.

The scientists tested their findings on mice and found that the flavonoids found in these common products work with a specific gut micriobiome. It’s called clostridum oribiscidens and creates a metabolite that can boost the response of the immune system.

A quicker return to health

These immune boosting flavonoids can reduce the impact of flu symptoms and reduce the time it takes to get back to full health.

The study’s lead author, Ashley Steed, says: “For years, flavonoids have been thought to have protective properties that help regulate the immune system to fight infections.

“Flavonoids are common in our diets, so an important implication of our study is that it’s possible flavonoids work with gut microbes to protect us from flu and other viral infections. Obviously, we need to learn more, but our results are intriguing.”

No research on humans yet

Tempting as it is to get hold of your favourite bottle of red when you next have symptoms of a cold or flu, it should be noted that tests are yet to be carried out on humans.

Therefore, the true effect that red wine, tea and blueberries have on your gut bacteria or the flu you’re suffering from is far from certain. Either way, they’re unlikely to do you any harm as long as they’re consumed in moderation.

If you’re suffering from winter flu then it could be advisable to stick to the black tea and forgo the wine altogether – at least until more concrete evidence comes in!

Prosecco popularity not slowing down

There’s a special day for everything these days, and everyone’s favourite sparkler Prosecco is no different. This year’s National Prosecco Day fell on 13 August 2017, and was celebrated in style, particularly in New York. Ideal Wine Company discover what’s so tasty about this year’s National Prosecco Day.

Ruffino, the major Italian winemaker, got together with The Doughnut Project to come up with a match made in heaven – Prosecco flavoured doughnuts.

Ideal Wine Company prosecco doughnuts
Prosecco doughnuts are the new craze!

Cocktail infused doughnuts

A series of cocktail themed doughnuts had already been showcased celebrating New York bars by The Doughnut Project, so they were the obvious choice for the Prosecco version.

Co-owner of The Doughnut Project, Leslie Polizzotto, says: “We’ve done many alcohol infused doughnuts in the past. Because of our track record, we were approached by Ruffino to do a Prosecco doughnut in honour of National Prosecco Day on 13 August.”

Limited sale window

The tasty treats were on sale at The Doughnut Project’s shop on West Village Morton Street in New York until 20 August. They predictably went down a storm with New Yorkers.

The Prosecco doughnut is the latest in a long line of products aimed at bringing the fizzy favourite ‘out of the bottle’.

Prosecco popsicles

Earlier in 2017, a UK based company called Pops created Champagne and Prosecco Bellini flavoured popsicles. Also on trend were a variety of sparkling wine infused products including wine lollipops and gummy bears flavoured with rosé.

It’s no surprise that Prosecco has captured the hearts and minds of consumers happy to buy spin off products. A survey taken recently by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) showed that a whopping 97% of those interviewed between the age of 18 and 24 drank Prosecco.

The report also showed that sales of the popular wine leapt by 12% over the last year. Even more impressive, a survey by accountancy group UHY Hacker Young taken in 2016, showed that sales of sparking wine throughout the UK increased by more than 80% from 2011-2016.

Increased consumption is expected to continue with predictions of an increase of around 19% by 2020.

Start-up aims to rebrand Sherry

It’s time for a ‘total reinvention’ of the old classic, according to a new company. The aim of XECO Wines is to resurrect Sherry’s image from its outdated ‘granny’s favourite tipple’ and reposition it as a delicious, refreshing aperitif. Ideal Wine Company reviews Sherry’s rise into the limelight.

XECO Wines was started by three friends, all self-confessed fino Sherry ‘fiends’. Their love of this old favourite prompted them to come up with a workable strategy to “bring Sherry out of grandma’s cupboard and into wine bars and onto cocktail menus across the UK”.

Ideal wine company sherry
Sherry is making a comeback as a delicious aperitif.

First release

XECO Wines will be releasing a dry fino Sherry as its first product. Made with Palomino grapes in Jerez, the Sherry is aged in American oak caskets for at least four years. This takes place at Diez Merito, which was established in 1876.

The resulting wine is pale golden in colour and described as “light and fresh on the palate, with dainty savoury ‘Umami’ aromas and a hint of salinity”.

Developing Sherry cocktails

As well as launching newly branded products, the company is working with various mixologists to come up with a range of both classic and new cocktails using Sherry. The aim is to make Sherry cool again and introduce it to a whole new generation.

The new packaging and brand design is central to this relaunch of a product considered old fashioned by many. They describe their packaging choices as ‘disruptive’ and the range features larger than life historical characters from Spain and England interspersed with eye catching graffiti art. The characters include Cervantes and Catherine of Aragon on the Spanish side, and Henry VIII and Shakespeare for the English.

Creating an impactful brand image is part of the strategy to set XECO Sherry products apart from the traditional branding of the current products. XECO Fino is on sale now from Master of Malt and is priced from £15.99-£16.99. Look out for an Amontillado set available over the coming months as well.

Not the only new Sherry on the market

It seems XECO has its finger on the pulse as there are other industry moves to bring Sherry into the 21st century. These include the launch of a new Sherry-based sparkler by Gonzalez Byass. It’s called Croft Twist and comes pre-mixed. Based on an Andalusian cocktail, its ingredients are Fino Sherry, crushed ice, lemonade and a mint garnish.

Earlier in 2017, Waitrose also revamped their range of Sherry. Their new look bottles went on sale in May after abandoning the colour coordinated look in favour of more individual styles.

Celebrate the return of boxed wine!

If you thought boxed wine was relegated to 70s dinner parties or student soirees, then you may be surprised to hear that it’s back with a bang in the UK. Ideal Wine Company reviews the growing popularity of boxed wine.

Following the trend for all things retro, it seems that UK consumers can’t get enough of the old favourite boxed wine. Data from Amazon shows that sales have rocketed so far this summer, making 2017 the year or the boxed wine revival.

Slightly rebranded to be known as ‘bag-in-box’ wine, the product has jumped a massive 200% in terms of UK sales at Amazon. What’s behind this resurgence?

Ideal Wine Company boxed wine
Boxed wine is making a return within the UK!

Convenience and choice

It seems that there a few factors involved with this product’s come back, including the convenience it offers and the fact that there are much higher quality products available. Add these to an increase of consumer interest in environmental awareness, and it seems logical that boxed wine sales would jump this year.

Amazon.co.uk shows a 212% increase for sales of boxed wine during June and July 2017, when directly compared to the same months in 2016. Bristol has been at the forefront of the sales, with a 650% surge in the south-western city. Next up is Leeds with sales up 325% and then London with sales increased by 137%. (These figures are as at 27 July 2017).

New ranges announced

Always a retailer that’s on board with new trends, Waitrose announced recently that it’s launching a range of premium bag-in-box wines for eager customers to enjoy. The first of these is a boxed Provence rose, which combines the two trends of the 2017 UK summer.

Amazon reported that its most popular boxed wines are JP Chenet Cabernet, which is up 362% for the June/July period, followed by El Emperador Sauvignon Blanc, which is up 216%. Next comes Banrock Station Chardonnay up 150% and Banrock Station Shiraz is close behind with sales up 123%.

Easily transportable

As it can easily be moved from picnic to barbecue, it’s no wonder that having more choice is helping boxed wine become more popular. It seems consumers are happy to move past the unfair preconceptions boxed wine used to suffer and fully embrace the convenience and environmental upside to boxed wine.

Beaujolais affected by adverse weather

The weather woes continue for many vineyards across France and Spain, which have been hit by unseasonal weather. Ideal Wine Company discuss the weather conditions hitting Beaujolais.

While the late spring frosts are finally history, unexpected weather conditions are still taking their toll. For example, some of the 2017 Beaujolais harvest looks likely to have been lost following a brutal hailstorm in mid-July.

The summer hailstorm hammered the Beaujolais region, leading to damaged crops and uncertainty for the vineyards. It’s something that will feel familiar to the vineyard owners, who suffered a similar fat in 2016. However, this year’s storms have caused more damage on a wider scale.

Ideal Wine Company damaged vineyards
Adverse weather has hit vineyards across Europe.

Beaujolais Crus worst affected

Situated up in the north, the Beaujolais Crus vineyard looks to have been one of the worst affected. The storm also hit Chiroubles, Morgon, Chenas, Fleurie, Moulin a Vent and the north of Régnié.

Fleurie is a picturesque village and was one of the worst hit, with the violence of the winds damaging not only the vineyards, but also many houses. The affect on the infrastructure throughout the villages and towns affected show the extent of the storm and the strength of the winds.

Rarely seen tornado

The president of InterBeaujolais, Dominique Piron, said: “It was a tornado. I have rarely seen this. The small hailstones and the wind have a sandblasting effect on the vines.”

The full extent of the damage is still being assessed, and it’s clear that many vineyards and people have been affected. Dominique added: “In our modern world, it is difficult to accept such a sudden event. But it is unfortunately the lot of those who work with nature.”

Run of bad weather

This year has seen a plethora of destructive weather conditions affecting vineyards across France, Spain and Italy.

Late frosts in May and early June, along with freak storms later on in the summer have led to many crops being affected. It is likely to affect both the price and the amount of wine available on shelves next year, although just how much remains to be seen.