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Talking Wine
with Ted Sandbach - April 2014

Researchers at Texas University have found that those who do not drink any alcohol have a higher mortality rate than those who drink heavily. The research concluded that those who drink moderately (2/3 drinks a day) had the lowest mortality rate. Just something worth pondering!!


The ruins of a wine cellar dating back to 1700BC have been unearthed in a Canaanite palace in Israel. The suggestion is that this is where the palace kept the good stuff - all in ceramic jars. Although there was not actual physical liquid within the residue a blend of ingredients were found such as honey, cinnamon, bark, cedar and mint. There appears to be a consistency in the 40 jars unearthed that suggest that this was a quality product reserved for special occasions. This just demonstrates the amazing sophistication of the time often referred to in ancient texts.


President Obama was recently reported as having upset President Hollande by serving him cheap wine. The White House has a policy of only serving American wine but with a total retail value of under £100 for the 3 bottles it was deemed a bit of an insult!! The wines came from the Napa Valley in California, Columbia Valley in Washington State and a sparkling wine which came from Virginia. This certainly represents an interesting mix and I am sure went splendidly with the caviar and Colorado ribeye. Perhaps Monsieur Hollande felt out of his comfort zone although apparently Obama said that Americans love all things French, assuming they know where France is!!   I hope Mr Cameron takes note and serves him a top quality English sparkling wine which will be assumed to be a superior Champagne although I bet our naughty little Frenchman will not know the difference!


A 6 litre decanter of Macallan whisky has just sold at auction in Hong Kong for £381,000 beating the previous record by a considerable margin. The Lalique designed decanter is one of only four in the world and so the high price was a combination of the unique quality of both the decanter and the single malt.


Water, water everywhere!! We were flooded at our head office warehouse where wellington boots were the order of the day. Loading vans became a major issue but our wine is all on pallets so damage was kept to a minimum. At the Oxford Wine Cafe I arrived to do a stock take to find water pouring down from the kitchen due to a faulty pipe and the same day to see the water level rise in our wine cellar due to the exceptionally high water table. With the ladies loo blocking up too we had enough work to keep the plumber occupied for hours!!