Two interesting wine articles

Media interest in the wine industry has continued to gain momentum over the last couple decades. In modern times there has always been a multitude of speciality magazines and websites that have tracked the wine world, but as the general public has become more interested in a healthy lifestyle and how food can affect one’s biology, the mass media has run a larger number of stories concerning all aspects of the wine industry. Two interesting articles have come out in the last week that demonstrate the wide range of information currently being published about wine.

The first, while actually a press release from a consumer research organization, has also been run in numerous investment feeds and discussed in other articles. Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) is a company that specializes in researching and collecting retail purchasing information for various sectors in the consumer market. They recently published some highlights from their latest Wine Analysis. They cover some of the latest trends that they’ve found in consumer wine purchases and also point out how those trends are evolving since their last analysis (E&J Gallo is really succeeding at reinvention!). Check out the press release here.

The second article addresses something about which many wine lovers might have a significant concern…headaches and hangovers! I’m just as guilty as the next wine fanatic of, say, over-imbibing at times (though I almost never have any problems the next day, thank goodness). The resulting, sometimes VERY, early morning effects can range from insomnia, a headache, a speedily beating heart and just a general feeling of crappiness. But…there now appears to be hope, well, hope of at least avoiding most of these problems by running a little test of the wine that is about to cheer your soul, as my good friend Steve found while continuing his exhaustive quest to read everything ever published. UC Berkeley professor (from a university in NorCal? You don’t say!), Richard A. Mathies, Ph.D. and his collaborators have used his NASA funding to design a device that detects a family of compounds that are thought to be the cause of most hangovers and are found in red wine and other gourmet aged foods.

Biogenic amines are compounds that are found in many uncooked foodstuffs, but they are found at particularly high levels in processed foods that are created during fermentation or pickling. Marcus Wohlsen of the AP picked up the story, but it appears that there is a lot more to the research of Professor Mathies, et al and their little device than could be squeezed into the article. One interesting tidbit from the article actually gives a point to beer over wine: beer has some of the lowest levels of reactive amines!

If you’d like the full enchilada of info about this new device, the corresponding journal article was published in Thursday’s edition (11/01/07) of Analytical Chemistry. The abstract is here and pending your access, the full article is here.

Vinopanion: Ward Kadel - @drXeNo

View posts by Vinopanion: Ward Kadel - @drXeNo
Ward Kadel - @drXeNo is the founder of Vinopanion wine blog, former West Coast Ambassador & Staff Blogger for WineLog.net and former Le Wine Buff for Bordeaux.com (CIVB). He will try any and all wines and tends to write about the parts of his life that include wine...like virtually all of it! He and his wife grew up in Napa and Sonoma and they still live in the Napa Valley. Check out the wines he's recommended with his WKBadges. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Like #Vinopanion on Facebook. Contact him: "Ward at WineLog.net". Ward happily accepts samples but does not guarantee a review, positive or negative.

2 Comments

  1. Kim
    November 05, 2007

    I am very happy to see wine being written about for purposes other than tasting notes and reviews. It’s been a great experience getting involved with wine as much as creating this site has done for Jason and myself — and to hear about the research and market data you mention is a nice change up.

    I, too, am guilty of the wine hangover, although it is NOTHING compared to the effects that other types of alcohol can impose, isn’t that right, J?

    Strangely, however, I am more affected by whites lately than reds…? Our friend Frank is in a similar situation and has practically sworn off of any whites to avoid the next-day headache. What gives?

    Keep up the thoughtful and intriguing posts, I am sure that the WL public is happy to hear from someone other than me, myself, and I for a change!!

  2. Ward
    November 06, 2007

    Hi Kim!

    I’ve heard, here and there, that some people are actually more affected by whites than reds and I remembered reading about some theories around that problem. Red wine has way more organic compounds that can affect you the next day, but white wine actually has more sulfites than red wine.
    Now, it’s actually very *un*common to be affected by or allergic to sulfites, but that might be something to think about. White wine has more sulfites because it has a lot less of things like tannins that can keep the wine fresh. Sweet white wine has the most in order to prevent a second fermentation in the bottle.
    Here’s a few references from the web about this issue.

    http://www.appellationnyc.com/sulfites.htm

    http://enobytes.org/wine_blog/2007/05/06/red-wine-sulfites/

    http://waterhouse.ucdavis.edu/winecomp/so2.htm

    And hey…I *like* reading your posts! Take care…

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