is the headline in this new WebMD article that says wine “may even protect against dementia.” That’s wine, mind you — “not beer and spirits.”
Why am I not surprised? As any reader of this blog knows, wine drinkers are smarter, handsomer/prettier, healthier, funnier and in general better human beings than anybody else.
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While we’re on the subject of scientfic studies, here’s another one that shows how your choice in wine “could also reveal [your] personality traits.” For example, sweet wine lovers are more impulsive while dry wine lovers are more open.
I have no idea what this study means or if it’s important or if anybody cares, but it did get two university professors that much closer to a cosseted life of tenured employment.
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Some anecdotal talk out here in Cali that the over-$20 market is picking up steam again.
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The weather has turned a little warmer, but it’s still below normal. Today’s Chronicle says the abnormally chilly summer has had the benefit of fewer smoggy days. Some of the comments from winemakers (both here and on my Facebook page) correct me that it’s not warmth that ripens grapes, but solar radiation; and, they say, 2010 could be a great vintage, because although it feels cold to humans (it does, it does), it feels great to grapes, who are soaking up the radiation, and could achieve true ripeness at lower sugar levels. This is, of course, the Holy Grail of California winemakers. They’ve been trying to do it for years, tinkering with canopies, trying new yeast strains and so on. Mother Nature, as it turns out, may do it for them. Now, all we have to do is convince her not to start the rainy season until November.
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Lucky was the writer (David Elswood, of Christie’s, the British auction house), who was invited to Chevel Blanc to participate in the recorking of some bottles of the legendary 1947 vintage, perhaps the most famous wine of the 20th century.
I was fortunate to taste it twice, both times courtesy of the Getty family, in San Francisco. One time, Billy Getty phoned me (I was already living in Oakland) to say his mother had just bought “an amusing little cellar” from somebody in New York, and did I want to come over to the mansion to try some stuff, including ‘47 Cheval Blanc?
Did I! I’d written an article about it in Wine Spectator, and had interviewed all these famous collectors (Bipin Desai, Marvin Overton, Tawfig Khoury) who described it to me (they were only too happy to have their names in the magazine). So I jumped into my car and raced across the Bay Bridge and zoomed up Fillmore to Pacific Heights, made a quick left on Broadway, and parked opposite the Big House with its grand view of the Bay.
Knocked on the door. The elderly butler (who had worked for old Joe Kennedy when he’d been ambassador to the Court of St. James, during the war), opened it. Inside, in that marble room off to the left, was Billy, with two or three other friends, busily drinking wine. I asked for the ‘47. Billy brought me the bottle. I held it, turned it upside down over my glass — and nothing came out. Empty!
I was too late. But Billy Getty was nothing if not a charming host. He saw my face droop. What’s wrong? It’s empty, I sighed. No problem! Billy clapped his hands — the old butler appeared from nowhere — another bottle of the ‘47 Cheval Blanc! And that is the story of how I found myself with my very own bottle of that legendary wine. (And, yes, it was good. Rather Califorianian, I daresay.)