Spain’s Ex Partido Popular Prime Minister, José María Aznar, placed himself directly in the fire when he told the world that he shouldn’t be told how much he should drink or how fast he can drive last Thursday after presented with a medal by the Wine Academy in Valladolid.
“I don’t like that they tell me that I can’t go at such a speed’, he said, “or that I can’t eat hamburgers or I can’t drink wine. Let me decide for myself – that’s what my freedom means’. The now infamous Ex Prime Minister continued to put in his mouth when he said, “The glasses of wine I drink, let me drink them quietly, I don’t put anybody at risk’.
I could get on my high horse and give you a thousand reasons why this is horrifically wrong, but what’s the point? Drinking and driving is wrong. Comparing the amount of hamburgers you consume versus the amount of wine you drink before you drive is not only ridiculous but all around just a stupid argument. If his goal was to promote either the Spanish wine industry or his political party, I fear he failed miserably. This may perfectly exemplify why he is the “Ex” Prime Minister and not the current one.
Study Finds that Wine Drinkers are More Likely to Live Longer
Granted, the amount of articles published hailing the health benefits of wine, more specifically red wine, is increasing daily, but every now and then, I find it interesting to highlight some of more poignant ones.
A recent study was conducted by Timo Strandberg, a researcher at the University of Oulu, Finland, to determine the health benefits of beer or alcohol over the course of 30 years. His subjects were all male, born between 1919 and 1934, and had health checkups at the Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki during the 1960s and 1970s. At each exam, the men had their alcohol intake recorded and were asked about their current health state. These men also held upper management positions in their private companies, which led the scientists to assume that they are less likely to be influenced by alcohol as a result of their class status. “This setting,” the study authors wrote, “offers a clearer test for the effects of alcoholic beverages because the influence of social class on beverage preference is decreased.”
In conclusion, the scientists found that “Preference of wine was associated with decreased mortality when compared with preference for beer or spirits over a follow-up of 29 years”. Wine drinkers also had a 34 percent lower rate of mortality, in addition to having all around better health both physically and mentally.
Hey, if it takes a approximately 1,500 men over the course of 29 years to determine how fabulous wine is for me, I’ll happily raise another glass to my long and healthy life!
Spanish Wine Exports reach an all Time Record in January, 2007
It appears as if Spanish wine exports increased by a record 4.9% when measured against the same time period in 2006. The rational for this growth is directly related to the 8.3% increase in D.O. wine sales; 4.5 % increase in packaged table wine, a 15% increase in aromatic wine, and a 1.7% increase in sparkling wine. Basically, consumers are choosing higher quality D.O. wines. The only drop in numbers has been seen in sales by volume, which isn’t necessarily a negative thing when attributed to bulk wine sales. If this is even remotely a tell-tale sign for the rest of the year, you’ll see me doing another happy dance because it means that Catavino is doing our little part in supporting this massive growth.
I also wanted to give you a quick update on Ryan. It appears that the Atlas del Vino Espanol is picking up speed, attracting the attention of everyone from importers to bodegas to retailers. Additionally, he has been posting several podcasts that would be worth your time to listen to. So take a moment and check out the site!