Archive for February, 2010


Calorie Conscious Cuvees

As February whizzes past, Christmas Day seems a distant memory, but my pinching waistband is here to remind me of the overindulgence of the festive period. January is generally when people make some half hearted attempt to shift some weight and tone up for the year ahead. Personally I find January depressing enough in itself, and certainly wouldn’t want to upset myself further with any serious deprivation. Now February has arrived and the whole world seems ever so slightly better for it, so now is the time for me to sort myself out. I’m doing a stint on the exercise bike every morning, making an effort to eat sensibly and watching how much I drink. Mind you ‘watching’ doesn’t necessarily lead to ‘reducing’, but it’s a start.

And it seems I’m not the only one. Drinkaware appear to have decided on a new strategy for their campaign, and I think it could be a winner. Harping on about heart disease, liver problems, cancer etc etc has become almost pointless – we all know the facts, but still we choose to indulge. Until my liver actually falls out I will still choose to go for that extra glass of wine. If they really want to stop us drinking too much, they must appeal to our vanity. Drink booze, get fat. Simple. The very handy and well designed unit calculator on the Drinkaware website not only provides you with all the info on how much alcohol you’re consuming but also how many calories are in that alcohol. While I believe it’s extremely unhealthy to obsess over calories and count everything, I sometimes frighten myself with food equivalents to what I’ve had to drink. “You drank 6 pints last night? Well would you have eaten 6 Mars Bars in one sitting? No? You might as well have done! AND then you had a kebab on the way home, tut tut tut…..” None of us like being lectured about how we should live, but as a gentle reminder and awareness raiser I think Drinkaware have provided a pretty useful little tool.

Andrew over at Spittoon recently posted about Pizza Express‘s efforts to bring some healthier options to their menu. Low calorie pizzas accompanied by low alcohol (and lower calorie) wines. It doesn’t surprise me at all that the pizzas have been popular and I’ve no doubt the wines will be too. It’s definitely a growing market, with M&S introducing low alcohol wines a couple of years ago and many other retailers following suit. There’s an abundance of online low alcohol specialists to meet this increasing demand. I’m certainly not going to be rushing out to swap all my favourite tipples for low alcohol alternatives, but it’s now an option – which has got to be a good thing. Despite the media’s attempts to fan the flames of ‘Broken Britain’ and our ‘binge drinking yoof’, statistics actually show a significant fall in alcohol consumption in recent years. Sounds like we’re all being very grown up and sensible, I think we all deserve a pat on the back and a nice glass of wine.


Kami no Shizuku

Ever heard decanting wine described as “magnificent and jaw-dropping” or “delicate and courageous”? The brilliant series of Japanese comic strips based on the life of Shizuku (Droplets) gives the often staid and boring world of wine a Manga style overhaul. Once you get used to reading the translated panels and speech bubbles from right to left, the beautifully illustrated stories are compulsive page-turners. I started TippleTattle with the intention to make wine more accessible to my generation and cut out the snobbery which often surrounds it. I don’t think you can do much better than putting it in a comic book! The series’ authors Shin and Yuko Kibayashi were listed in Decanter Magazine‘s Power List 2009, and have been influencing the wine drinking hoards all around the globe. Kami no Shizuku (The Drops of God) has even been made into a TV series for Nippon Television – I reckon the sooner we get a translated version over here the better.

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February 2010