I tend to stay away from the commercial aspects of wine, preferring to taste and ask questions, rather than buy or sell. However, last autumn I was approached by a couple of young men, who were proposing to set up a wine retail business on the web, and one with a difference. The selection of a wine would take into consideration its health giving qualities, as well as the usual criteria of taste and quality – and they wanted me to write the tasting notes. Their inspiration comes from a book I read three or four years ago, when it was first published: The Wine Diet by Roger Corder. Roger had noticed that there are some communities in Europe, where the inhabitants enjoy a much longer than average longevity of life. And he set out to work out why – and the answer lies with the local wine. One such area is Gascony, where the diet might contain large quantities of duck fat and foie gras, but it is all washed down by generous quantities of Madiran and Côtes de St. Mont, red wines with a high level of procyanidins, which have a seriously beneficial impact on our health. I am no scientist – you will have to look at Vinopic’s website for more information – and read Roger’s book, which is an engrossingly good read. Black chocolate gets the thumbs up too. Roger has come up with a formula that quantifies the health-giving aspects of a wine, and has marked the wine selections accordingly. Again, you can read more about it on Vinopic’s website.
My job was to score each wine for its quality and rate it for drinking enjoyment. Vinopic’s list is a combination of our various enthusiasms, covering many of the world’s wine regions, but not in any great depth. This is not the place to look for classed growth claret or expensive Burgundy, but you will find any number of eminently drinkable everyday wines, with character and interest, that offer good value for your money. So of course the Languedoc features, with wines from Domaine de l’Hortus in Pic S. Loup, as well as Corbières from Domaine Ollieux-Romanis, and a Picpoul de Pinet. There is much else besides. So please take a look at www.vinopic.com The website only went live a couple of days ago, so it’s still early days.