Even if you haven’t read, or heard of, the Bible, you’ve probably heard the story of Jesus turning water to wine (John 2:1-11 for those of you want to refresh their memory)? Over the millennia human kind has spent awfully lot of time, resources and energy trying to figure out how to turn water into something more exciting, and often that has meant to turn it also to a more potent drink. I sure do enjoy the results of those experiments, be it lager, nice bottle of red wine or sniffer filled with great cognac. I’m not sure if Mr. Michel Rolland, yes, the world-famous winemaker from South Africa is doing the unthinkable: he is turning wine back to water!
It would be somehow bearable if Mr. Rolland were in it alone, we could just shrug our shoulders in disbelief before calling in the men in white jackets, but he’s not alone. Rolland is working together with gentleman named Mr. Doc Hendley in this unnatural project and it gets even worse! The person who got these two gentlemen together is Ms. Fonda Hopkins from Montesiquieu Wines in California! Has the world gone mad or is this some kind of sinister plot by various secretive government agencies to get us stop drinking?
Considering the constant propaganda regarding alcohol and drinking, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if this was a plot by authorities and various “health” organisations to stop us drinking. Lucky for us, this isn’t, and even luckier of us, we have now even better reason to drink! You don’t have to drink just to get drunk anymore, now you can drink to help saving lives! Has there ever been better reason to drink than knowing that more you drink, more lives you will be saving? I can’t remember any, but if you do, let me know.
The “Wine to Water” is a non-profit aid organization focused on providing clean water to needy people around the world. The project became reality in 2004 and they are currently working with various aid organisations in Sudan, Uganda, India, Peru, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Haiti and South Africa. Wine to Water have come long way since their first test fund-raising event in 2004 and Doc Hendley’s first aid trip to Darfur in 2005.
You can buy Wine to Water’s own wines from the wine to water online shop for $16 per bottle. Approximately $7 from every bottle sold goes back to support Wine to Water’s efforts. Merlot, Chardonnay and Zinfandel are the main grapes in their wines, but you can also find some Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blancs. Montesquieu are offering 2003 Bonne Nouvelle, from Stellenbosch South Africa for $39 per bottle from which $20 goes directly to Wine to Water.
So, what are you waiting for? Start drinking for the good cause and remember, more you drink, more you help!
Drinking Kills, No It Doesn’t, Yes It Does But Not Quite That Many
Recently I wrote about the attempt to introduce minimum unit price for alcohol both in England and Scotland. One of the reasons used to justify the minimum cost were the studies made by the University of Sheffield which found in 2009 that setting the minimum price of 45p per unit would save approximately 196 lives a year over a decade, with 2,160 fewer crimes over the same period. All well and good except…
The university’s latest study (2010) has found that the 45p price per unit will not reduce the deaths and crimes as much as it would have in 2009. Now there is a surprise! The latest, 2010, study now says that approximately 50 lives would be saved in the first year and then 225 annually within ten years. Yes, you read that correct, in one year, the death toll dropped from 196 lives a year to 50 lives a year! That’s almost 75% drop in one year, and because the latest study was made in 2010, 75% drop year on year would mean that last year it would have saved only 13 lives! Great, lets wait couple more years and they’ll find that increasing the minimum price will actually lead to more deaths.
The reason for the drop of the numbers, the researchers claim, is because the prices have risen slightly and abuse rates have fallen. Excuse me? Let’s look at that claim bit closer.
“Prices have risen slightly”; note that they are not saying that real prices have risen, that is, price relative to income, they conveniently forget to mention the basis for this. Have real prices risen when we take in to account the inflation and income levels? Saying that the price of a pint has risen from £1.50 in 2009 to £1.60 in 2010 is of course correct, but if the inflation is 5% per year and average income has risen 5% during the same period, the real price of a pint has actually fallen.
“Abuse have fallen”; in other words, people abuse alcohol less than they used to. So what could be the reason for that since it certainly isn’t the minimum price per unit? In other words, drinking habits are changing and people drink more sensibly. The reason for that most certainly wasn’t the increase in price since it has been negligible according to the researchers themselves. Therefore the only explanation really is that despite of the constant headline news about binge drinking, people are actually changing their drinking habits to more sensible without governments’ intervention. Hurrah to that!
Now if they just told us who has been funding these useless studies, we could at least start talking about the real problem here: what are the aims of these studies?