Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Are you still wearing disposable masks? Why?

Are you still wearing disposable masks? Why? by ©LeDomduVin 2020
Are you still wearing disposable masks? Why?
by ©LeDomduVin 2020

Are you still wearing disposable masks? Why? 

The growing number of single-use masks and gloves found in our environment, over the last 10 months (since the beginning of the pandemic) adds to an unprecedented pollution problem. So, why continuing to wear disposable masks? 

Stop now! And help protect the environment. Be aware that by wearing disposable masks you contribute to the problem, and the consequences it will have on the environment. 

Washable and reusable masks protect as well as the disposable masks. And remember that disposable masks are only effective for filtration of bacteria for the first 90-120 minutes up to 4 hours maximum (depending on the quality of the type of disposable mask you are wearing). 

Moreover, washable and reusable masks are comfortable to wear and you can wear them according to your taste of colour and clothes, depending on your mood of the day. 

I'm not better than anyone else, as I must admit that, occasionally, I also wear disposable masks, especially while biking and hiking due to the sweat. But otherwise, I have about 10 washable and reusable masks that I am using every day,  like the one on that picture. 

Let people in the hospitals and other care facilities wear disposable masks, and do the environment a favour, buy some washable and reusable masks from now on. 

Thank you, and until next time, be safe and take good care of yourself. 


#stopwearingdisposablemasks #wearwashablemasks #wearreusablemasks #masks #facemask #disposablemask #protecttheenvironment #protectnature #dontcontributetotheproblem #bethesolution #lesphotosadom #life #lifeduringcovid #covid #covid_19 #ledomduvin @ledomduvin

Monday, October 19, 2020

Sacred Hill "Helmsman" Hawke's Bay New Zealand 2013

Sacred Hill "Helmsman" Hawke's Bay New Zealand 2013 ©LeDomduVin 2020
Sacred Hill "Helmsman" Hawke's Bay New Zealand 2013
©LeDomduVin 2020

Sacred Hill "Helmsman" 

Hawke's Bay 

New Zealand 2013

Sacred Hill "Helmsman" Hawke's Bay New Zealand 2013

(roughly 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot & 11% Cabernet Franc) 

Sacred Hill "Helmsman" Hawke's Bay New Zealand 2013  ©LeDomduVin 2020
Sacred Hill "Helmsman" Hawke's Bay New Zealand 2013 
©LeDomduVin 2020

Last Friday, we tasted an old wine sample, that we received years ago, but never opened, to check if it is still drinkable.... and surprisingly, it is actually pretty good. Very good I should say. 

Medium to full-bodied, ample and generous, with dark ripe fruits and berries, cocoa and coffee beans, liquorice, earth, hints of vanilla, more dark fruits and a touch of spices. Nicely balanced and harmonious overall for a solid 14% alcohol wine. It expanded very agreeably from the beginning to the long-lasting and tasty finish. 

I'll definitely have another glass. I like this wine! ...and I just realized it got some good ratings and accolades too... 

Sacred Hill "Helmsman" has often been compared to some of its best counterparts in Bordeaux and even Napa Valley against which it can easily rival. 

Sacred Hill "Helmsman" Hawke's Bay New Zealand 2013  ©LeDomduVin 2020
Sacred Hill "Helmsman" Hawke's Bay New Zealand 2013 
©LeDomduVin 2020

Sometimes, it is better to forget about certain bottles in your cellar for a while, you never know, you could be surprised 😋🍷👍

Tasting while listening to "The Cure" made me take some  distorted pictures 🤣🤣🤣

Sacred Hill "Helmsman" Hawke's Bay New Zealand 2013  ©LeDomduVin 2020
Sacred Hill "Helmsman" Hawke's Bay New Zealand 2013 
©LeDomduVin 2020

This last picture is the real label. The one on the bottle above is a sample label. 

Sacred Hill Helmsman label shot ©LeDomduVin 2020
Sacred Hill Helmsman label shot
©LeDomduVin 2020

Thank you and until next time, be safe, take care of yourself and drink responsibly.  

Cheers! Santé!

LeDomduVin (a.k.a. Dominique Noël)  

#sacredhill @sacredhillwines #hawkesbay #newzealand #bordeauxblend #meritagewine #meritageblend #red #redwine #wine #vin #vino #wein #oldsample #samplelabel #forgottenbottle #ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #fridayvibes #fridaytasting #fridaytastingatwork #winetasting

Tuesday, October 6, 2020



COVID-19 and ALCOHOL MYTHS and FACTS by ©LeDomduVin 2020
by ©LeDomduVin 2020



Since January, we all have seen, read and heard, via the Social Media and any other means of communication, all sorts of misleading and controversial things about how alcohol could potentially protect against COVID-19.  

Well, first and foremost, you should know (and remember) that consumption of alcohol will, in no way possible or imaginable, protect you from COVID-19 or prevent you from being infected. And therefore, anything you may have seen, read or heard, contradicting that fact is purely and simply misinformation or disinformation.   

More especially drinking strong spirits with a high percentage of alcohol (e.g. Whisky, Gin, Vodka, Tequila, Brandy, Vermouth, Absinthe, etc...), they won't help at all and they won't clean your inside either (as some people may tend to believe). 

Small quantities of strong spirits, from time to time (occasionally), won't do you much harm and usually provide this gratifying sensation as they hit the spot. Whisky as an aperitif or digestif, like Cognac or an Armagnac, at the end of the meal never killed anyone, and even, apparently, tend to benefit the digestion process.  

However, drinking strong spirits, or even fortified wines, regularly and in large quantities, at best will get you sick, and at worst will get you completely intoxicated: change your behaviour and impair your senses, thoughts, judgments and decision-making (and eventually will affect and damage your internal organs, potentially leading to more complications). And it won't immune you against or cure you of COVID-19 either. So, don't do it. 

Drinking alcohol to fight COVID-19? by ©LeDomduVin 2020
Drinking alcohol to fight COVID-19? 
by ©LeDomduVin 2020

WHO: General myths and facts about Alcohol and COVID-19 

Here is a short version of what the WHO (World Health Organisation) wrote about the general myths and facts about alcohol and COVID-19 (*):

Myth: Consuming alcohol destroys the virus that causes COVID-19. 

Fact: Consuming alcohol will not destroy the virus, and its consumption is likely to increase the health risks if a person becomes infected with the virus. Alcohol (at a concentration of at least 60% by volume) works as a disinfectant on your skin, but it has no such effect within your system when ingested. 

Myth: Drinking strong alcohol kills the virus in the inhaled air. 

Fact: Consumption of alcohol will not kill the virus in the inhaled air; it will not disinfect your mouth and throat, and it will not give you any kind of protection against COVID-19. 

Myth: Alcohol (beer, wine, distilled spirits or herbal alcohol) stimulates immunity and resistance to the virus. 

Fact: Alcohol has a deleterious effect on your immune system and will not stimulate immunity and virus resistance.

That's it, and if you did not know... well, now you know. 

The 3 Types of Alcohol by ©LeDomduVin 2020
The 3 Types of Alcohol
by ©LeDomduVin 2020

The 3 Main Types of Alcohol   

Crazy to say, but, despite some people heavily binging on alcohol, the COVID-19 situation also got some people to acting even weirder by taking or drinking other inadvisable substances and liquids as (nonsense) desperate measures to prevent the virus to enter their body or (just in case if already infected) to get rid of the virus out of their body (without even knowing if they were infected or not). 

All sorts of nonsense actions have been reported since the "official" beginning of the pandemic, last January. 

People swallowing bleach (and other cleaning products), hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, disinfectant, and even some types of solvents, etc... And what's crazy about it, is that anyone in their right mind knows that these types of products containing alcohol (or other substances including some form of non-drinkable alcohol) are extremely harmful (or even deadly) and should NOT be consumed by humans (especially absorbing bleach or other toxic cleaning products/substances). But, they did it anyway...   

Therefore, for your own information, knowledge and safety reasons, and prevent any harm to be done to yourself, it is very important to know that not all alcohol or alcohol-based products are drinkable, and consequently, you should (at least) be aware of which type of alcohol is drinkable or not.  

To make it simple, just know that in the Chemistry field, there are 3 main types of alcohol: 

1. Isopropyl Alcohol (non-drinkable / harmful)

Isopropyl alcohol is a non-drinkable, colourless, flammable, chemical compound with a strong odour, usually found in products such as rubbing alcohol (70%, 90%), some cleaning products, as well as some cosmetics and lotions. 

2. Methyl Alcohol (non-drinkable / poisonous / deadly)

Methyl alcohol, better known as Methanol, is a non-drinkable, light, volatile, colourless, flammable, poisonous liquid, with a distinctive odour similar to Ethanol, usually found in products such as fuel, solvents and antifreeze. 

3. Ethyl Alcohol (drinkable / potentially toxic)

Ethyl Alcohol (or grain alcohol), better known as Ethanol, is a clear, colourless, drinkable liquid, which constitutes the principal ingredient (**) in alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and brandy.  It is the only one of the 3 main types of alcohol that is drinkable and digestible for the human body.  

As each of these types of alcohol has distinct properties and also specific applications in personal and industrial environments, it is important to distinguish which type of alcohol is which (see also illustration above). 

While all types of alcohol are considered as "Toxic" and potentially dangerous, as no form of alcohol is (normally) good for humans, per se, the use of ethyl alcohol as a recreational drug (more specifically wine and other fermented and even distilled beverages) has been traced as far back as 5400 BC. 

Consequently, the human body got used to it with time and alcohol gradually became a cultural part of human life and way of living.  Over the course of history, as water may contain bacteria and/or other harmful substances, wine and beer were often prefered as a safer and more satisfying choice of thirst quencher (and still are to this day).    

So, remember, although all 3 types of alcohol are considered "toxic", only Ethanol (Ethyl or grain alcohol) can be consumed by humans, the others are usually used as sterilizing agents or as fuels. 

Red Wine Health Benefits by ©LeDomduVin 2020
Red Wine Health Benefits
by ©LeDomduVin 2020

Red Wine Health Benefits

Although it won't help against COVID-19, drinking wine, more specifically RED wine, with moderation of course (i.e. 1 or 2 glass per day, and not necessarily every day, except if you are French 😁), has proven to have great health benefits.  

Over the last few decades of research on the matter, it has been clinically proven that, when consumed with moderation, on a weekly basis or quite regularly, red wine can contribute to your body health in various ways. 

Mainly due to some of the compounds of the Ethanol and the antioxidants and other beneficial components naturally contained in red wine. Drinking red wine with moderation, on regular basis, may:  

  • Improve your brain health by protecting it against diseases such as Alzheimer or syndrome like Dementia (both leading to deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities)
  • Support your heart health by reducing the risk of heart and cardiovascular diseases  
  • Protect against lung cancer: A glass of red wine per day can reduce the risk of lung cancer by 13% 
  • Protect against breast cancer: Moderate consumption of red wine may help lower the risk of breast cancer
  • Protect against prostate cancer by reducing men's overall risk of prostate cancer by 50-60%
  • Improve and/or even increase age longevity due to the antioxidants contained in the wine

Just remember (or at least be aware) that drinking more than 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks per day (more especially strong spirits) may increase the risk of weight gain, cardiovascular and blood circulation problems, internal organs malfunctions, etc... and may potentially also increase the risk breast cancer in women, so moderation is key. 

But, what is moderation? Or, do you define moderation? 

Wine Pour Sizes by ©LeDomduVin 2020 (V2)
Wine Pour Sizes
by ©LeDomduVin 2020


What is Moderation? And what are the Wine Pour Sizes? 

"Moderation" seems to greatly vary depending on the individual, as well as the culture and traditions of the country where this particular individual comes from. 

For example, "moderation", for some people in Europe (e.g. France, Italy, Spain and/or Portugal), may represent 1 glass of wine or 1 beer with the lunch or in the afternoon, and maybe 2 or 3 glasses of wine with dinner, so between to 3-5 glasses of wine per day (sometimes more, especially on Friday night and during the weekend).  

While in other countries, where drinking is less of a cultural/traditional thing, "moderation" might only represent 1 or 2 glasses maximum per day.    

No matter what "Moderation" means or represents to you, it seems that the general consensus on the meaning of "drinking with moderation" is defined by "moderate" consumption consisting of 1 glass of wine per day for women and 2 glasses per day for men, based on the common "established" standard that a glass of wine is about 5 oz (150 ml).      

But, there again, what exactly represents a glass of wine? While 5 oz (or 150ml) might be the "standard", understandably, the quantity of wine poured into your glass will also vary depending on the country's mores, customs, culture, traditions, as well as the place (restaurant, bar, club, etc...), the circumstances and even the company you're enjoying a glass of wine at and/or with.      

Therefore, I created the above illustration to clarify and answer the question, showing the various volumes poured into a glass, based on common practices specific to the different places:

Tasting / Events - 1.7-2 oz (50-60 ml)

Restaurant / Bar / Club - 4.06-5 oz (120-148 ml)

Standard / Regular - 5.1-5.6 oz (150-165 ml)

Home / Family or friends place / Cosy Place - 5.7-6.3 oz (168-186 ml)

If drinking red wine "with moderation" can be good for and benefit your health, don't forget that drinking too much, and too often, will cause harm and have grave consequences on your health, body and mind. Thus, you have to know what are your body's limits and don't exceed the health department and/or your doctor recommendations. 

So, before I conclude this post, some of you may wonder what makes drinking red wine good for our health? Well, without getting into too much complicated scientific terms and details, the compounds of the wine that benefit your health are parts of the phenolic content of the wine.  

Wine Phenolic Content Simplified Chart  by ©LeDomduVin 2020
Wine Phenolic Content Simplified Chart
by ©LeDomduVin 2020

The Phenolic Content of the wine

The phenolic content in wine refers to the "phenolics" or "phenolic compounds" ("Phenol", also called "Simple Phenol" or "Monophenol", and the "Polyphenols"), which are naturally found in wine (mostly Red wine), and include a large group of several hundred chemical compounds that affect (directly or indirectly) the taste, colour and mouthfeel of the wine. 

As on the illustration above, and to make it easier to understand, this large group of natural phenols can be separated into two categories, within which we will only focus on the followings (as the rest might get too technical):

    1. Flavonoids 

In Red wine, the flavonoid phenolic compounds account up to 90% of the wine phenolic content. Predominantly contained in the skin, seeds and stems, the phenols mainly contribute to the colour, taste (astringency) and mouthfeel of the wine. Their release from the grape berries, called the extraction, occurs during the maceration process. 

Flavonoids are specifically important for the colour & taste of wine.  Anthocyanins and Tannins are the two major flavonoids present in red grapes, together they form pigmented polymers. 

For your information, on a technical note, it is good to know that 

  • Anthocyanins are synthesised after the veraison period when the grape skin changes from green to red to black
  • Tannins and flavonols are made between the flowering & the veraison periods
  • Tannin maturation occurs from the veraison period to the harvest

In white wine, the flavonoids also exist but are less present than in red wine. Also, the lack of contact and maceration with the skin reduces the amount of these flavonoids. 

There are various on-going studies to demonstrate the health benefits of wine, more particularly red wine, derived from the antioxidant and chemopreventive properties of flavonoids.

The flavonoids most important polyphenolic compounds are:

- Anthocyanins 

Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid, a class of polyphenolic compounds with antioxidant effects. Found naturally in red grapes (and other fruits, vegetables, flowers, leaves and plants in general), anthocyanins are the pigments that give them their red, purple, and blue-rich colours. The concentration of anthocyanins (contained in the skin of the grapes) increases as the sugar increases during the ripening period. In most grapes anthocyanins can only be found in the outer cell layer of the skin, leaving the grape juice inside virtually colourless. (see Grape Berry and the Phenolic Compounds below) 

- Tannins 

Tannins (or tannoids) are a class of astringent, polyphenolic biomolecules that bind to and precipitate proteins and various other organic compounds including amino acids and alkaloids. (Wikipedia)

- Flavanols 

Flavanols, also known as Flavan-3-ol, include both flavanol monomers (catechins), and flavanol polymers (proanthocyanidins) (see Wikipedia page for more details)

- Flavonols 

"Flavonols", not to be mistaken with "Flavanols" above, is a subcategory of Flavonoids, which includes the yellow pigment (i.e. quercetin). Like other flavonoids, the concentration of flavonols in the grape berries increases as they are exposed to sunlight. Some viticulturists will use the measurement of flavonols in the grapes (such as quercetin) as an indication of a vineyard's sun exposure and the effectiveness of the used canopy management techniques.

In addition to the chart in the picture above, and to better visualize it, here is an illustration as a simplified representation of the grape berry and its phenolic compounds: 

The Grape Berry and Phenolic Compounds by ©LeDomduVin 2020
The Grape Berry and Phenolic Compounds
by ©LeDomduVin 2020

2. Non-flavonoids 

As per the authors of the book "Wine Chemistry and Biochemistry" (Michael Rentzsch, Andrea Wilkens and Peter Winterhalter):

"The non-flavonoid phenolic constituents in wine are divided into hydroxybenzoic acids and hydroxycinnamic acids, volatile phenols, stilbenes and miscellaneous compounds (e.g. lignans and coumarins). Although non-colored, the non-flavonoid constituents are known to enhance and stabilize the color of red wines by intra- and intermolecular reactions. They furthermore contribute to wine flavor (volatile phenolic acids) and some of them (e.g. resveratrol) exhibit potent biological activities." - Wine Chemistry and Biochemistry

The non-flavonoids phenolic compounds are contained in both the skin and the pulp, mainly contributing to the intrinsic properties of the wine. They include compounds like 

- Phenolic acids 

Although most phenolic compounds in wine fall into the group of "polyphenols" and "oligophenols", phenolic acids are parts of the "monophenols" or "simple phenolic" compounds such as benzoic and cinnamic acids and their hydroxylated derivatives. Phenolic Acids are usually divided into 2 types of acids: hydroxybenzoic acids (benzoic) and hydroxycinnamic acids (cinnamic and affeic). Phenolic acids or phenolcarboxylic acids are types of aromatic acid compound.

- Stilbenoids 

Stilbenoids (Stilbenes) are a group of naturally occurring phenolic compounds found in various plant species. They share a common backbone structure known as stilbene but differ in the nature and position of substituents. The Vitaceae, which includes the grapevine Vitis Vinifera, is the most prominent stilbene containing plant family. 

Stilbenoids include phenolic compounds such as the resveratrol, a rich antioxidant which has been the subject of controversial theories and many studies since the early 90s, that I will detail a bit further in the last paragraph of this post.  

Regarding the stilbenoids, as per the Waterhouse Lab: 

"Research has shown that stilbenoids are “phytoalexins,” which means a plant synthesizes these compounds as a response to microbial or abiotic stress, namely fungal infection and exposure to UV-radiation. To winemakers, this function of combating external stress is extremely useful considering grey mold and sun exposure are common issues in food production. The maintenance of the grapevine is ultimately made simpler by these protective chemicals. In addition, stilbenoids are by nature antioxidants. In theory, this could help with the stabilization of a wine by preventing oxidation. In practice, however, stilbenoid activity in wine has been shown to be relatively static and does not significantly contribute to the reduction of oxidative compounds." - Waterhouse Lab

And many other compounds (Lignans, Courmarins, etc...)


Now, because we just described the Stilbenoids, let's finish on a healthy note and try to better understand what is Resveratrol? 

"Le vin rend fort. Buvons du vin" poster - Docteur Widal
"Le vin rend fort. Buvons du vin" poster - Docteur Widal

What is Resveratrol? And why it makes red wine good for your health? 

This old poster above is very "à propos" (for this last paragraph) as it is titled 

"Le Vin rend fort. Buvons du Vin" 

(meaning "Wine makes you strong. Let's drink some wine")... 

...and in the upper left side corner, there is a quote from Docteur Widal (de l'Academie de Medecine, Professeur à la faculté de Paris) saying:   

"Le vin de France est un tonique pour les muscles 

et un stimulant pour l'esprit"

(meaning "The wine of France is a tonic for the muscles and a stimulant for the spirit" - or for the mind if you prefer)

And I could not agree more with this poster, wine is good for your body and mind and overall health, and it is, apparently, mostly because of a phenolic compound, part of the stilbenoids group, called Resveratrol.  But what is Resveratrol exactly? 


Resveratrol is a stilbenoid, a type of natural phenol (a polyphenol to be exact),  and a phytoalexin (an antimicrobial and often antioxidative substance) naturally produced by several plants, usually, in response to injury or stress when the plant is under attack by pathogens, such as bacteria or fungi. 

Resveratrol is naturally found in the skin (and the seeds) of grapes, but also blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, and peanuts.  

As part of the group of the phenolic compounds, called polyphenols, acting as antioxidants, protecting the fruit against bacterial and fungi aggressions, it is believed to have a similar function/action on the human body. When consumed either via the fruit itself, or a derivated form of it such as fruit juice or wine, Resveratol may protect against and/or reduce the risk of serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

Is that true? No one knows for sure but, in any case, Resveratrol is a rich antioxidant, which has healthy properties for the human body for sure and it has been partly proven that it does have great health benefits if taken in the right doses.  

It is important to precise that fact, and speak of it with caution, as Resveratrol has been the subject of many controversial theories and many studies since the early 90s. 

Resveratrol became one the most popularized of all the stilbenoids, when, in 1992, a study reported that resveratrol seemed to possess properties that could inhibit tumour growth treated on certain animal models. Yet, more studies are needed to confirm its real effects on humans.  

However, since then, the amount of research conducted on this particular phenolic compound has surged dramatically in the last 3 decades. 

As per Waterhouse Lab: "Unfortunately, the levels of resveratrol reported in wine versus the amounts used in these health studies are significantly different. The average concentration of resveratrol in red wine is 1.1-2.7mg/L. In a study out of the University of Illinois, it was suggested that resveratrol may play a crucial role in the prevention of heart disease, but the level of exposure in test mice were 8mg/kg of body weight. If translatable to humans, a 150-pound individual would need about 544mg of resveratrol for an effect to occur. To obtain this quantity of resveratrol from red wine, one would have to consume about 266 bottles. In many other health-related studies on resveratrol, the quantities of exposure are also significantly above what a person would ingest from a glass or two of wine. As it stands, research suggests that stilbenoids’ importance in the winemaking process is limited to their role as a phytoalexin in grapevines." - 2016 Waterhouse Lab  

In short, for the small amount of Resveratrol contained in red wine to really have an effect on the human body, one will need to drink more than 2 glasses per day and/or the equivalent of 266 bottles per year... or roughly 3/4 of a bottle a day, which is definitely doable! 

NB: If the general consensus of a standard glass of wine is 150 ml (or 5 oz) as we stated it above, then that is a total of 5 glasses for a 750 ml standard bottle or a total 1330 glasses of wine per year... (most people I know drink that much per day and even more... normal, like me they are French and it is in our culture. Do you know a French who does not drink wine? I don't...😁)   

Buvez du Vin et Vivez Joyeux French ad from 1939 by Leonetto Cappiello [1875-1942]
Buvez du Vin et Vivez Joyeux French ad from 1939
by Leonetto Cappiello [1875-1942]

Wine is good for you as it benefits your health, body and mind, as well as your mood and spirit

However, to conclude this post, I will say that, even if drinking wine does not help against or cure Covid-19, it definitely helps to cope with it to a certain extent. And don't get me wrong, I'm not inciting anyone to binge on alcohol, I'm just pointing at the fact that a glass of wine or two a day, never hurt anyone. 

On the contrary, and no matter how you see it, and whether it is due to Resveratrol or not, when drunk with moderation, Red wine (wine in general) is good for you. 

Moreover, over the last decade, the latest researches and studies on the subject,  have proven and concluded that drinking wine (Red wine more particularly), with moderation (for all the followings), and, thus, absorbing a certain dose of Resveratol, as well as the other numerous phenolic compounds (acting as antioxidants and antimicrobial) naturally contained in wine, may help to:

- Protect and preserve your heart

In moderation, drinking red wine has long been proven to keep your heart healthy, as, the alcohol and certain phenolic compounds containing antioxidants, found in red wine, may help prevent coronary artery disease, the condition that leads to heart attacks.

- Lower LDL (bad) Cholesterol 

In moderation, it has been proven that drinking red wine increases the level of HDL (good) Cholesterol and also protects arteries, while, also lowering  LDL (bad) cholesterol, due to phenolic compounds such as Resveratrol and the action of Saponins, glucosides that have cholesterol-lowering properties as well. 

-  Prevent colds 

Recent studies in Spain have proven that people drinking a glass of red wine per day are 44% less likely to catch a cold compared to those who don't. That's good news, isn't it? With the winter season nearly upon us, it gives us one more reason to open some bottles now.   

Reduce Inflammation 

Recent studies demonstrated that the anti-inflammatory properties associated with Resveratrol and other phenolic compounds with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties may help reduce inflammation caused by certain allergies and diseases.

- Inhibit the growth of cancer cells 

Mostly in animal experiments, for now, and more studies are needed to confirm it on humans, but, so far, encouraging results showing progress in that direction.  

- Sleep better

Both red and white wine naturally contain melatonin, a hormone with sleep-inducing properties, which appear to be more present in rich and deep red wines. Therefore, you might benefit from eating red grapes and/or drink full-bodied red wines to get a little boost of melatonin and improve the quality and lasting of your sleep. 

- Remain younger and healthier 

The various phenolic compounds acting antioxidants and antimicrobial (called polyphenols) like "Resveratrol", as well as other things like "Melatonin", (also an antioxidant), contained in wine, have health benefits and anti-ageing and cancer preventative properties, which, with regular exercises and a healthy lifestyle will help you to remain younger and healthier longer. 

Antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. Alcohol itself may have (to some degree) some protective effects when consumed in moderation. 

So, who is this "moderation" everyone keeps telling me to drink with?
by ©LeDomduVin 2020


In conclusion, all you have to remember is that, even if drinking wine or strong alcohol will not do anything against COVID-19, in moderation (of course), it will definitely help to cope with it. More especially, if you are in a zone under "confinement". 

And also remember that, at the end of the day, drinking some wine (with moderation) may have benefits on your health, body and mind, mood and spirit, as well as your "Joie de vivre" and overall happiness. 

Wine brings people together. New bonds of friendship and/or companionship are usually formed during memorable shared occasions, with family or friends, or both, over delicious meals, often enhanced with a few bottles of wine, as minds, spirits and hearts opened up.   

"Nowadays, in the world we live in, drinking wine is not only a necessity, it is necessary!" - LeDomduVin 2020


Thank you for reading my post, 

Until next time, take good care of yourself and loved ones, stay and be safe, and give some love around as that's all we've got. 

LeDomduVin (a.k.a. Dominique Noël)  

Sources and Links: 

(*) If interested, WHO (World Health Organisation) wrote a full PDF document about the general myths and facts about alcohol and COVID-19 available at


(**) Spelling mistake on the "3 Types of Alcohol" illustration above, for Ethanol, it is "principal" ingredient not "principle", but you surely figure it out.    

Unless specified otherwise, ALL the above including, but not limited to, the illustrations, pictures, charts and texts ©LeDomduVin 2020 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Grand Vin de Château Latour 1949

Château Latour 1949 by ©LeDomduVin 2020
Château Latour 1949
by ©LeDomduVin 2020

Grand Vin de Château Latour 1949

While visiting the cellar I stumbled across many empty bottles of old and rare wines, consumed within the last few years, that I kept for Wine Quality Control purposes. 

Château Latour 1949 (2) by ©LeDomduVin 2020
Château Latour 1949 (2)
by ©LeDomduVin 2020

I like to keep the labels or even the bottles with the labels of these old ladies that I eventually use or refer to when in doubt during a wine inspection. 

Château Latour 1949 (3) by ©LeDomduVin 2020
Château Latour 1949 (3)
by ©LeDomduVin 2020

They are like pieces of history, (even if empty), and I treat them as such. With sometimes, the taste of these old ladies still in mind, as I have been lucky enough to (at least) taste these great wines... more than once for some of them. 

Château Latour 1949 (4) by ©LeDomduVin 2020
Château Latour 1949 (4)
by ©LeDomduVin 2020

Château Latour 1949 is a stunning wine from a  rare and historic vintage. It has been rated very highly by the critics (e.g. 100 points by Robert Parker Jr., 98 points by Neal Martin) and as per www.cellartracker.com reaches the average of 94.4 points in 41 community wine reviews. 

Château Latour 1949 (5) by ©LeDomduVin 2020
Château Latour 1949 (5)
by ©LeDomduVin 2020

It is so good, that Neal Martin rated it 98 points twice. 

First in his journal:

"Tasted blind at the chateau, my God, this is just one ethereal Latour that has the audacity to steal the limelight from the ’61. Given its age, it still looks youthful with a thin tawny rim. The bouquet is gradually mutating into a Burgundy with just heavenly precision, a veneer of red fruit over minerals and a hint of seaweed. The palate is medium-bodied with the balance of tightrope walker halfway across the Niagara Falls. It is just so sublime, not powerful and extraordinarily intense with amazing poise on the finish. Warning: this wine can bring tears to the eyes. Tasted June 2011." (05/2012) 98 points 

And the second time, more recently, for www.vinous.com 

The 1949 Latour has the best aromatics compared to the 1945 and 1947: stylish, classy, beautifully defined, regal and just very Pauillac: vestiges of black fruit intermingling with graphite, cedar and subtle tertiary scents. It is the epitome of postwar Pauillac. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, wonderful acidity, shimmering black fruit laced with graphite and smoke that fan out in statesmanlike fashion towards the irresistible finish. This is one of the best bottles of the 1949 that I have tasted: cool and sophisticated as Noel Coward in a smoking jacket. Tasted at the Latour dinner in Hong Kong (NM) » (7/2018)

Château Latour 1949 (6) by ©LeDomduVin 2020
Château Latour 1949 (6)
by ©LeDomduVin 2020

I had the chance to taste it a few times in the last 8 years, more especially this particular bottle on the pictures in this post, and couldn't agree more with Neal Martin. More especially, as it was a magnum, not a regular bottles, which is even better as the bigger the volume the less fast the wine aged in the bottle. 

Tasted a few years ago, prior and after decanting it and prior to serving it for dinner, back in 2017 (if i remember well). From memory, my personal tasting notes were:

Chateau Latour, 1er Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France (Magnum - 1.5L)
Recommended retail price 75,000 to 90,000 HKD (or 8,260 to 9,920 Euros)

"Fairly youthful, light to medium intensity, garnet-brownish colour, with dark orange brick hue (little sediments), for 1949. Elegant, refined, subtle at first, yet quite complex and aromatic nose after a minute in the glass. Lovely bouquet where mingle secondary and hints of tertiary scents, yet, here again, rather youthful for 1949, (slower ageing in magnum format surely helped), an enticing mix of red and blackberries, figs, graphite, pencil shave, cedar and leather with a note of minerality. The palate is medium-bodied, harmonious and perfectly balanced, expanding nicely and gently from attack to finish with flavors reminiscent of those on the nose all along until the fairly long and juicy finish. What a blast, and still so youthful, it could easily go on for another 10+ years and remain as good. Such a great and memorable wine" - Dominique Noël (2017)

Château Latour 1949 (7) by ©LeDomduVin 2020
Château Latour 1949 (7)
by ©LeDomduVin 2020

#latour #chateaulatour @chateau__latour #pauillac #bordeaux #bordeauxclassic #grandcruclasse #france #oldandrareladies #oldandrarewines #oldandrarevintages #wine #vin #vino #wein #ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom @ Hong Kong

All the above including pictures, tasting notes and texts ©LeDomduVin 2020 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Hug Therapy

"Il Retorno" (The return) or "Abbraccio" (The hug) by Bruno Bruni, 1980
"Il Retorno" (The return) or "Abbraccio" (The hug)
by Bruno Bruni, 1980

Hug Therapy

Hugs are good for both physical and mental health. A few seconds are enough to bring well-being and comfort.  After 20 seconds, they have a therapeutic effect on body and mind.

The hormone produced during a long and sincere hug, called "oxytocin", helps to relax, to feel safe and to allay our anxiety and our fears.

The more tender, affectionate and caring the hug, the stronger the sensations and feelings experienced will be, both physically and psychologically.

"Il Retorno" (The return) or "Abbraccio" (The hug) 
by Bruno Bruni, 1980

Sculpture: "Il Retorno" (The return) or "Abbraccio" (The hug) by Bruno Bruni, 1980

All my thoughts and hugs go to my family and friends in France and in the US (and everywhere else in the world), I love you all. 

Take good care of yourself and your loved ones and be safe. And give each other love and hugs because you're all you've got. 

Thank you, 

LeDomduVin (a.k.a. Dominique Noël) 

#hug #hugtime #hugtherapy #wellbeing #comfort #friendship #hugsomeone #needahug #sculpture #art #moment #life #people #ilretorno #abbraccio #brunobruni #ledomduvin @ledomduvin #ineedahug @ Hong Kong

©LeDomduVin 2020

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Caroline Frey - Les Grains Blancs de Mon Jardin Secret 2018

Caroline Frey - Les Grains Blancs de Mon jardin Secret 2018 (1) 
©LeDomduVin 2020

Caroline Frey -  "Les Grains Blancs de Mon Jardin Secret" 
Vin Blanc du Valais (Suisse) 2018 

Jolie surprise, le 16 Juillet dernier, mon envie de goûter le vin blanc de Caroline Frey, produit en tout petite quantité dans son minuscule vignoble du Valais, en Suisse, s'est enfin concretisée. 

Caroline Frey - Les Grains Blancs de Mon jardin Secret 2018 (2) 
©LeDomduVin 2020

Merci à @damienfle (Damien Fleury), importateur de Vins Suisses de haute qualité ici sur Hong Kong, d'être venu présenter ce très joli vin à @simpsonto (Directeur des vins du Restaurant "Le Pan") et moi même. Belle rencontre aussi avec Damien. 

Caroline Frey - Les Grains Blancs de Mon jardin Secret 2018 (3) 
©LeDomduVin 2020

Dégusté à température ambiante, car il n'etait pas prévu d'ouvrir la bouteille que j'achetais pour moi même, en fait, mais que j'ai voulu partager sur l'instant. Le vin s'est quand même très bien goûté (c'est un signe de qualité généralement).

Caroline Frey - Les Grains Blancs de Mon jardin Secret 2018 (4) 
©LeDomduVin 2020

Assemblage de Johannisberg (Sylvaner) et Fendant (Chasselas) (pas sur du % ?) 
348 bouteilles et 18 magnums produit en 2018 seulement. 

Caroline Frey - Les Grains Blancs de Mon jardin Secret 2018 (5) 
©LeDomduVin 2020

Notes de dégustations

Caroline Frey -  "Les Grains Blancs de Mon Jardin Secret" 
Vin Blanc du Valais (Suisse) 2018 

Couleur jaune pâle, l'aspect est très clair et minéral, limpide.

Un nez très expressif, voir puissant, sur des notes boisées et grillées, maltées, briochées (vieilli en fût de chêne, combien de temps?), suivi d'arômes de fruits jaunes (pêche, pomme), des nuances noisettées (amande, entre grillée et fraîche) et une minéralité (qui m'évoque l'eau de rivière de montagne coulant sur des rochers). Un nez très aromatique en somme. 

Caroline Frey - Les Grains Blancs de Mon jardin Secret 2018 (6) 
©LeDomduVin 2020

La bouche est assez ample sur l'attaque, plutôt sur des saveurs beurrées, boisées, mais se revèle bien plus attrayante et légère par sa texture en milieu et fin de bouche avec une belle acidité et une jolie mineralité, qui vient rafraichir le palais et donner du mordant. Un bouche bien équilibrée et harmonieuse, homogène aussi, avec une finale persistante. Vraiment un super vin, bien fait et très agréable, assez boisé. 

Beaucoup de precision, une caracteristique habituelle des vins de Caroline Frey (Château La Lagune, Haut-Médoc, et Jaboulet Hermitage "La Chapelle" en sont les deux autres bels exemples). 

En fait je dirais, très impressionnant, même à température ambiante. J'adore les vins de montagne et celui-ci en est une très belle exprssion et un très bon exemple. 

Caroline Frey - Les Grains Blancs de Mon jardin Secret 2018 (8) 
©LeDomduVin 2020

Merci Caroline Frey pour votre vin, j'adore. 
(bouteille 199/348). Je suis un des rares privilégiés qui aura pu le goûter. 

Merci et à la prochaine fois, en attendant, soyez prudents et prenez soin de vous. 

LeDomduVin (a.k.a. Dominique Noël)

Caroline Frey - Les Grains Blancs de Mon jardin Secret 2018 (9) 
©LeDomduVin 2020

@caroline__frey @damienfle @simpsonto @ledomduvin #vinblanc #blanc #vindesuisse #suisse #lesgrainsblancsdemonjardinsecret #lesgrainsblancs #carolinefrey #valais #switzerland #johannisberg #sylvaner  #fendant #chasselas #wine #vin #vino #wein #ledomduvin

NB: Une fois n'est pas coutume, comme on dit, j'écris d'habitude en Anglais (plus facile pour un blog orienté sur le vin et donc avec des lecteurs du monde entier), mais j'avais ecris l'original en Français sur mon compte Instagram @ledomduvin , donc je l'ai laissé en Français aussi pour ce post sur mon blog. 

©LeDomduVin 2020