Terry's blog, updated regularly, so you won't miss anything important in the world of wine.


A study at the University of Florida suggests that muscadine red wine has properties that can make skin look younger. Muscadine grapes come in various levels of sweetness. Contrary to the oblong shape in which most grapes grow, muscadine berries are large and round and range from green to black in colour. A study asked 17 women aged 40 to 67 to drink two glasses of muscadine wine made from grapes native to the south east of the USA. It was found to improve the elasticity of skin suggesting an anti ageing effect. The fly in the ointment so to speak is that the alcohol was taken out the wine so a glass of regular muscadine red wine may not work in this way. Obviously more research is required.

It does raise hopes of a new way of combating ageing, using natural plant compounds called polyphenols from the grapes used to make wine. Dr Lindsey Christman a co-author of the study said ‘ Our study suggests muscadine wine polyphenols have potential to improve skin conditions, specifically elasticity and transepidermal water loss in middle-aged and older women.’


Less Quantity – More Quality

A leading charity has called for a clampdown on cheap alcohol and junk food due to a surge in liver cancer deaths. The British Liver Trust states that unhealthy diets have fuelled a 40% rise in fatalities of the disease in the last decade,

Mortality rates have tripled from liver cancer since the early 70’s and it is now the fastest rising cause for cancer deaths in the UK. Trust chief executive Pamela Healy states that ‘The key drivers for the increase in cases and deaths are alcohol and obesity, too many of us are drinking too much alcohol and are overweight. We urgently need government action on both issues.’

It seems that ministers have delayed the introduction of rules banning supermarket multi-buy deals on foods high on fat, sugar and salt. The Association of Directors of Public Health also wants minimum pricing on alcohol similar to the measures introduced in Scotland in 2018. This pioneering minimum pricing policy is linked to a 13% drop in alcohol related deaths and hundreds of fewer hospitalisations.

There are about 6,000 cases of prime liver cancer diagnosed in the UK each year around 16 per day. Liver cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers. Only 13 per cent of those diagnosed with primary liver cancer live for five years or longer. The Department of Health says that it is committed to diagnosing 75% of all cancers early at stage 1 or stage 2 by 2028. The plan is to carry out community health checks for those with a high risk of cirrhosis. Obesity costs the NHS £6.5 billion a year and is the second biggest cause of cancer.



A recent article in the Daily Mail mentioned that Beefeater gin has gone back on sale in Russia. Named after the warders that guard the Towers Of London, MPs have expressed outrage at the French company that owns this quintessentially British export. Pernod Ricard who own the brand initially paused shipments to Russia last March. The mail has revealed that the French parent company has quietly decided to cancel the embargo meaning Beefeater Gin has reappeared on Supermarket shelves in Russia.

Alicia Kearns, chairman of the foreign affairs committee has commented ‘ Pernod Ricard profiting from an aggressive state responsible for war crimes is shameful’

There has been a marked response on social media bombarding the brands feed with videos of themselves pouring gin down the sink. One caption read ‘ do you enjoy your gin with just a hint of Ukrainian blood? If not, feel free to boycott all Pernod Ricard product ‘

Protesters from the Ukraine Solidarity Project also targeted the Tower Of London, Westminster and the Beefeater Factory in London calling for a boycott of this product.

Pernod Ricard advertise Beefeater gin on their Russian site, mentioning that it has five offices with around 300 employees in Russia. A spokesman for the firm commented that they had resumed shipping to Russia on a ‘limited basis because pre-existing stock in the country had now run out’

OWC Comment – we will inform you of any other drinks company/s, large or small we hear of carrying out this disgraceful resumption of supply practice.


A recent article published by Alice Brooker from the Spirits Business website provided some interesting reading with regards to sustainability involving many of the well known drinks giants.

The Good Shopping Guide’s ethical ranking of 36 spirits brands based on their ethical and sustainable practices shone a poor light on LVMH owned Belvedere vodka & Hennessy Cognac.

The brands were rated out of 100.

Belvedere and Hennessy received bottom ratings, scoring 32 points in the organic, animal welfare , vegetarian/vegan, political donations, and public record criticisms. The two brands were also marked down in the public record criticisms-plus criteria. Other low scores were given to Smirnoff vodka, Gordons gin and Captain Morgan rum. Each scoring 42 points. Absolute vodka, Havana Club rum and Malibu rum scored 46 points. Bacardi rum, Hendrick’s gin, Bombay Sapphire and Whitley Neill gin all achieved a score of 62.

Two brands shared top spot. They were Nc’nean whisky and Juniper Green gin, each scoring 92 points.

To measure the brand’s ethics and sustainability ratings, The Good Shopping Guide looked at the spirits brands’ environmental reports, which had to be dated in the last two years to attain a top rating. The brand’s relationship with nuclear power, genetic modification, organic farming, fossil fuels and sustainable materials. The brand’s animal welfare policies and whether it works with vegan and vegetarian products were also investigated. In addition the Guide looked at how the brand worked with people, ensuring brands were not funding political parties or involved in controversial investments.

Kat Alexander director of The Good Shopping Guide commented: "There is still work to do from some of the more established spirits brands, especially regarding environmental impact. In the near future , we hope to see progress across all ethical criteria we research".


Giving Something Back

As I have family connections in Leicestershire I am pleased to make you aware of the Leicester based social Enterprise Anthelios – Lager For Good. They have partnered with a local brewer to create a unique black lager called PERIGON made from surplus bread.

Anthelios work closely with FareShare Midlands to give surplus bread a new purpose. In the UK alone 24 million slices of bread are wasted every single day.

FareShare Midlands works in partnership with the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, FareShare, to source and redistribute good quality, in-date surplus food which would otherwise have gone to waste. Turning an environmental problem unto a social solution. Each day they receive good-to-eat surplus food from the food industry. Last year they redistributed over 7,000 tonnes of food that would have otherwise been wasted.

The food arrives into six warehouses. Where it is sorted and stored by dedicated teams of staff and volunteers. The supplies are then redistributed to more that 550 charities and community groups across the Midlands, including community centres, homeless shelters and children’s breakfast/school holiday clubs.

These local organisations then turn the food into food parcels and delicious meals for vulnerable people. Last year they delivered enough food to create 16 million meals. As well as food, the organisations they supply, provide vital support to people often facing challenging circumstances in living in poverty.

PERIGON Lager is a smooth lively deceptive black lager with great roasted malted flavours, approaching a burnt toast taste but in a good way. Balanced between cosy malt sweetness and a snap of bitterness. It comes in a 330ml bottle at 4.2 ABV and can be purchased direct at

What is admirable is that 30% of the profits go to fund support sessions for those on their alcohol and substance recovery journey. Anthelios is focused on providing support while breaking the stigma around seeking help. This is delivered in partnership with Dear Albert, an alcohol and substance recovery social enterprise.

Dear Albert delivers targeted support, combining innovative approaches with evidence based initiatives. Their proven approaches can be directed towards individuals and organisations that come into contact with those suffering active substance and alcohol misuse.

The story behind Anthelios is a Greek tale of incredible beauty that delights in the process of bringing purity to life. Anthelios comes from the Greek word Antheliona which is a luminous ring seen on a cloud opposite the sun. It celebrates the seasons and the ever changing relationship between light and darkness, air and water, fire and ice.

Just as the sun brings clarity to our days, strives to achieve its goal of peeling away the impurities to deliver a superb lager that truly benefits those who can’t drink it.


Tequila The Spirit Of 2023

As we start the new year it may be a new dawning for tequila, a recent article in CITYA.M. suggests that it is set to be the spirit of 2023.

Tequila sales, are reported to have a recent annual growth rate of 70 percent and figures by Allied Market Research suggest that tequila has generated more than £6.5bn in the last 12 months and is set to rise to £20bn by 2031. The image is changing from the seedy shot slamming stereotypical. To be enjoyed more slowly, to be appreciated, not simply downed. Indeed at the quality end tequila can fetch £100 plus per bottle, similar to premium whiskies. Instead of sipping and savouring like whisky the consumption is completely different it is consumed more like vodka at higher energy occasions which is a factor regarding its rapid sales growth as it doesn’t hang around long.

Tequila is made from the blue agave plant. Strictly controlled in accordance with ‘Declaracion de Denominacion de Origen Tequila’ or ‘Appellation of Origin Declaration’.

The different grades are determined by how long the spirit is aged in oak barrels. The three main grades are blanco, reposado and anejo.

Blanco or white tequila is the most common and is not aged, or aged for less that two months. Reposado, which means ‘rested’ is aged for a minimum of two months but less than a year. Anejo which means ‘aged’ or ‘vintage’ is aged for a minimum of one year but less than three years. Extra anejo is the luxury grade.

Named after the small town where the most delicious vino mezcal was produced. Mezcal can be made from a variety of agave plants. Premium tequila is produced from the blue Weber agave plant from Jalisco, Mexico. It can take 5 -10 years to mature, with up to three years barrel ageing before it is bottled.

Some luxury brands to look out for are Don Julio 1942, Clase Azul, and Tequila Komos. Ultra-luxury, collectors brands including ReySol Anejo (£300), Gran Patron Burdeos (£500) and Asombrosco Del Porto Extra Anejo ( £1500)

Footnote – For those of you who have read my blog regarding the 2022 London Wine Trade Fair. The published attendance figure is 8822.... No further comment.


Don’t Blame Your Grandad

A recent study published in the journal – Nature suggests that the amount of alcohol people get through is significantly influenced by their genes. Researchers looked at genetic analysis for almost 3.4 million people who were asked how many alcoholic drinks they consumed on average. The study defined a drink as a 150ml glass of wine at 12 percent strength, a 350ml bottle of beer at 5 percent or a shot of spirit.

For those from a white European background, the 10 percent with the highest genetic score linked to drinking, put away more than seven drinks a week. The 10 percent with the lowest score drank less than four. Professor Dajlang Liu a co-author of the study said ‘ genes play an important partial role’ in how much we drink. The findings show people with a higher genetic likelihood were smokers and tended to consume more alcohol.

Online Wine Club comment - This may be so but with all the publicity explaining the detrimental impact of smoking and drinking to excess, the health burden is on the individual today, not in the past.


Hazards at both ends of the age spectrum

There have been two press articles recently regarding the health hazards of drinking too much for both the younger and older generation.

Regarding the latter... One article highlights the ‘wine o’clock’ lifestyle of the over 65’s who are at risk of liver cancer by over indulgence. Liver cancer cases are up 43% in a decade with deaths from the disease at a similar rate. Alcohol consumption has fallen in England in recent years but is highest amongst older people. The disease is hard to diagnose and obesity and drinking too much are the two main causes. NHS data shows a fifth of this age group drink most days, drinking beer, wine and cocktails to unwind. The British Liver Trust recently warned that many cancer cases are being confirmed only after the disease has spread, making it harder to treat.

A team from Seoul University has analysed a Korean national database for young adults who were asked about their alcohol consumption. Their findings suggest that people in their 20’s and 30’s who drink moderate to heavy amounts of alcohol may be more likely to suffer a stroke than those who drink smaller or zero amounts. Out of 1.5 million participants, a total of 3153 had a stroke during the study period of six years. As the number of years of moderate to heavy drinking increased so did the risk of a stroke. Younger people with two years of moderate to heavy drinking had a 19 percent increased risk. People with three years of the same had a 22 percent risk and people with four years, a 23 percent risk. These results were after researchers accounted for other factors that could affect the risk of a stroke such as high blood pressure, smoking and body mass index. They concluded that their study was limited by only including Korean people, meaning that the risk may not transfer to other ethnicities. However they calculated that those who consumed the equivalent of 13 UK units or more per week (the recommended ceiling is 14 units in the UK) were classed as heavy to moderate drinkers.

British charity Stroke, informs that one in five people who have strokes are now under the age of 55.

mogg is a bellend

Summon The Spirits

A choice of 12 spirits to savour this Halloween

Dead Mans Fingers

Au Vodka Black Grape Spirit Drink

Created at the Rum and Crab shack in St Ives, Cornwall. Dead Mans Fingers is a spiced rum with attitude. Blended with spices in many different flavours including Passion Fruit, Mango Pineapple, Banana and Coconut , stirs the soul and sets you up fair for whatever the wind blows in..

Cloven Hoof Rum

Au Vodka Black Grape Spirit Drink

Produced by using a combination of both Guyanese and Trinidad Rums which are blended together with spices. Most notably clove. A spicy forward rum with hints of tasted brown sugar infused with clove and cassia. Appeared on TV’s Dragons Den, which helped its popularity. Has a more powerful cousin – Over Hoof , a devil of a drink at 66.6%

Death’s Door Gin

Au Vodka Black Grape Spirit Drink

Produced in a micro distillery, made with organic red winter wheat on Washington Island in Wisconsin USA. Produced at a higher than normal strength may be key in calming your nerves this October 31st.

Ghost Vodka

Au Vodka Black Grape Spirit Drink

Distilled from grain, filtered through charcoal. This ultra-premium spirit delivers on both attitude and taste. Each bottle stamped with their signature Ghost skull available in Silver, Gold or Rose Gold - it’s the same super smooth taste for all three. Don’t mess with the Ghost, if you feel you have a monopoly on its name!

Big Peat Whisky Halloween Edition

Au Vodka Black Grape Spirit Drink

A frightfully fun addition to the Big Peat range from Douglas Laing. This edition celebrates the scary season of Halloween. A spooky selection of single cask Islay single malts go into this blend.

Stone Gaze Rhubarb Gin

Au Vodka Black Grape Spirit Drink

Scary bottle in the form of Medusa’s head contains a zingy gin infused with sweet juicy raspberries and sharp tangy rhubarb. Sipped neat or with tonic. Drink it this Halloween but avoid looking into Medusa’s eyes, they will really scare you.

Kraken Rum

Au Vodka Black Grape Spirit Drink

The largest shipment of Caribbean black spiced rum was said to be brought down by the Kraken. The rum was named in its honour, as it was dark and mysterious as the beast’s ink. The Kraken is housed in a replica of a Victorian flagon. Serve ‘The Storm.’ - poured over ice topped with fiery Halloween ginger beer and a squeeze of fresh lime.

Fallen Angel Rum And Vodka

Au Vodka Black Grape Spirit Drink

Finest quality spiced rum, turbo charged with a recipe of spices and vanilla. Contained in a beautiful new black 700ml bottle. Quality Vodka produced from British grain absolutely stunning presentation. Produced in the UK

Wee Beastie Whisky

Au Vodka Black Grape Spirit Drink

A monster of a dram from Ardberg distillery, a youthful tongue tingling drink with intense aromas on the snout comprising crackled blacked pepper mingled with sappy pine resin and a sharp tang of smoke. Suddenly an explosive mouth feel bursts forth with chocolate, creosote and tar, revealing the inner beast of this Islay Icon.

Hell’s Stone Whisky

Au Vodka Black Grape Spirit Drink

Cornish high quality whisky named after the Hell’s Stone Of Helston where legend tells of the devil’s ambition to take Cornwall for himself where the archangel St Michael battled with a fire – breathing dragon possessed by the Devil, carrying a red hot boulder in its claws right from the fires of hell. Michael struck the dragon a mighty blow which released the stone. To this day villages celebrate the victory of their patron saint.

Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum Halloween Edition

Au Vodka Black Grape Spirit Drink

This best selling spirit brand – worldwide, enjoyed in more than 170 countries. Presented in a spooky Halloween bottle. Bacardi Carta Blanca was established in 1862 and is still remarkably, a family controlled brand.

Crystal Head Vodka

Au Vodka Black Grape Spirit Drink

Crystal Head vodka was created by actor Dan Ackroyd in 2008. This iconic vodka uses only the most pristine ingredients from fresh Newfoundland water to Herkimer diamonds used in the filtration process. Comes in an intricately made glass skull bottle including a host of special editions.

Happy Halloween
Please drink responsibly.


A recently published study suggests that a glass of beer a day is good for your gut. Research has found that men who drank one bottle of beer a day, alcoholic or non alcoholic with dinner, every day for four weeks, had a healthier gut.

The study carried out by Dr Ania Faria from Nova University in Lisbon states that men aged between 23 – 58 had a greater diversity of bacteria, which may help to reduce the risk of illnesses including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

It established that moderate beer consumption combined with a balanced diet can improve gut health. Fermented drinks including beer are a source of healthier compounds.

19 men were divided into two groups one group was sent 330ml bottles of beer 5.2 abv and the other group received a non alcoholic alternative. The men were told not to change their physical activity or diet.

After a month it was established that there was no difference in the men’s weight, fat mass or blood sugar but they had a greater range of bacteria in their gut. It was similar for both groups.

It concluded that the non alcoholic option is better due to alcohol having other detrimental health effects and that it should be kept to just one glass per day.

It was suggested that the findings may also help explain that moderate beer drinking can protect against cardiovascular disease, as red wine does. On the subject of wine a different survey concluded that just 3 medium glasses of wine a week could reduce a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. US experts from the University of Louisville studied 413 women over 19 months to establish their findings.

As always moderation is the key factor.

mogg is a bellend


Here you will find niche wines and spirits, Some very specific to individual taste and requirements, many not easy to find on popular search engines. Several, in our opinion their absolute best in their Class.

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