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The way we eat, shop and a wine with a pig’s head on the label!

Firstly, happy New Year to all.  I hope you enjoyed your Christmas indulgence and you have finally finished the Turkey!  I was watching a very interesting program on channel 4 the other night on the subject of diet.  It was called the World’s best diet.   It identified the world’s healthiest diet by country/region by looking at the health of the population in terms of things like obesity, heart disease etc (UK of course not anywhere near the top).  The usual factors were in there, plenty of veg, quality meat and fish, olive oil etc, but there were some surprising places in the top ten.  Southwest France where the diet is rich in fatty meat (plenty of duck fat), dairy and wine has one of the healthiest, slimmest populations in Europe.  So eating just lettuce and crisp bread is not the answer then? No, but things like eating at table and taking time over it, is very important in France and was a constant theme in all the best diets.  Most food was sourced relatively locally from small producers, no supermarkets and all were taking time to choose quality food over quantity, absolutely no two for ones!  As a by product of attaching so much importance to food and the way it is sourced and prepared, the words organic and fresh popped up a lot.

Here in Settle, we are very lucky to have some fantastic small local shops/markets/producers.  For convenience most of them deliver as well.  Just of the top of my head, you could very easily dish up some lovely local pork from Blue Pig, with some organic greens from Growing with Grace and organic potatoes baked in the oven with some superb Vacheron cheese from Andy at the Courtyard Dairy.  Healthy, balanced, sourced locally, a pleasure to buy and cook and of course delicious.  Don’t forget the Tuesday market (best fish around, few weeks ago, i got some gorgeous fresh squid caught that morning off Morecambe Bay), naked man for bread and cakes etc, we have it all.

So what has all this to do with wine?

Well, specialising in natural wine, basically good healthy stuff, we are always banging on about this type of thing.  We believe eating well and healthily mean a happier life for all (producers and consumers alike) and we think drinking well and healthily do to.  Going back to the south of France, they still drink plenty of wine, but mainly at lunch and just one or two glasses.  It helps the digestion and is full of anti-oxidants.  Now then, at Buon Vino, we have started to import the perfect healthy lunch wine and we will be shouting about it a lot over the next few months.

It is called Grand Cerdo, BIG PIG!  The label has quite a story behind it which i will for now leave to your imagination or until you come in and buy a bottle.  But i want to talk quickly about the origin of this wine.

Gran Cerdo

Gonzalo, Gonzalo Grijalba (cool name) took over the family vineyards in Fuenmayor, Rioja from his father after studying and traveling extensively in France and Italy amongst small, natural growers.  He was profoundly influenced in his methods by the fact that his father became seriously ill from daily exposure to high-spec chemical fertilisers and herbicides while tending their vines in the 70s when such products were regarded as a panacea for all vineyard problems.  Gonzalo has also witnessed the life being drained from of his family’s land with the use of these products.  Wild flowers, birds, worms, snails and organic matter vanished from the soil and environment and Gonzalo felt the life force of his family’s land was gone.

From that bleak situation, and after much struggle (read the back label!) he gave birth to Orgullo, his personal Eonology project.  Biodynamic practices, pure Tempranillo, no oak and the pursuit of fresh natural wine from his beloved Tierra in the Rioja Alta.

They follow the lunar cycle in vineyard and cellar, with whole bunch fermentation, wild yeast, no filtration, stabilisation and a minimum of sulphur.  This little wine has character, juicy cherrific (that’s cherry and terrific) fruit with no dirty oak or vanilla to mask its charm.  It has a pure natural way about but with no funkiness.

I don’t often mention price in this article as it is not a sales thing, but this little gem is great value and the most inexpensive and approachable Biodynamic wine we do.  At £8.50 a bottle or £8 when you buy 6 plus loyalty discount, it is fantastic pure drinking for any lunch time!

We will taste it out every weekend during February so drop in for a slurp and see for yourselves.

Ok, but all this healthy local food costs more i hear you say!  Well does it?  Don’t forget the idea is we all eat less throughout the year, less and better, so we buy less.  Even if it does cost a few pence more, surely health and happiness are worth a few more pence?  We haven’t the time i hear you say!  Well that is the thing, in the top ten list, all those countries, they make time, because it is that important.

So at the risk of sounding preachy, for a happier life, love your small producers of all things, shop local, cook from scratch, sit down and take your time as much as you can and of course, drink natural!

All the best for a happy and healthy New Year.