may take this book with a pinch of salt (or a glass
of champagne) for the book commends Champagne for its
medicinal value to cure various common maladies. Like
any other alternative medicines, if you put your complete
faith in these two champagne smitten doctor- authors,
champagne will cure you of many medical problems.
The book is a smooth and effervescent
read with a lot of humour thrown in. But for being a
bit gross here and there ( are they being French?) it
is a light reading, taking one through the history and
various wine loving personalities with quotes sprinkled
here and there along with some beautiful lithographs
adorning the text.
Though it recommends only a flute a day,
it seduces you to finish reading it all in one sitting,
like the whole bottle in one evening- just like I felt
It has dedicated individual chapters on
Stimulation of Desire, Obesity, Loss of Appetite, Arterial
clogging, migraine headaches, insomnia, drugs, gynaecological
troubles, gerontology and ageing, food allergies, constipation,
indigestions and more, giving you tips on how Champagne
helps you to get rid of your physical misery
The generous use of Moet Chandon bottles
in the photographs leaves an impression that it was
sponsored by the monolithic giant and the market leader,
if it weren't for the last page of the medical section
of the book which shows the picture of a Pol Rogers
bottle and Winston Churchill's back with his famous
quote, 'Remember, gentlemen, we are not just fighting
for France, we are fighting for champagne'.
A third of the 156 page book in hard-cover
has been allocated to Documentary Annexes like the grape
variety, vine and mushrooms, the magic of yeast and
some organoleptic considerations.
The section talks of some commonly known
facts like the vine needing three years to start giving
fruit and ten years to reach full capacity or that Chardonnay
grown in Chablis and Champagne is three quarters of
the total quantity produced in France.
These are supplemented by lesser known
facts like Pinot Meunier being so important component
in the ideal French ménage-a-trois that it is
a global object of intensive study, especially in California
where the Oenological Institute nurtures the dream of
producing a great 'champagne' one day.
The language used is very floral, with
earthy notes. Did you know that 'The vine plant has
to co-exist symbiotically with invisible mushrooms which
take up the nutritive elements like phosphorous and
mineral elements like zinc, copper and magnesium, in
the soil and pass them to the vine?' These hard working
mushrooms are also far-sighted, say the authors. They
build a permanent reserve of these important minerals
in their cells. In case of drought or deficiency, it
is they who feed the vines with their stores.
The gist of the whole book is that one
flute a day is cure for most of the ailments mentioned
above; and more is not advisable. It compares this 'medicine'
with homeopathic medicines which are therapeutic for
a wonderful cure when taken in small doses but can be
very harmful if taken in stronger doses.
The book is highly recommended for doctors
and patients who also believe in alternate medicine,
wine producers and connoisseurs alike. The Technical
part is reserved for winemakers, viticulturists and
serious students of wine.
By the end of the book, you may switch
from wine to this bubbly nectar for medical reasons.
And you may want to shift your existing Champagne bottles
from the wine cellar to the medicine cabinet.
Do make sure it has a storage temperature
of 13-16° C.
The book should be a fabulous gift idea
for Moet& Chandon to promote their wine, though
Pol Roger might be delighted to gift it to the corporate
honchos and important customers too. It may be ordered
from the publishers in UK directly at £25+shipping
by visiting their website www.savoirboire.co.uk.
A Votre Santé. To Your Health.
The Review is a follow up on our earlier
Article; 'Champagne might Protect Brain Cells from Injury'
A significant number of Indians refrain
from drinking Champagne claiming it gives them headache.
Many of these are not even allergic to Sulphur , which
is a cause of headache for such people. I posed this
question to Reggie Duquesnoy for his opinion. His reaction
was, 'perhaps these people are drinking sparkling
wines and not Champagne, the production of which is
severely regulated and controlled.'
'There are some pretty decent sparkling
wines made in other regions of France, or Spain and
Italy but none can aspire to the quality of champagne
( which is not to say that all champagnes are good and
well made, some craft their product better than others),'he
'Many of the latter add sufites to
their product to stabilize it and
prevent it from becoming vinegar.'
Even champagne can provoke headaches,
he concedes. 'if you drink too much. But then it is
the excess alcohol, not the champagne which is the trigger.
If you read the book from the narrower therapeutic angle,
you will have seen that our leitmotif is a glass per
meal. That is the medicinal dose. For the more traditional
convivial practice, 2 glasses per woman, 4 for a man
have to be considered as the asymptotic limit... and
not everyday of course.'
I am not sure if the reply answers my
question satisfactorily, but generally speaking if you
follow the advice of drinking in moderation good quality
champagne, you should remain safe, sound and healthy,
as he also recommends.