You Better Stock Up On Champagne Because A Shortage Is Coming

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By Cooking Panda

A Champagne shortage of historic proportions is coming.

After several months of bad weather, mildew, and rot, the world’s supply of Champagne will be dramatically impacted for the rest of the year. According to Decanter, 2016 was one of the lowest yielding Champagne seasons since the 1980s, and the most difficult season since 1956.

During the spring, late frosts affected the Cote des Bar region, which impacted a quarter of the world’s Champagne vineyards. Jean Pierre Fleury, a winemaker in Courteron, revealed that the frost resulted in a 70 percent loss of his possible harvest.

Furthermore, the Aube was later affected by hailstorms. Eventually, a mildew epidemic greatly altered the potential crop.

Olivier Horiot, grower and wine cultivator at Les Riceys, stated that the sub-region’s yield would probably be around 2,500 to 3,000 kg/hectare, a mere fraction of the 10,700 kg/hectare that was predicted in July.

Charles Philipponnat, General Manager at Champagne Philipponnat, said winemakers will need to “dig heavily” in their reserves in order to satisfy the 2016 yields.

In addition to poor weather, mildew and rot have significantly impacted this year’s crop. Although gray rot was not observed until the end of July, it quickly spread to 65 percent of the champagne vineyards.

Furthermore, 99 percent of vineyards observed had symptoms of mildew, and 34 percent had a 10 percent or higher loss in yield due to mildew. Additionally, in 4 percent of the vineyards more than 50 percent of crops were affected, according to Magister, an agronomic agency.

Champagne is not the only liquor that is experiencing an international shortage. According to CNN Money, the demand for fine Scotch has hit record highs, leading to a shortage that may last well over a decade.

“The shortage of old and rare single malt … has already started, and it’s going to get worse,” said Rickesh Kishnani, founder of world’s first whisky investment fund.

Although distillers are trying to increase production, Scotch takes several years to produce. By law, all Scotch whisky is required to be aged for at least three years.

“We are currently working at full capacity — seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” explained Charlie Whitfield, brand manager for Macallan. “We just need to be patient and allow those casks to work their magic.”

Sources: Decanter, CNN Money / Photo credit: Bloomberg

Tags: bad weather, Champagne, liquor, mildew, rot, scotch, shortage
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Why Doesn’t McDonald’s Food Ever Seem To Rot?

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By Cooking Panda

The first time I heard an urban myth about food, I was nine years old. I had just finished soccer practice, and was at the grocery store with my father, shopping for dinner. We were on the way to the produce aisle when I saw them: a box of Hostess Twinkies.

“Can we get these?” I asked him.

“No!” he barked. “Don’t you know that you could bury those things for 10 years, and they still wouldn’t rot?”

Of course, according to my father, it is acceptable to eat a big block of bleu cheese first thing in the morning, and a buried Twinkie is also capable of fermenting and becoming vodka, so his food claims are not necessarily to be believed. However, questions regarding the shelf-life of a certain famous company’s food products have long been on curious consumers’ minds.

And now the question has resurfaced. On April 23, reddit user standbacknow posted a photo of what is claimed to be a 10-year-old McDonald’s meal that still hasn’t rotted.

“This girl I know bought this McDonald’s Cheeseburger and fries 10 years ago this month,” standbacknow said of the photo, which features a hamburger and a box of fries. “It looks fresh out of the drive thru.”

As Opposing Views notes, there was some debate as to exactly how fresh the pictured food appeared (with the top voting comment reading, “yeah… that does not look fresh…”). Still, a banana left out for more than a week turns into a gooey pile of brown sludge. So how is a McDonald’s meal able to keep its structural integrity so well?

Well, according to McDonald’s, the answer lies in the moisture. The company has been asked the question “Why doesn’t your food rot?” so many times (and according to Telegraph, that same question turns up more than 280,000 results on Google) that the golden arch’s corporate team took the time to address it in the FAQ question of its website.

“Food needs moisture in the air for mold to form. Without it, food will simply dry out – sort of like bread left out on a counter overnight to make croutons for stuffing,” McDonald’s writes. “You might have seen experiments which seem to show no decomposition in our food. Most likely, this is because the food has dehydrated before any visible deterioration could occur.”

Still, the idea that a McDonald’s meal’s low-moisture content can keep it looking pretty for longer periods of time doesn’t necessarily mean you should make dining at the establishment a daily habit. As another reddit user commented:

“I’m more grossed out by the fact that she’s been holding on to fast food for ten years just to prove a point that everyone already knows: McDonald’s isn’t healthy.”

Sources: standbacknow/RedditMcDonald'sTelegraph / Photo credit: standbacknow/Reddit

Tags: fast food, mcdonald's, rot, urban myth
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