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Olympic Games and wine

What relationship between the Olympic Games and wine?

Perhaps not everyone knows that the modern Olympic Games were instituted at the end of the 19th century by Baron Pierre de Coubertin..... a Frenchman!

And it's to him that we owe the famous phrase we've all heard and repeated at one time or another: "The important thing is to take part, because it's only by taking part that you have a chance of winning"; all very well, but what does this have to do with wine and its world?

First of all, the 2024 Olympic Games will be held in Paris (Coubertin's birthplace), and France is the world's leading wine-producing country - in terms of turnover and, from 2023, also in terms of hectolitres produced!

According to some historians, Milo de Croton, who won the wrestling competitions at six Olympic Games, was a great lover of this nectar, which was traditionally given to athletes who returned home victorious from sporting feats.

Some doctors claim that "regular, moderate consumption of red wine increases ferritin levels, this could help some athletes (particularly extreme athletes) more prone to anaemia.

Alcohol also seems to have a positive effect on muscle relaxation, despite all the modern time talk about the negative effects of alcohol.

Secondly, I think it's a big mistake to speak negatively about alcohol without distinguishing between its origin and, above all, the elements that accompany it.

Beer, the much-vaunted and fashionable drink of today, is in fact much higher in calories than wine.

A normal glass of 13-degree red wine (normally 125 centilitres) contains around 90 calories, while a pint of red or double malt beer contains around 220 calories, while a pale ale contains around 170; and that's without taking into account the deleterious effects of the carbon dioxide we ingest and the pollutants present in the cereals from which beer is made.

Unlike wine, organic beers are still rare today.

And what about super-alcohols? Allow me an ironic digression, and I'll quote my dear friend John from Melbourne - Australia, who loves red wine (especially Australian Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, but also a Saint Emilion wine tasting) likes to repeat: "I drink red wine, I'm almost 80 and I'm in excellent health, my whisky-drinking friends are no longer with us!”

I'm sorry that his thunderous laugh and irresistible mischievous smile don't stem from the quote, but I guarantee you that it always amuses me to no end!

In any case, we all have our own opinions and tastes, and it's only fair to respect them..... remember that alcohol abuse is dangerous to your health, and should be consumed in moderation.

I'd like to conclude by saying that all of us in the Saint Emilion wine tours and tourism industry are expecting a big return in terms of the presence of tourists throughout France during the Paris Olympic Games. Probably many of you will respect Hellenic traditions and toast Olympic victories by raising a glass of red wine to the sky: "may the best man/woman win".... but the important thing, as always, will be to have taken part in this great sporting celebration!

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