Tag: alcohol

The minimum legal drinking ages across the world

The minimum legal age for drinking alcoholic beverages varies widely between countries. It ranges from 16 years of age to the total prohibition. Join us for a tour around the world to get to know the minimum age for drinking alcohol in the main alcohol consuming countries of the world and to learn about some of its controversies.

The minimum legal drinking age in the world shown by countries

  • The United States – The minimum age is 21 years. However, it causes a bit of a controversy because 18-year-olds can join the army and fight in a war yet they are not allowed to drink alcohol.

 

  • Canada – The laws in this North American country vary by province/territory. Thus, in the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Quebec the minimum age is 18, while in the rest of the provinces and territories the minimum age is 19.

 

  • Brazil – In the country of Cachaça, the minimum age is 18, however, you can vote at 16.

 

  • Latin America – In all the countries of Latin America (Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Ecuador, Panama, Cuba, Costa Rica, Honduras, Bolivia, Puerto Rico and others) the minimum age for drinking alcoholic beverages is 18. However, there is an exception: in Paraguay, the minimum legal drinking age is 21. The age limit is higher in this country because it has a high rate of harmful alcohol consumption

 

  • United Kingdom – Here, as in most countries, you can only buy alcohol from the age of 18, but the consumption of low-grade beverages such as wine, beer or cider is allowed from the age of 16 when it is in the company of an adult. It is also allowed to drink in public.

 

  • Spain – In the country, which is the third largest producer of wine and other famous distillates such as marc, the law prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages until the age of 18. Although there is no national law that prohibits the sale of alcohol to children under 18 years of age, the regulation by Autonomous Community sets the limit of buying alcoholic beverages at 18.

 

  • Italy – One of the other major wine producing countries, along with France and Spain, also sets the age of consumption of alcoholic beverages at 18 years.

 

  • France and Portugal – Two countries that both have a long tradition of wines and good drinks; in both countries the minimum legal drinking ages are 18 years of age, although young people often start drinking from the age of 16 and it is not considered a crime.

 

  • Belgium and the Netherlands – In the beer kingdom, Belgium, the law allows the purchase of wine and beer from the age of 16, and you can legally purchase all types of alcoholic drinks from the age of 18. In the Netherlands the rules are similar, however, the distinction is made by the percentage of alcohol: if you are older than 16 but younger than 18, you can buy drinks with an alcohol content of less than 15%; you must wait until you turn 18 years old to be able to buy drinks with a higher alcohol content.

 

  • Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland – In the Nordic countries regulation makes a clear distinction between the types of alcoholic beverages that can be consumed based on age. Thus, in Denmark, young people between the ages of 16 and 18 can buy wine and other alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of less than 16.5% and from 18 years of age, there are no limits. In Sweden, you can only buy alcoholic beverages in the Systembolaget (state monopoly) and you must be 20 years old to buy, although it is possible to drink in bars and restaurants from the age of 18. In Norway, the system is like that of Sweden, with the difference that people over 18 can buy wine and beer in state stores (Vinmonopolet). For beverages with a higher alcohol content, you must wait until you turn 20 years old. And in Finland, where wines, spirits and beers are also sold through a public shopping system (Alko), young people over 18 can buy drinks with a maximum content of 22% alcohol, and they must wait until they turn 20 before they can buy beverages with a higher graduation.

 

  • Germany and Austria – In Germany you can buy wine and beer from the age of 16 and from the age of 18 you can buy alcoholic beverages with a higher graduation. In Austria, there are differences between the federated states, which means that in some places the consumption of lower-grade beverages is allowed from the age of 16 and in other places only from the age of 18. The distinctions can be made either by type of drink or by alcohol content.

 

  • Eastern Europe – In the countries of Eastern Europe, the minimum age for drinking alcohol is also 18 years.

 

  • India – The laws in this enigmatic country are also enigmatic; the legal drinking age varies between 18 and 25 years of age, depending on the province in which you are.

 

 

  • Japan – Young Japanese people must wait until they are 20 years old to be able to drink good sake.

 

  • Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and other countries with a Muslim majority – The consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the Muslim world. The Koran uses the term Jamr (“wine”) to refer to any alcoholic substance that causes drunkenness and its intake is considered a serious offence against Islam.

 

  • Sub-Saharan Africa – This is a territorial extension that is so coarse and politically diverse that one cannot speak of a minimum age in a generic way. There are countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa or Nigeria where the minimum legal drinking age is 18 years old. However, there are other countries like Togo or Ghana where there is no known minimum age (or at least not from the western point of view).

 

Other curiosities about alcohol consumption

In addition to the minimum legal age for drinking alcohol, the consumption of wine, spirits and beers provides an infinity of curiosities and peculiarities. As we discovered in the post Rarest and most bizarre prohibitions against alcohol around the world, there are a number of peculiarities regarding alcohol consumption, such as the prohibition of riding horses after drinking, or not being allowed to sell cold beer.

As always, we take the opportunity to recommend drinking in moderation. If you are of legal age to consume alcohol, you can enjoy one of these drinks:

Improve Your Skills with Wine

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There is always something new to read about alcohol and the effects it has on us. The dominant narrative concerns the necessity to drink in moderation and never to drink and drive. Naturally, Uvinum wholeheartedly supports prevention messages from health campaigns.

Nonetheless, recent studies shed a positive light on a moderate consumption of alcohol. The benefits of the Mediterranean diet have long been demonstrated by scientists, so we are not going to dwell on those. Instead, we discovered five studies proving that alcohol can enhance your skills. 

Dancing skills

Last December, The Times published the results of a study by Professor David Nutt which declared that six glasses significantly improved your score at an Xbox dancing game. This corresponds to about one bottle of wine. However, it appears that this new-gained skill disappears beyond six drinks.

Foreign language skills

According to a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology and conducted by the universities of the King’s College, Liverpool and Maastricht, one glass of alcohol has a positive impact on self-rated and observer-rated language performance. So, next time you go on holiday on a Spanish or Italian wine route, don’t hesitate to drink some wine to talk with locals.

Problem-solving skills

A new study by Professor Jennifer Wiley of the University of Illinois seems to prove that two glasses of wine or beer make you better and faster at brain teasers than if you were sober. Though, it might be worth pointing out that this effect is limited as alcohol enhances the creativity with which you can tackle a problem but your analytical skills dwindle.

Sense of smell

The Institute of Science in Israel proved in a study that two glasses of alcohol for women and three for men can improve our olfactory performances.  In other words, we identify various odour when slightly inebriated. Although, just as with the other skills, this advantage disappears beyond a moderate consumption.

Social skills

According to an article published in Psychological Science, having a few drinks can potentially improve your social skills. Alcohol seems to facilitate involvement in discussions and to make you smile more, thereby easing social bonding. However, shots of vodka will not replace healthy relationships.

 TAGS:Castellare Di Castellina Chianti Classico 2015Castellare Di Castellina Chianti Classico 2015

Castellare Di Castellina Chianti Classico 2015, a red wine from Chianti Classico based on the best sangiovese and canaiolo from 2015.

 

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Château Grand Puy Lacoste Lacoste Borie 2015,  a red wine from Pauillac that contains grapes of 2015.

Christmas DIY with Wine Bottles

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The holiday season is approaching and, with it, the pretext to enjoy a drink with your loved ones. Instead of recycling empty wine bottles, why don’t you seize the opportunity to start a DIY activity and dive into the Christmas spirit. Indeed, the holiday season is probably one of the best periods to boost your creativity. Here are a few ideas: 

Glitter Holiday Message Bottles

These lettered wine bottles can express your winter felicity for the coming holidays. All you need is to paint the bottles in any colour of your choice and, then, to write your message This probably is the loveliest way to share your Christmas spirit with the whole family.

Christmas Wine Bottle Lamps

After cleaning up your bottles, place bright Christmas lights inside them and watch how they turn into perfect holiday lamps which warmly illuminate any room. You’d better drill a small hole in the bottom of the bottle to let the cable an easy-way-out. 

Twined and Painted Bottles

Use some bottles with twine at the tops and give them a casual look. First, paint them white and then add red decorations or lettering in order to write a heart-warming holiday wish. To finish off the look, add red berries, tiny pine cones and some holly leaves. 

Candlestick Bottles

If you can draw properly, paint white bottles to look like Santa or any other usual Christmas character. After that, you can display them on tall candlesticks and put them wherever you prefer in your living room. This is an elegant and alternative way to cheer up your home!

Santa Face Bottles

Santa Claus is the most important Christmas character. So you can pick up a few red bottles and draw the white of Santa’s beard, don’t hesitate to go one step further and stick cotton balls to make it a bit more lifelike. If full, the bottle becomes an original gift for your friends while, if it is empty, the fabrication will entertain the youngsters. 

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Terras de Alleu 2013 is a wine made by the winemakers Rui Madeira and Luís Cortinhas who focussed on the area’s three main grapes: Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional.

 

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Casal Mendes Branco, is a traditional wine from the Vinho Verde region, Portugal, and is one of the most important wines of this country.

 

Drinking alcohol with moderation is healthy

 TAGS:undefinedThe phrase “alcohol is good for health” that you often come to hear does not mean that it is entirely true. In fact, the scientific community has discussed this issue for a long time and although some of their studies have been successful, there is still a huge controversy about these results and the community is divided into two blocks. Of course, it goes without saying that a moderate consumption helps the heart function, but the big question is: what do we mean by “moderate”?

According to experts, it’s ideal to consume two glasses of wine per day if you are under the age of 65 and reduce that amount by half if you’re over 65. A drink or a glass a day is equivalent to 350ml of beer, 148ml of wine or 44ml of any distillate.

Among the numerous benefits that we can find here, there is the reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, gallstones and various cardiac symptoms.

The heart benefits from specific antioxidants in the wines which, in general, help our entire cardiovascular system. Statistics show that active people who drink wine moderately are 50% less likely to develop heart disease compared with persons who are stuck all day.

In conclusion, drinking alcohol moderately will bring us long-term health benefits, considering that we drink moderately. Although, as everyone says, it is true that alcohol in large quantities can and will harm your health, reaching pancreatic, cirrhosis, hypertension, various types of cancer, depression and alcoholism. Remember, alcohol can have positive effects on your health consumed in moderation. But this doesn’t mean that you have to start drinking if you usually don’t.

 

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Aix Rosé 2016, delicate balance, crispy acidity and its fruity sweetness

 

 
 
 
 

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La Llanura Reserva 2011, with a powerful palate, full bodied

 

How To Celebrate The Queen’s Official Birthday

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The British Royal family is the pillar of England’s culture since the beginnings of the United Kingdom. And it goes without saying that Queen Elizabeth II. is the family’s most important and iconic symbol. This weekend, the whole Commonwealth will celebrate her 65th birthday on the official date since her coronation ceremony. An important milestone in the history of the royal family of which she already is the most long-lived person ruling the country.  

Thus, it is important to know how to celebrate this event following the tastes of the Royal family’s most important member.

1. Not everybody knows that Queen Elizabeth II. is a huge Coca Cola fan. Actually, the most important and widespread soda drink in the world is never missing in the Royal fridges. This is the kind of beverage that can be combined with every type of food and is perfect both for kids and adults.

2. The Queen’s favourite cocktail of the Queen is a sort of invention. Her Majesty really enjoys drinking a cocktail based on gin mixed with Dubonnet, a fortified wine, and a slice of lemon. This drink might not be for everybody thanks to its peculiar taste. But once accustomed to it, Gin Dubonnet is a fresh and pleasant aperitive, and also digestive. You can always soften it out with a splash of soda.

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Dubonnet 75cl, a vermouth from France with an alcoholic strength of 14.8%. The Uvinum community values the Dubonnet 75cl with 4,4 of 5 points.

 

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Bombay Sapphire 1L is a Premium London Dry gin with lovely and smooth aromas of dill, as well as light citric spices.

 

3. Of course, one can’t miss a nice glass of champagne. There’s hardly any drink that delivers such pleasure after a good meal. But above all, this is the main drink to celebrate an important event such as the Queen’s official birthday. Since 1884, Champagne Bollinger has been holding the Royal Warrant, awarded by Queen Victoria, one of the most important rulers of the United Kingdom.

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Bollinger Spécial Cuvée Brut: In 1911, Georges Bollinger’s British agent gave him the idea for the name Special Cuvée. More than a hundred years later, the name of Bollinger’s key figure champagne still symbolises both its expertise and its history.

4. A celebration is not complete without a proper long drink. Of course, in England and especially the Buckingham Palace, there’s no party without gin. Whether Beefeater, Gordon’s or Tanqueray, Prince Harry, the Queen’s grandchild, would be really disappointed without a taste of his favourite drink.

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Beefeater 1L: a gin with roots in England with 40% of alcohol. 4 of 5 points is the average score of this gin according to Uvinum users.

 

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Gin Gordon’s, a gin with roots in England with 37.5% of alcohol strength. At Uvinum, this gin scores an average rate of 4 of 5 points.

 

5. Last but not least, Martini is another classic drink that would cheer up your party. Along with the Dubonnet, it’s a type of vermouth really appreciated by the Queen and her relatives. You can drink it neat, on ice or with vodka. If it’s good enough for the Royals, it’s also good enough for you! 

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Martini Bianco 1L is an aromatic, sweet, soft and very delicate drink, which is why it works as a perfect blend to enjoy all kinds of cocktails or snacks.

 

 

So, what are you waiting for? Just choose your favourite drink and toast as you’d be celebrating it at Buckingham Palace!

Cheerio!

Rarest and most bizarre prohibitions against alcohol around the world

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American movie industry has been usually inspired by the well-known US Prohibition of the early 20th century. The black market controlled by mobsters like Al Capone has been referred as the starting point of many Hollywood movies. Stories of organised crime, smuggling and underground businesses have generated ideas about this time in history and some of the negative consequences of this prohibition.

Although it’s been almost 100 years since this law was repealed, there are still multiple alcohol-related bans around the world. That is why the web The Drinks Business has prepared the list of the seven most bizarre and rare laws in the world against alcohol.

1. Riding after drinking (Colorado, USA):

In the state of Colorado, horses are considered as a means of transport. That is why those who are riding under the influence of alcohol are fined in the same manner as if it was driving a vehicle.

2. Do not sell cold beer (Oklahoma, USA):

The state of Oklahoma it’s prohibited from selling beer with more than 4% ABV cold. So if you’re planning a party, you’d better have them in your refrigerator a few days in advance.

3. Prohibition of human figures on the labels of alcoholic beverages (Alabama, USA):

If you are a graphic designer in Alabama and work with a distillery, you must remember that labels showing “people posing sensual or immoral way” are not allowed. It is a ban imposed by the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

4. Shots and cocktails prohibited after midnight (Australia):

If you go out to party in Australia, you’d better ask the cocktails and shots before midnight, because in the land of the “Aussies” is forbidden to sell alcohol after the clock hits 12 midnight.

5. Death penalty for drunk driving (El Salvador):

This Central American country is very severe with those who get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol: the death penalty applies to those who violate this law.

6. Supermarkets cannot sell alcoholic beverages after 7 pm (Sweden):

In this Scandinavian country, supermarkets are prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages after 7 pm. So if you want to drink something at home after work, you’d better go to buy early.

7. Drunk driving convictions are to be served family (Malaysia):

Should a whole family be convicted for some relative felony? It is very likely for this to happen in Malaysia when one member of the family is incarcerated for driving after consuming alcohol.

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Jameson 1L

 

 

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Crown Royal 1L

Will synthetic alcohol replace natural alcohol?

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It is more than likely that you all have repented of a night because of the unpleasant consequence we suffer the next day. The hangover, headaches, nausea and dizziness make us detest those too many drinks we have while enjoying a good time with our friends. A scene that most likely will be repeated after a week or a month, even after the promise never to drink like that again.  And we always wonder: How long do we have to suffer from hangovers?

The prayers of all those who have suffered from this unpleasant experience have been heard. A group of researchers from Imperial College of London, have developed the synthetic alcohol. This is a series of chemical compounds called alcosynth capable of producing the relaxing effects and accompanying disinhibitors drunkenness; all without the negative effects of this on health, including the hangover the next day.

Professor David Nutt, head of the research in question, says that about 90 synthetic alcohol components are patented. It is not harmful to health, able to recreate the positive effects of alcohol in the brain, without losing the flavor and taste of our favorite cocktail drugs. All this is possible thanks to a comprehensive study on the chemical reactions of different drinks on humans.

With growing awareness of healthy lifestyles, replacement of natural alcohol by synthetic seems an excellent idea. In fact, David Nutt says that in 2050 there will be no alcohol industry as we know it today. But replaced by synthetic alcohol. However, all this depends on if these substances are adopted internationally. And one has to assess not only the health issues but also the economic consequences of replacing a billion dollar industry like the production of alcoholic beverages.

Therefore, the question remains: will synthetic alcohol replace natural alcohol? It seems that we still have to wait many years to know the answer to this mystery.

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Courvoisier V.S. 1L

 

 

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Nordés Gin

How much can hangover cost to a government?

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At Uvinum we have always advocated for responsible and moderate alcohol consumption, as only healthy and effective way to enjoy the pleasure of tasting a glass of wine or any of the drinks we talk about in these pages.

In fact, there is evidence that excessive consumption of alcohol affects not only people as individuals, but society as a whole, being a matter that directly affects the levels of health welfare of a country and, as discussed below, its economy.

This is what emerges from a study performed by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of the US, concluding that hangover, i.e., “the delayed aftereffects of drinking too much alcohol in a relatively short period of time”, costs the US economy $77bn per year, as a result of low productivity and missed working days.

Thus, among all economic damages caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol, such as traffic accidents, health, public safety problems, etc., the greatest impact is produced by hangover. If we add up all these factors, the economic impact rises to $249bn, an impressive amount that, according to the study, implies that each drink sold in the US has a cost to the economy of $2.05.

We are convinced that if we conducted this study in Spain or other European countries, the results also would be equally surprising and disturbing, something that probably should be taken very seriously by the authorities, especially in times of recession as we currently live.

The study, which analysed economic data from 2010, has been led, among others, by Robert Brewer, head of CDC’s Alcohol programme, which stated: “The increase in the costs of excessive drinking from 2006 to 2010 is concerning, particularly given the severe economic recession that occurred during these years. Prevention strategies across the country are being under-used”.

Britons opt for a pill to stop drinking

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Excessive consumption of alcohol is a serious problem in many parts of the world, where many citizens go drinking beyond what is advisable, whether we are talking about products such as wine, spirits or beer. Without neglecting the preventive measures and traditional treatments to overcome alcohol addiction, British health authorities have approved the use of a daily use medication for people with alcohol problems, which seems to guarantee satisfactory results, judging by the information published by the specialized website The Drinks Business.

The active ingredient in this ?anti-alcohol? pill, called Nalmefene, works by inhibiting the feeling of wellbeing that is obtained after the ingestion of an alcoholic beverage and, therefore, reduces the compulsive consumption largely responsible for the addiction in many people. In clinical tests performed, the study subjects reduced their consumption to about half after six months using the treatment.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved the use of this new drug, which could benefit about 600,000 people at a cost of 600 million pounds per year.

According to NICE specialist Carole Longson, this drug has shown clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness compared with the single application of traditional psychiatric and social therapies, remembering, however, that its use must be accompanied by traditional control methods of alcohol addiction.

The Nalmefene is already in use in Scotland, the first European country to allow its administration, and is expected to spread soon its use throughout the UK, including England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Definitely a breakthrough in the treatment of drinking problems, that we hope to arrive sometime in our country. In any case, we are not promoting stop drinking, but drinking in moderation, prioritizing the enjoyment of taste above alcoholic values. Today we recommend:

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Negra Modelo

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Duchesse de Bourgogne 75cl

Scientists develop alcohol-detecting “radar”

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Enjoying wine, beer or spirits in moderation and prudence is very important to avoid accidents, since drinking and driving is one of the factors that most influence mortality on road, a problem that, year after year, despite the efforts of authorities, remains a concern for society. Other countries, in addition to applying classical control methods, are performing research on applying new technologies to the detection of this type of dangerous and reckless behaviour.

Specifically, at the Institute of Optoelectronics, Military University of Technology in Warsaw (Poland), scientists Jaroslaw Mlynczak, Jan Kubicki and Krzysztof Kopczyski have developed a new system to detect alcohol vapour inside moving vehicles using a laser. Thus it would be possible, without the need for classical breathalyzer test, to find out if the driver or any of the passengers of a car has significant levels of alcohol, thus being able to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the methods used so far.

The study, published in the Journal of Applied Remote Sensing, and according to the information contained in the website Thedrinksbusiness, details the ability of the device, which uses stand-off detection to record alcohol vapour as low as 0,1%. The system, in the future, could be also applied to detect other substances, and although at the moment there are certain limitations on the ability to “trick” the device (opening the car windows or putting on these typical sunscreens), these data can be easily collected to inform the authorities and perform an individual inspection.

The device of course is still under development and it may take some time until it has direct application, since it will be necessary to calibrate all the above factors for optimum accuracy, avoiding errors and possible fraud attempts.

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Grant’s 1L

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The Famous Grouse 1L