Canadian cows drink red wine for better flavor

The world wine glut just found a new category of consumer: cows.

A farmer in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley is feeding her cattle red wine for the 90 days before slaughter. According to the Vancouver Sun, Janice Ravndahl of Sezmu Meats stumbled on the idea while watching chef Gordon Ramsey feed beer to pigs on his show, The F Word. Because she thought her Angus would get bloated from the carbonation in beer, she started feeding her cows a liter of local red wine a day, sometimes mixed in with their food, sometimes straight. Here’s how the cows reacted:

“When the cows first drink the wine, it’s like ‘what is this?'” says Ravndahl.

“But once they have it, they’re happy to have it again. They moo at one another a little more and seem more relaxed. There are a few that lap it up out of the pail. After they’ve had it for a while, when they see us coming with the pitchers, they don’t run, but they come faster than usual.”

A little more relaxed? And they seem to “talk to each other”? Hey now–I think someone is asking for a candlelit stall for two in the back.

Why do it? Local chefs attest to the subtly more complex flavor. One even remarked that it came “pre-marinated.” If in boeuf bourguignon, the meat cooks in the wine, boeuf a la canadienne must put the wine in the beef first.

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23 Responses to “Canadian cows drink red wine for better flavor”

  1. Tyler,

    FINALLY, after all these dark weeks of economic turmoil, a BULLISH story on the wine industry!

    And the udder simplicity of this rancher’s idea: absolutely creme de la creme.

    I do have one beef with the story. I just can’t remember (and your report doesn’t tell us) whether red wine goes with silage and white wine with hay — or is it the other way around? Having eaten at some of San Francisco’s vegan restaurants, I should know.

    Of course, if Ms. Ravndahl’s innovation catches on, it will completely change the flavor of the methane pollution controversy.

    OK I’m done now. Moooo’s next?

  2. This is so sad. I need another reminder of how cows are prepped for slaughter.

  3. Well here we go again. I have contacted Mia, the reporter at The Vancouver Sun. There is nothing new under the sun and apparently nothing new at The vancouver Sun either. A litle research would have been useful.
    I did a post on my blog back in November 2006 when this procedure was first used in Australia, yes 2006! Here is a link to my archived blog entry with the link on my blog to the November 6 2006 article in The Sydney Morning Herald.

  4. Wilf,

    I read your link. There’s nothing to it.

    Dr. Vino’s post has the “whos whats whens wheres and whys” to provide useful information.

    Yours was just generalities: essentially,it says “somebody told me they’re feeding wine to cows”, without providing more information. In fact, your current comment is more informative than your 2006 item, in that the current comment says somebody in Australia did it (whoever that “somebody” was).

    The fact that you said in in 2006 is of little value. Kinda mindless self promotion.

    My post was mindless, too. But it was just for fun; and, in 4 years, I’m not going to claim it was some sort of landmark item.

  5. Well Gregg, you obviously missed the specific reference to The Sydney Morning Herald and the Margaret River Premium Meat Exports’ director John McLeod. So read it at the following link.

    And the fact remains that this happened back in 2006. So the BC experiment is NOT a new idea.

  6. Fun stuff Tyler, looks like Canadian wine is good for something after all!

    Feeding cows a steady dose of alcohol is by no means new. They have been feeding cows which produce kobe beef beer for over a more than a decade now (along with giving them massages). I just hope they using something good. I don’t want my steak marinating in Two-Buck Canuck.

    Still funny though, especially the image! Great to know that the cows will be pampered before being diced up! Filet anyone?!

  7. […] Dr. Vino. // This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 at 10:00 am and is filed under From the […]

  8. Wow! Sorry about my grammar/word order in the second sentence of the second paragraph. I must have been drinking with the cows!

  9. well done brumley,

    OK I’m done now. Moooo’s next?

    i’ll take your bull by the horns. i’ll beef up my comments and t-bone my way into the corral.
    white wine with silage is a bum-steer. hay and antipodian sauv blanc enhance the finish of a long cud. before people wine about this, i’ve milked it long enough.

  10. the sad tale of the cows who didn’t come home when they noticed cases of twobuckchuck by the barn.

  11. […] Canadian cows drink red wine for better flavor (Dr. Vino) […]

  12. C’mon. Me and Grapemaster, that’s IT?!?

    Where is Wark when we need him?

  13. I’ve had this meat. Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it right.
    As for Erol’s crack about “…looks like Canadian wine is good for something after all!
    Somebody is displaying considerable ignorance.

  14. […] Canadian cows drink red wine for better flavor – Dr. Vino […]

  15. […] Info dénichée chez le blogueur américain Dr Vino […]

  16. Relax Bradley, it was a joke.

  17. Thank you, Greg for initiating a round of wine puns!

    On Twitter, I asked what would an AOC for these wine-drinking cows be called. My suggestion was “vin pétéant.” Here are more:

    @RandallGrahm: Moolin-à-Vent

    @jamesrodewald: Beaujolait

    @howardggoldberg: Vachequeyras

    @ablegrape: Cuds du Rhone

    @makerstable: Moovray

    @winenutnyc: moosigny

    @antrose: Cauquenes in Moo-lait Valley

    @winegeek: cowbieres

    @wineopinions: Tierra de Cowstilla

    @Makerstable: DRC La Vache, Herditage, Hornas, & the amazing wines of Germany’s Kinegau (Rheincow?)

  18. Now, we’re getting somehwere!

    But, I say again, where’s Tom Wark?

    More fun than a Cabernet Franc milkshake (draw your own conclusions).


  19. I get busy and I miss all the best blog posts…

    My @eljefetwisted AVA would of course be… Cowlaveras!

  20. […] More at: […]

  21. Such a shame the ‘powers-that-be’ have decided since wine is not on the list of officially approved foodstuffs, that the wine-fed beef that enjoyed such recent glowing praise has to be discontinued.

  22. Such a shame the ‘powers-that-be’ have decided since wine is not on the list of officially approved foodstuffs, that the wine-fed beef that enjoyed such recent glowing praise has to be discontinued.

    apparantly, neither is water…

  23. Alcoholic Cows, now that’s a though lol… But jokes aside there are great antioxidant benefits for the cows, hopefully these will be transferred to humans also 🙂


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