Some of the best restaurants in Paris are championing a new ‘Vinbovin’ label that is endeavouring to produce some of the finest meat in Europe by feeding cows up to two bottles of high quality wine every day. Main image by macieklew
The remarkable development is the result of an experiment in Lunel-Viel, in the southern Herault region of France, which saw three cows, two Angus and one Carmargue, fed local wine mixed in with barley, hay and grapes over a period of four months. The Daily Telegraph
suggests this regular wine ingestion led to ‘happy cows’ who subsequently produced exceptionally succulent meat.
The brains behind the operation, Jean-Charles Tastavy, fed the cows wine from Saint-Genies des Mourgues, a Languedoc village near Montpellier which is renowned for its vineyards, having initially given them a rough mix of grapes and water.
"For each animal, alcohol intake should be equivalent to the amount recommended by health authorities for a man – namely two or three glasses of wine a day.” Tastavy explained to the Telegraph. “In the case of cows, this amounts to between a litre and a litre-and-a-half a day."
Claude Chaballier, the owner of the farm where Tastavy’s experiment took place, claims perhaps unsurprisingly that the cows took to their new wine diet “with relish”, suggesting plans were afoot to vary the grape varietal of the wine in order alter the taste of the meat.
Chaballier enthused: "I thought that next time we may try Muscat so as to give the meat a more musky taste."
The results have been widely praised, with the luxury meat now likely to become a common theme in some of France’s top restaurants.
Michelin-starred chef Laurent Pourcel said: "It has a very special texture – beautiful, marbled and tender, and which caramelises during cooking. All the best Parisien restaurants will take it."
While the wine induced meat is set to be a culinary hit capable of rivalling Japanese Kobe beef which is made with beer, it is likely to add up to £80 to the cost of a prime beef cut from the Lunel-Viel cows.