Giving new meaning to the term “tipsy”, a female cattle rancher in British Columbia has been giving her cows red wine to drink during their final two months before becoming burgers, and turns out the cows love to party — and suffer no ill health effects while making the meat have a distinct flavor described to be like candy. The best part, besides knowing the cows get to have a two-month rager up to the inevitable moment of death, is that it apparently makes the cows happy and “chatty.” What I want to know is, what wines do they prefer? Would a posh BC cow drink Pinot Noir, while a Bakersfield Bessie hunker down in the field with a bottle of Boone’s Farm?
(…) The idea of giving wine to cattle came to Ravndahl late last year during a TV food program that featured beer-swilling pigs. As the Okanagan is one of Canada’s premier wine regions, getting local beef on the bottle seemed like a good plan. Ravndahl said she started with one young cow who took to the bottle immediately, quickly earning the epithet Wino. “It definitely changes their personalities. They moo a lot more with each other. They get really chatty,” she said.
Trying to find the optimal time to serve the cows their wine course was vital to getting the best beef. They’ve determined 60 days produces a great taste in the beef. “At 90 days, the costs get a little out of control,” she said.
When cattle are fed wine, they’re reported to be much more social. (Janice Ravndahl, Lionel Trudel/Associated Press)The first bovine wine tasting was in April 2009 with the 21-day dry-aged beef first hitting the market in February 2010. “We just put it in a pail and said, ‘Who’s going to drink it?”‘ she said. “Wine has a very strong aroma. They were curious about it right away.”
The cattle get a litre-blend of red wines daily, but their preference is for sweeter vintages, she said. Ravndahl said the wine appears to make the steers more docile, which enhances the texture of the meat. “Cattle that are relaxed taste better,” she said. “You don’t want tense beef.” (…read more, cbc.ca, via Braincraft)
Image by SissiSvan.