There is a new type of gourmet beef steadily gathering dedicated fans throughout the meat market. Last November Canadian cattle ranchers began feeding red wine to their herds, and the product has been met with thunderous applause from everyone from regular consumers to top Canadian chefs.
Sezmu Meats’ fifth generation rancher, Jandince Ravndahl came up with the idea, according to the Vancouver Sun. She was inspired by a cooking show that showed pigs being fed beer. Wine appeared a better alternative since beer caused bloating, so last November she began feeding her Angus cows one liter of homemade red wine each day. For a typical cow one liter is about equivalent to one glass for a human.
“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,” she said.
A number of prominent chefs are already serving the new meat, including Food Network star Ned Bell.
Culinary Arts instructor Michael Allemeier is extremely excited about the new beef. “I’ve cooked with almost all of the premium beef programs throughout my career and I have been very impressed with Sezmu beef,” he says.
“Red wine and beef are natural pairing partners to begin with. Why not in the finishing program? I found the meat to have a wonderful texture–one of the benefits of dry-aging–but the aroma and flavor are what truly impressed me.”
Fans claim the beef has a sweeter taste, is “self-marinated” and ultra tender. Reports indicate that the cows also enjoy the wine.
So, does this designer beef come with any health benefits or drawbacks? One drawback is the fact that it costs 15 cents more per pound than regular grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef. In terms of health, researchers at Thompson Rivers University in Canada are performing a number of tests on the wine-fed cows and their meat.
One study hypothesizes that the red wine may lessen methane production. A typical cow releases between 26 and 53 gallons of the gas daily. Studies show that agricultural methane gasses are responsible for 14 percent of the greenhouse gasses polluting our atmosphere and resulting in global warming. A second study by Thompson Rivers University is trying to figure out if red wine can increase disease prevention in cows or benefit the health of their hearts.
Currently Sezmu wine-fed beef is only available in British Columbia, but The Week reports their market will be expanding in the next year.