champagneSome odd looking bottles of champagne were handed out to Kimi Räikkönen, Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton on the winners podium at today's French Grand Prix. Not the expected large bottles of Mumm but unbranded champagne bottles labelled with just their winning positions of one, two and three. Does this mean Mumm's seven-year sponsorship of Formula One has come to an end?

If Grand Prix's champagne sponsor is changing, Mumm's obvious successor is Moët et Chandon. Moët have a long history with motor sport - it was their champagne that started the winners spraying tradition. Forty years ago Dan Gurney, the winner of the 1967 Le Mans 24-hour race, decided to spray his champagne rather than drink it. Since then many winners have stepped down from the podium rather sticky and smelling of wine. It would be a fitting tribute to Dan, in this anniversary year, if Moët bottles started being sprayed again.

Gurney 

flourAustralian and New Zealand bread-flour will be fortified with folic acid within two years it was announced today (June 22). Adding 200-300 micrograms of folic acid per 100g of flour is expected to prevent between 14 and 49 neural tube defects in Australian unborn babies each year.

Harlequin ladybirdGardeners beware - harlequin ladybirds have been spotted in eastern-England. Unlike its British dark-red counterpart, the Asian Harmonia axyridis is no friend of fruit-growers. When frightened or attacked it drops a noxious smelling liquid. If it happens to be standing on a bunch of grapes or perry pears at the time these pick up the ‘ladybird taint’.

Italian flagReading through Bonhams auction notes for today’s wine sale makes me wish I had four-hundred pounds lying around to buy lots 736 and 737. Buying then comparing a 1947 Barolo against its younger 1966 counterpart would not only be an education for someone who’s never tasted a wine made before 1982, but also help prove whether Italy’s 1963 wine laws had any effect.