French cows are enjoying up to two bottles of high quality wine every day as farmers attempt to produce the best beef in Europe.
The extraordinary development has seen a ‘Vinbovin’ label of meat established which is already being championed by some of the best restaurants in Paris.
It follows an experiment in Lunel-Viel, in the southern Herault region of France, which saw three cows fed local wine for four months.
Jean-Charles Tastavy, who came up with the idea, said the two Angus and one Camargue were initially fed the wine in a mix of barley, hay and grapes.
It soon became clear that they were ‘happy cows’ which ended up producing an exceptionally succulent meat.
Outlining how he encouraged the cows to enjoy a tipple, Mr Tastavy said: “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. In the case of cows, this amounts to between a litre and a litre-and-a-half a day.”
“The cattle loved what was on the menu and drank it with relish,” said Claude Chaballier, owner of the farm where the experiment started last year.
Laurent Pourcel, a Michelin-starred chef, is among those enthusing about the ‘luxury meat’ saying: “It has a very special texture – beautiful, marbled and tender, and which caramelises during cooking.”