Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

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How much club soda would it take to clean up after a 600,000-gallon red wine spill? (Photo by AndreyCherkasov/iStock via Getty Images)

People used to say that the streets in America were paved with gold. That was never really the case. However, it appears that the streets of a town in Portugal are actually paved with red wine. Well, at least for a day.

Folks in the small town of São Lourenço do Bairro must have been stunned by the sight of wine flowing through the streets on Sunday (9/10). According to Delish, two tanks from the Levira Distillery spilled 600,000 gallons of wine throughout the village. That’s enough to fill an entire Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Video of the incident (below) shows a veritable river of red rushing down a hill in the tiny Portuguese town. Luckily, the fire department was able to divert the wine away from the actual river. That could have created a much bigger environmental problem. Instead, the wine was collected and taken to a wastewater treatment plant.

No one in the village of fewer than 3,000 people was injured, but a lot of wine was lost. One social media user commented: “This would have lasted a whole 10 years, such a waste.” Levira Distillery apologized on Facebook and is taking “full responsibility for the costs associated with damage cleanup and repair, with crews available to do it immediately.

My wife and I just watched Dan Buettner’s amazing Netflix series, Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones. The Blue Zones are the five areas around with world with the highest concentration of centenarians. Buettner also wrote a cookbook called The Blue Zones Kitchen. In it, he writes that there are really only four beverages worth consuming for longevity: water, coffee, tea, and red wine. I’ve pretty much given up all other beverages, but I can’t enjoy my red wine if it’s running through the streets of Portugal.

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