Old Breaking News!
2003 - 2004



If you found your way to this page, you really have no life.  (Welcome to my world.)  This page has old Breaking News! articles from 2003 and 2004.  If you are really pathetic and want to read older news from 2000-2002, click here.   

WinoJohn


Sting© Chianti!!

Super hip rock star, Gordon Sumner (aka Sting), recently bought a farm in the Tuscan area of Chianti with the hope of making some wine.  The farm is about 450 acres and lies adjacent to the estate that Sting already owns near Figline Valdarno.  Online wine magazine, decanter.com, reports that Sting plans to make wine from Sangiovese grapes and that the limited volumes of wine will only be distributed to Sting's friends.  Did I mention how immensely talented my good friend Sting is???

Now Sting is not the first celebrity to get into the winemaking biz. Many notable personalities have their own vineyards including:

  • Golfer Greg Norman

  • Race car driver Mario Andretti

  • Movie producer Francis Ford Coppola

  • TV game show host Alex Trebek

  • Frog actor Gerard Depardieu. 

  • Actor Fess Parker (Daniel Boone)

  • Comedian brothers Tom & Dick Smothers.

  • "Toy Story" creator John Lasseter

  •  Marilyn Monroe (certainly you've heard of the oh-so-delicious Marilyn Merlot...)

Sting, however, has the opportunity to achieve something none of the other celebrities could.  If Sting plays his cards right, his winery could become The Official Rock Star-Owned Winery of WinoStuff.com.  All Sting has to do is remember his friends and "grease the skids", if you know what I mean.

In addition to Sting, other familiar names will be getting into the winemaking game.  Our own WinoBob will be making his inaugural batch of Stick Figure Rhone-Style Red later this year.  And yours truly may try his hand at making a massive cab.  That's right, the WinoStuff team will be concocting some world-class vino at a local winemaking facility.   The details are still a little sketchy (where, how much, grape source, etc.) but we are committed, damn it!!!

Stay tuned for the play-by-play updates.

WinoJohn
January 5, 2003

 

Wine of the Day

Here's some Breaking News... The Spectator named Stag's Leap Wine Cellars' Cask 23 1999 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon as Wine of the Day for January 11, 2003.  

Whoa!!!  Guys!!  Way to go out on a limb!!!  Who would have imagined that a $150 bottle of 1999 Napa Cab might be pretty good?  Could Screaming Eagle be tomorrow's Wine of the Day?

This is what The Spectator's James Laube had to say:

STAG'S LEAP WINE CELLARS Cask 23 Napa Valley 1999 (93 points, $150)

From a winery with a long history of excellence, the '99 Cask 23 is another winner. Wonderful complexity and sense of harmony and finesse, with rich, intense, supple layers of currant, black cherry, anise, game and coffee. Finishes with a long, rich aftertaste. Should only improve over the next 10 years. Best from 2005 through 2014. 2,347 cases made. Collectibles.

--James Laube

Jim.  Jimmy.  Jimbo.  C'mon,  admit it.  You woke up yesterday, a little hung over, and you remembered that you had this damn "Wine of the Day" homework thing due in a few hours.  Rather than go out and do some real research and uncover a gem-in-the-rough like Sandia Shadows, you figured, "I'll just go with a blue-chip Cab. Who's gonna know?"   Well, Jimmy, we know!

Now, I'm sure Mr. Laube is spot on with his evaluation of Cask 23. Actually, I enjoy James Laube's column every month in the Spec and I agree with most of his wine reviews (at least those that I can afford to try).  But in this case, I'm thinking that Jimmy took the easy way out.  However, if Marvelous Marv was picking up the tab, I can't say that I blame him. 

WinoJohn
January 12, 2003

The Big Get Bigger

As you may have heard, the monstrous wine conglomerate, Constellation Brands, is getting a little bigger.  Actually, they are getting a lot bigger!  Constellation has announced that they are buying BRL Hardy, one of Australia's largest wine producers, for $1.1 billion.  Yes, that's right, 1.1 BILLION dollars. American.  That's a lot of money even by Wally's standards.

The deal catapults Constellation Brands into the number one spot in terms of worldwide wine revenues.  The new company will have estimated annual wine sales in excess of $1.7 billion.  Total sales (Constellation has a huge spirits business as well) are expected to exceed $3.2 billion.  Falling into second place is E&J Gallo of Modesto, California.  Ernie and Julie only cranked out 63 million cases of wine in 2001, generating about a bil-and-a-half.  If you do the math, that's almost $24 per case.  (I must be doing the math wrong...  $24 per case???)

In my humble opinion, Constellation Brands' wine business seems somewhat schizophrenic.  On the one hand, they own some quality wine producers such as Ravenswood, Simi, and Mt. Veeder.  On the other hand, they also produce some truly unremarkable wines such as Arbor Mist, Almaden, and Vendange.  

You will recall that Constellation Brands "won" the prestigious Winery of the Month award from WinoStuff.com for their groundbreaking launch of the Arbor Mist brand of "wine with fruit" in unbreakable plastic 375 ml single-serving bottles.  (Truly a memorable day here at 'Stuff!)  Constellation went by their "other" personality back then, Canandaigua Wine Company.  

BRL Hardy's lineup includes at least 15 different wineries, none of which has ever received the WOTM award.  I think you see BRL Hardy's motivation to get this deal done! 

Interestingly, Gallo has been awarded the WOTM honor twice; once for the Indigo Hills brand and once for Gallo of Sonoma. 

WinoJohn
January 20, 2003

 

America Mourns

Our thoughts and our prayers are with the families of the astronauts on the space shuttle Columbia. 

-John, Bob, and Wally

February 1, 2003

 

Preserve This!

Trans-resveratrol, the same anti-oxidant compound that is found in red wine and which has been reported to fight cancer, is now thought to have possible uses as a preservative for fresh fruit.  That's right, Spanish scientists at Complutense University in Madrid have discovered that fruit which has been dipped in a trans- resveratrol solution remains fresh longer than untreated fruit.   Is this more proof that wine really is a miracle beverage or is this a precursor to something insidious? 

The Spanish brain trust reports that of all the fruits tested,   apples fared best, and that there was a definite correlation between the the concentration of trans-resveratrol in the solution and the preservative effectiveness.  The best results came from the solution with the highest concentration of  resveratrol. 

Naturally, we here at 'Stuff must question the findings. Specifically, we need answers to the following important questions:

1) Complutense University?  Isn't that an extension of Madrid County Community College?

2) If the preservative qualities of trans-resveratrol are so potent and trans-resveratrol is common in red wines, why then is Bob's liver not better "preserved"?

3) If huge quantities of red wine are suddenly re-deployed as chemical preservatives and the result is mass spraying of wine onto produce and fruit crops, what will happen to the price of wine?  Arghhhhhh!!!  

Alert WinoStuff readers will remember our groundbreaking report on possible uses of white wine by-products to make disinfectant cleansers.  That report created a whole new market for previously unsellable French skunk wine.  Now this!  What once was looking like a buyer's market for wine could quickly become a shortage situation if wine was to suddenly become a miracle disinfectant / preservative!!! 

Disinfectant cleanser / fruit preservative. This reminds one of the old Saturday Night Live episode for the combination floor wax / desert topping.  You remember, "Mmmm, taste's great."   "And look at that shine!"

WinoJohn
February 4, 2003

 

Gayardo the Red!

The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that Rome has gone nuts.  Not all of Rome, mind you, just a few fruity Romans.  This story has so many oddities that I don’t know where to begin. 

The Chronicle reported that noted Italian publisher, Roberto Massari, has released a new Nebbiolo wine.  OK, so far, so good.  Apparently, this wine is just the latest of 11 wines in Massari's series of “Wines to Read”.  Here’s where it gets a little strange.   For some reason that continues to elude me, perhaps because of Massari’s position as a publisher, the bottled wine is legally considered a literary work, i.e. a book!!!  A two page long book!  The front label is page one and the back label is page two.  The stuff in the middle, the wine and the bottle, well that’s just fluff.

Oh, it gets better.

Massari, whom I assume is gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that…), has dedicated this wine to gay people or to gayness or to gaiety.  Something gay.  I don’t know.  The wine is called Rosso Gayardo which means something like “big red gay Italian guy”.  I’m not making this up.   Reportedly, Massari wanted to produce a big, bold wine.  One that counters the stereotype of gays being weak and drinking weak things.  (I thought that was the French…?)

Massari’s longtime friend, Italian author and founder of Italy’s gay community, Massimo Consoli, has written passages for the front and back labels.   The front label has a dedication to Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, who is considered the first gay activist.

I don’t remember what the Chronicle said was on the back label.  I had reached my gay Italian threshold and I was starting to lose interest in the article by that point.

I do remember that Rosso Gayardo sells in Europe for like 10 euros.  Not bad for a big red gay Italian book/wine thing.  Thankfully, the stuff is not imported into the US.

WinoJohn
February 9, 2003

 

Merci, Veronique!

Against the event organizers' better judgement, Winos Bob and John were recently invited to attend a wine and food pairing event at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel in Rutherford, NJ.  The event was hosted by Bob Ferdon of Dreyfus, Ashby & Co. and featured the wines of Maison Joseph Drouhin and Domaine Drouhin Oregon.  The special guest for the event was the very lovely and articulate Veronique Drouhin, great-granddaughter of Joseph Drouhin and head winemaker at Domaine Drouhin Oregon.

The evening started out with a brief reception during which we were introduced to Ms. Drouhin and the very affable Charles Klatskin, owner of the hotel.  I'm sure hotel security was on high alert after WinoBob's "Immer Dinner Incident" but they remained discreetly undercover.  After all, this was to be a very important tasting with a small group of highly respected industry guests.  Basically, WinoBob and I were lucky to be there.  I was cool with that but Wino Bob...  well,  you know WinoBob... and his habitual aberrant behavior...

The evening was a pure delight as Veronique spoke at length about her family heritage, their decision to grow grapes in Oregon, the differences in terroir between Burgundy and Oregon, etc.  I was captivated by both her knowledge of wine and her French accent.  We leisurely tasted wines from Oregon and Burgundy as we nibbled on the foods that were expertly prepared for the occasion.  

And then, it happened.  Wino Bob began to...  well...  under the terms of the settlement agreement, I'm prohibited from discussing the details of this latest "incident".  Suffice it to say that WinoBob will serve no jail time.  We agreed to name Maison Joseph Drouhin and DDO as  "Co-Wineries of the Month" here at WinoStuff.  In return, Veronique agreed to drop all charges.  God bless her.


Disaster was averted as the lovely Veronique Drouhin deftly chokes Wino Bob into unconsciousness.

WinoJohn
February 11, 2003

 

Send a Message!

A wave of anti-France sentiment is rolling across these United States.  In the last few weeks, patriotic Americans have voiced their disdain over France’s refusal to side with The United States in forcing Iraq to disarm.  That voice has overwhelmingly shouted, “Boycott France!”  And the only thing that France exports that is worth boycotting is wine.  Oh sure, you could boycott French fries or French toast or even French poodles.  But if you really want to send a message, boycott their wine.  And that is exactly what many Americans are proposing.

Take for example Steve Dunleavy, writer for the New York Post.  In a recent article, Mr. Dunleavy urged his readers to "boycott our ingrate 'Allies'".  In the article, Dunleavy remembers a time in the 1960’s when a similar wave of anti-Franco sentiment resulted in restaurants refusing to serve French wines.  It could happen again.

And that's not all.  Recently, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, called for a good old-fashioned embargo against French wines. Last week, Pennsylvania State Rep. Steve Barrar, said he will introduce a resolution into the state legislature this month ordering the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to prohibit state stores from carrying and selling French alcohol. (With 640 retail outlets, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is the largest purchaser of wine and spirits in the United States!)

Now, as you know, we here at WinoStuff have a long history of multinational peacemaking and international crisis mediation.  Naturally, we are ready to intervene.  Here is our Two Step Plan:

1)  DO NOT boycott the wines of Maison Joseph Drouhin!  (WinoBob has become quite enamored with Veronique Drouhin and a boycott would not help his cause, if you know what I mean…)

2)  We are declaring ourselves to be "the Official French Wine Disposal Organization."  If any of you patriotic winos feel the need to send a message to the French leadership, then you should dispose of all your French wines.  All of them.  Especially the good ones.  Pack your wines in insulated shipping containers and send them (FedEx P1 or UPS Red) to:

French Wine Disposal
c/o Wine Ventures, LLC
PO Box 64
Caldwell, NJ  07006

Do it now!!!

WinoJohn
February 18, 2003

 

Alcohol, Tobacco, and 'Stuff

One of the changes to come out of the Homeland Security Act is the formation of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. (TTB) Actually, the TTB was formerly part of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF).  However, when the feds finally realized that if you’re drinkin’ and smokin’ then you shouldn’t be shootin’, they decided to move the TTB over to the Department of  Homeland Security.  I guess if we are attacked by some third world country (such as France), the first thing we want to protect is our alcohol and tobacco.  I feel more secure already.

Anyway, the new TTB has decided to allow wineries to mention on the bottle label that moderate wine consumption may offer some health benefits.  (Actually, the TTB will only allow the label to suggest that consumers consult with their family doctor to learn more about the potential health benefits.)  If a winery includes such a vague reference to potential health effects, they must also include a disclaimer warning the consumer not to drink more alcohol for health reasons.  Furthermore, the wineries must continue to include the traditional health warning.

The whole issue of a benefits statement on wine bottles has been caught up in political debate for years.  The brain-dead former senator, Strom Thurmond, successfully battled a health benefits statement on wine labels as far back as 1998.  Well, we at WinoStuff, ever the diplomats, are offering up the following solution.  We propose that every bottle of wine sold in America have the following statement clearly printed in big bold letters on the front label:

Warning: The Surgeon General has determined that alcohol consumption can impair your ability to drive heavy machinery, especially if you are pregnant.  

(That is just a sample warning statement.  It could be changed.  We don’t care.  Here’s the important part): 

Recommendation: For information regarding the potential health benefits of moderate wine consumption, log on to www.winostuff.com, the Official Wino’s Homepage!

It seems like a pretty simple solution to this political quagmire.  I would even be willing to resurrect all of our old Breaking News articles reporting on the health benefits of wine consumption.  That’s the kind of guy I am.

So there it is.  WinoStuff steps up to solve another complex socio-political problem.  WinoBob, call the Pulitzer people.  I think we have a winner here!

WinoJohn
March 5, 2003

 

'Stuff Sells Out!!

As you can probably tell from the cheesey navigation bar on the left side of this page, WinoStuff has sold out.  We've gone commercial.  We've compromised our high journalistic standards and we have begun to sell crap.  And we feel pretty damn good about it!

I know, we sold out once before when we posted those banner ads for stuff that you overwhelmingly did not want.  This time, it's different.  This time we're selling WinoStuff stuff.  It doesn't get much better than this!!!

Unabashed Sales Pitch:

And now you too can impress your friends and support the cause by showing your 'Stuff.  Click over to our cyber storefront and pick out some wino stuff.  Now you can wear 'Stuff to work.  (Your boss and co-workers will have a whole new respect for you!)  Put 'Stuff on your car.  Enjoy 'Stuff with your coffee.  You can never have too much 'Stuff!!!

To demonstrate our commitment to this very important cause (putting a few bucks into the corporate coffers), our own WinoBob has taken time out from his very busy schedule to model some 'Stuff.  (Don't look too close.  It can make you sick...)

You can actually click on this disgusting image of Bob in his thong and be whisked over to the 'Stuff store.  Is technology great or what?  (Is this image nauseating or what?)

So here's your assignment.  Shop for 'Stuff.  Show your 'Stuff (unless your an enormous hairy fat guy and you buy a thong...).  Support and promote 'Stuff!  Damnit,  BUY STUFF!!!  The website you save could be your own!  (More than likely, however, it will be ours!)    

WinoJohn
March 11, 2003

 

'Stuff Editorial

OK, I really hate using this forum for political debate but here's my rant...

For the record, I'm against war.  Anyone with any sense is against war.  However, I'm also against sadistic dictators who torture their people, support terrorism, and threaten peaceful nations.   In fact, I'm against the sadistic dictators more than I'm against war.  Therefore, I support President Bush and the U.S. military in their efforts to rid the world of the latter scum.  

Many similarly-minded people have begun to boycott all things French because of France's actions to undermine our efforts to disarm Iraq and liberate the Iraqi people.  Personally, I have been boycotting France for years, more because of their pompous arrogance than their loyalty to terror mongers.  Go ahead and boycott France.  It certainly can't hurt.

However, an even greater evil resides here at home.  We count among our own many who would also bow to Saddam.  I speak to the many "celebrities" who have spoken out against our military actions and have even compared President Bush to Adolph Hitler!  You people are fucking idiots!  What the fuck is wrong with you?  Did all that cocaine kill all your brain cells?  Get a friggin' grip!

In a free and democratic society, even brain-dead celebrities may voice an opinion.  We as a people may also exercise our right to boycott not only their movies and CD's, but also the products of the companies that advertise on their TV shows or promote their music.

So, winos, do you want to boycott those that oppose America?  Then boycott France and:

Alec Baldwin
Beastie Boys
Dixie Chicks
Janeane Garofalo
Bill Maher
Michael Moore
Susan Sarandon
Martin Sheen
Barbra Streisand
Sean Penn
Jessica Lange
Sheryl Crow
Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream

I'm sure that there are more, but this group recently pissed me off.  By the way, I'm sure that the Oscar awards ceremony will be filled with more celebrities who use that forum to make their statement.  I'm keeping a running list.  I'm prepared to boycott  American Express, Anheuser-Busch, Charles Schwab, General Motors, J.C. Penney, MasterCard and PepsiCo, all sponsors of the Oscar ceremony, if it turns into a glitzy war protest.

For more info, visit:

Inside Iraq
Celebrities on Politics and War
Citizens against Celebrity Pundits

WinoJohn
March 23, 2003

 

100% Real 'Stuff

Sorry about that last rant.  I was going through chocolate withdrawal and I was a little cranky.  Not that I don't stand behind every word that I wrote, I just went off on a bit of a tirade.  For those of you who want to continue the rant, stay tuned.  The WinoStuff Boycott Hollywood page is under construction!  (Obviously, we have a little too much spare time...)

OK, back to real wine news... 

There was an article on the Spectator.com recently about a new initiative being promoted by the Napa Valley Vintners Association to include a cool new logo on wines made with  100% Napa Valley grapes.  This certification mark will also indicate that the wine was produced and bottled in Napa as well.  

The program is a direct assault on wine brand names that include geographic references to Napa but don't actually contain any Napa-grown fruit.  Napa Ridge and Rutherford Vintners are two brands that imply Napa fruit but are actually made with grapes from outside Napa.  New state laws prohibit wineries from doing this but Napa Ridge and Rutherford Vintners were exempted under a  grandfather clause.

Recognizing a hot new trend when we see it, we here at "Stuff have developed our own cool logo to reassure our loyal wine-loving readers that the content on this site is 100% WinoStuff stuff.  (Actually, you won't see this logo on many of our pages because we steal as much content as as possible!)

As you can see, we sort of lifted the 100% Napa logo so we can't even legitimately put our new logo on this page.  But you get the idea.  From now on, whenever we think up some new 'Stuff on our own, you'll see the 100% Wino Stuff logo declaring that this is our own inane drivel.  Most likely, you'll see the new logo on Bob's Wining's page.  There is no way that the content of that page is anything but 100% pure Bob.  Scary, but true.

WinoJohn
April 3, 2003

 

Aussies Go to the Can

In a bold move that could signal the end of civilization as we know it, the relatively- unknown Australian wine producer, Gowrie Mountain Estates, has announced that they will begin selling wine in cans.  Yes, that's right, cans.  Go ahead, take a deep breath.  Wine in cans.

In an apparent move to target beer drinkers and novice winos, the brain trust at this Queensland winery has decided to can their wine.  Literally.  They are going to the can.  (Insert your own 'go to the can" joke here...)  Furthermore, those highly imaginative Aussies have decided to call this new product "Aussie Wine".  Curiously, this product is targeted only to the US, British, and Japanese markets.  (Could it be that no self- respecting Aussie would actually drink a can of Aussie Wine?)  The cans will sell in 4-packs for less than $10.

A spokesman for the winery stated that "Gowrie Mountain's can took years to develop."  (Not unlike my wife's can.  Ouch!)  The goal was to develop a can which imparts no flavor to the wine.  To that end, a special interior lining was developed to keep the wine fresh. However, the composition of the can and the lining were not revealed in order to protect the "intellectual property" of the estate.

This alarming new product revelation raises a few important questions:

1) Is the Marketing executive who came up with this idea still employed?

2) Who came up with the very clever name?  (We have a website full of stuff for winos and we are looking for a catchy name...)

3) Is the packaging process patented?  I'm sure that the French would enjoy a nice can of Cannes!

4) Do you really think that wine-in-a-can can be considered "intellectual" property?

On the off-chance that the name Aussie Wine doesn't catch on, we can offer the following very desirable product names*:

  • Can 'O Vino

  •  Mad Aussie 20/20

  • Nice Cans

  •  Two-Buck Yuck

  • Beer

* These names are all intellectual property of WinoStuff.com.  All rights reserved.  Blah, blah, blah.

WinoJohn
April 12, 2003

 

There is no Boycott???

Reports are rampant that sales of French wine in the US have begun to decline.  Look at any recent report on wine imports and you'll see that France's stance on the war in Iraq has begun to impact America's buying habits.  However, in a statement that can only be compared to Baghdad Bob's assertion that no coalition troops were in or near Baghdad, the director of France's  Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters, Louis-Fabrice Latour, stated this week that, "We have no real evidence of a boycott as such..."  "We don't know exactly why (exports fell), it could be down to economic factors as much as any boycott of French wines," said Latour.

Uhhh...., Lou?  Let me help you here....  It's a friggin' boycott!!!  Open your eyes and smell the cafe latte!  You chose to support the Saddam regime.  Now we choose not to support you.  It's just that simple.   

Geez... How deluded can one nation be?  There is no boycott. Your buddy Saddam is just misunderstood.  And France is still relevant in world politics.  Get a grip, Frog-boy.

Perhaps Louis didn't see the large adds in The New York Times or The Washington Post.  Perhaps the Lou-meister doesn't watch CNN or Fox News.  Perhaps, as unlikely as it may seem, Mr. Latour doesn't visit WinoStuff!   (Perhaps Mr. Latour is boycotting WinoStuff....?  Now there's something to think about...)  

So, as a public service to Mr. Latour and to all the other delusional individuals out there that deny the existence of a boycott, I offer the following links:  (Some of these sites favor boycotting France for reasons unrelated to the war.  I have included them anyway, just because I can!):

·         BoycottFrance.com

·         NewsMax.com

·         Mesora.org

·         FreeSurfUSA.com

·         Boycott France

·         ThanksFrance.com

·         FranceSucks.com

·         CitizendsUnited

·         MetroSpy

·         FrogsDone

·         BlueStarBase

There are LOTS more.  I just wanted to give Mr. Latour a sampling.  (Man, I can't wait to get back to real Wine News!)

So, Mr. Latour, relax, enjoy and drink less French wine!

WinoJohn
April 20, 2003

 

More Medical Benefits!

Scientists at the super-secret WinoStuff Biological Testing Laboratory recently discovered yet another potential medical benefit to moderate red wine consumption. (Actually, the WinoScientists allowed the legitimate scientists at Marshall University in West Virginia to take credit for the discovery and make the formal announcement.)  This time, our their research revealed that the polyphenol compound found in most red wine, resveratrol, may be effective in treating skin cancer!  This is great news for winos, especially those in southern climes who may suffer from a high degree of sun exposure. 

In this case, the lab studies involved the direct application of resveratrol to melanoma cells in a petri dish.  In concentrations of only 30 micromolars, resveratrol was found to effectively kill all the melanoma cells.  30 micromolars is the approximate amount of resveratrol in one 8-ounce glass of red wine.  (30 gigamolars is the approximate amount of resveratrol in WinoBob's liver!)

The lab's next study will examine the effects of resveratrol ingestion as a means of treating or even preventing  skin cancer.  Questions such as "How is resveratrol metabolized? How much resveratrol reaches the skin? How much reaches the tumor?" all need to be answered.

Our own human guinea pig, WinoBob, has been conducting his own experiments on the potential prophylactic effects of red wine consumption vis-à-vis skin damage from sun exposure.  (Wow!  I've been looking for an opportunity to say "prophylactic" and "vis-à-vis" in this column!  Who would have thought that I'd say them both in the same sentence?!!)  Recently, Bob consumed so much red wine that his skin was literally oozing with resveratrol. (Those of you who know Bob will agree that this is not an unusual event...)  Our crack team of WinoScientists noted that the resveratrol actually began to repel sunlight from Bob's skin,  rendering Bob nearly invisible!  Thus, the potential for resveratrol as a sunscreen would appear to be significant.  More work obviously needs to be done in this area.  

So there you have it, wino friends.  Yet another reason to pop the cork on a nice bottle of red.  It's therapeutic!  And delicious!  Do you need any more reasons?

WinoJohn
May 10, 2003

 

Where will it end??

Those crazy whackos over at Constellation Brands are at it again.  Alert winos will recall a Breaking News! article about a year ago in which Constellation Brands announced that they were going to begin marketing  their Arbor Mist brand of "wine with fruit" in unbreakable plastic 375 ml single-serving bottles. That was truly a milestone in the wine-with-fruit industry.  Now, through their Canandaigua Wines subsidiary, Constellation will be launching a new line of "creamy wine blender drinks." Yes, that's right, creamy wine blender drinks.  We will soon be treated to Arbor Mist Wine Blenders, the first blender drinks made with wine!  The plan is to initially offer three fruit flavors including strawberry, blackberry and peach.   

In response to this news, I can only say, "It's about time!"  I can't tell you how many times I have tried to put some nice wine into a blender with fruit, cream, and ice.  Never have I been able to produce a good creamy wine blender drink. Never!  Now, thanks to the genius that is Constellation, all the work is done for me.  I'm not sure how they do it but I'm speculating that they dehydrate the wine and then freeze dry it to lock in all that great wine flavor.  Then, through some proprietary reconstitution process, they take the wine powder and fuse it to some partially hydrogenised cream and fruit molecules to produce this truly revolutionary cream wine frozen beverage thing.  I don't know, but it sure sounds good!

A quick call over to one of the scientists at the top-secret Constellation New Product Development Industrial Complex revealed that there are more radical wine-based products waiting in the wings.  Take, for instance:

  • Arbor Mist Winecicles - Frozen wine on a stick.  Great on a hot summer day!

  • Arbor Mist Winetarts - Wine-flavored toaster pastry.  The perfect way to start your day.

  • Arbor Mist Wine-and- Cheese Whiz - Wine and cheese in a can!  Just squirt some on crackers!

  • Arbor Mist Wine-a-day and Wine-a-day + Iron - Wine flavored multi- vitamins.

  • Arbor Mist Winezoil - Wine-based motor oil.  Keeps your motor running smoothly.

Now I ask you, with new and innovative wine-like products such as these on the horizon, is it any wonder that Constellation Brands is now the world's largest wine company? 

WinoJohn
May 17, 2003

Wine and Uranus

In the last few years, WinoStuff has reported on many of the health benefits associated with moderate wine consumption.  Recently, another apparent wine-related medical miracle has been announced.  This time, I need to exercise previously unforeseen levels of restraint in reporting the story.  The temptation to resort to cheap scatological humor is nearly impossible to resist.  Butt, I will do my best...

In a recent article in The Spec, crack rectal scientists at New York's Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center announced that a glass or two of wine every day may help reduce the occurrence of bowel polyps.  In an obvious attempt to gross us out, the Spec reminds us that "Polyps are projecting masses of swollen membrane that are sometimes found in the colon."  Thanks, Marv.  I needed that.

The study at OL of MMC compared the occurrence of polyps against the reported drinking habits of a couple hundred rectal-ready volunteers who underwent colonoscopies.  (Where do they find these people?)  The researchers found that those who don't drink had a 38 percent risk of developing polyps.  Those who consumed one to two drinks a day, had an 80 percent lower chance than nondrinkers of developing polyps.  Most importantly, those who drank moderately for more than 10 years tended to be free of the growths.  As a side note, the lone stick figure volunteer who drank ten cases of wine per week was found to be 100% free of polyps but his liver was similar in size and texture to a worn out truck tire.  And yet he continues to drink...

In an unrelated study, researchers in Denmark recently reported that people who drink large amounts of alcohol run an increased risk of rectal, but not colon, cancer.  In fact, the more I searched for articles about the colorectal - wine phenomenon, the more I found that this is not actually breaking news!!!  I found dozens of reports dating back to 2000 that indicate that alcohol consumption may be linked to an increased risk of rectal cancer but a decreased risk of colon cancer.  (Wine consumption, apparently, does not pose an increased risk of rectal or colon cancer.  So we have that goin' for us, you know, which is nice...)  

What can we deduce from all this redundant scientific data?  As far as I can tell, there are two important facts here:

1)  Moderate wine consumption is good for your pooper.

2) Way too many researchers are studying the effects of wine on your butt.  

Just something to think about...

WinoJohn
June 14, 2003

Chicken Butt BBQ

In a rather bizarre segue, I follow up on our recent report of wine and rectal health with the following story...

World famous wine guy and Honorary Wino, Robin Garr, recently posted a story on his web site, wineloverspage.com, which caught my attention.  There appears to be an unusual practice among some barbeque aficionados which involves the roasting of a chicken with a beer can in its butt.  I can't even make up stuff like this. (Actually, the New York Times reported this story a few years ago but you can't believe a word they say...)  Apparently, some creative food preparation genius discovered that beer adds interesting flavors to a marinade or a barbeque sauce.  No problem.  I can understand that.  From there, I suppose,  it is a logical step simply shove a beer can up a chicken's butt and roast away...  


This picture depicts an actual beer can-impaled chicken roasting on the grill.  (For years, WinoBob has been sending me similar pictures of what I now believe to be some sort of sadistic attempts to barbeque young college coeds...)  

Robin provides the actual recipe and cooking procedure for those of you inclined to get involved in this sort of thing.  For the full wineloverspage article, click here...

Naturally, the gang here at 'Stuff has some important questions with regard to this disturbing culinary practice: 

1.      Who the hell thought up this little trick and what prison is he in now?

2.      Can you cook a turkey the same way?  If so, do you have to use a "tall boy" or perhaps one of those gigantic Foster's cans?

3.      Is this considered haute cuisine in the gay community?  (Not that there's anything wrong with that...!)

4.      Can you substitute the beer in the can (no pun intended) with wine?  If so, what wine would you use?  (Bob, I see another WinoStuff contest here!)

For all the latest news involving wine/beer/rectal/chicken, stay tuned to winostuff.com...  
(I really have to go back to Engineering).

WinoJohn
July 1, 2003

 

Wine Stain Remover !!

After spending months in the WinoStuff Product Development Lab, WinoBob (Professor Bob as he's known in the lab) has finally stumbled on the ideal formulation.  Introducing...

WINOSTUFF’S MAGICAL RED WINE STAIN REMOVING ELIXIR

In a move that is sure to have repercussions throughout the dry-cleaning industry, WinoStuff announces a breakthrough in the laundry sciences, WinoStuff's Magical Red Wine Stain Removing Elixir.  Just spay a little of our miracle stain remover on your wine-soiled fabric, wait about 10 minutes, and wipe with a damp cloth.  That's it!  Stain gone, tablecloth saved!  It's just that easy!

Before...

WinoBob has spilled red wine on his favorite thong...

§*§

After...

WinoBob's thong is as good as new after using  
WinoStuff's Magical Red Wine Stain Removing Elixir!

Where can you get this fabulous new space-age product?  Only one place!  Right here at WinoStuff.com!!!  Want to place an order?  ("Yes" would be a good answer...) Print out the order form (click here... ), fill it out and send it to WinoStuff.  The address is on the form. Want more information?  Contact Dr. WinoBob here...

This is no joke!  This is a real miracle product.  Give it a try!

WinoJohn
July 18, 2003

 

The Litigious Frogs...

Those rascally French are at it again.  Not long ago, WinoStuff reported that a group of Beaujolais wine producers had successfully sued a  magazine for calling their wine "crap".  The French courts awarded the growers €300,000 and nearly bankrupt the magazine.  Now, it appears, a different group of French winegrowers is preparing to sue the French weather service for failing to warn them of an approaching hailstorm!  The hailstorm wiped out around two thirds of the winegrowers' crap.  Oops!  I mean crop.  The storm wiped out two thirds of the crop!  (WinoBob, that slip could cost us €300,000.  We had better accept that offer from wine.com...)

This story is disturbing for many reasons:

1) There appears to be a growing trend among French wine producers to form litigious gangs.

2) C'mon, the weather service?  They are suing the weather service???  That's like suing Mother Nature...

3) Who's next on the Frog gang hit list?  Perhaps a popular American wine-related website that just happens to be promoting a boycott of France?

These are all important considerations if you should happen to be planning a trip to France.  Remember that you too may be sued if you mention out loud that you don't like the wine. Or the weather.

For the full story from just-drinks.com, click here... 

WinoJohn
August 2, 2003

 

Zraly Update

Kevin Zraly, the world famous wine educator, author, and the first celebrity to petition for a restraining order against WinoBob, has accepted a full-time position with the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group.  Smith and Wollensky's Sept. 10 press release states that Kevin will be working with Danielle Price, S&W's  Director of Wine, to educate Smith & Wollensky staff in all of its restaurants.  In addition, they will develop a new series of seminars focused on American wines for restaurant patrons. Zraly will also begin work on a new book focused on American wines.  

Zraly is well-known as the founder of the Windows on the World Wine School, which continues to operate at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square as it has since Sept. 11, 2001.  He is perhaps better known as the author of America's best selling wine book, Windows on the World Wine Course, which has sold more than two million copies.  He is a hero to the staff of WinoStuff for his efforts to elevate and promote American wines.

The staff of 'Stuff wishes Mr. Zraly all the best in this new endeavor.

 


World-famous wine educator, Kevin Zraly appears in this file photo with WinoBob shortly before Bob spilled wine down Zraly's back.  The two have not appeared together in public since the 1999 restraining order.

WinoJohn
September 13, 2003

Bad Bung?

Is your bung hole cracked and bulging?  Are you tired of your bung blowing out due to pressure buildup?  Do you have embarrassing bung leakage?

If you answered 'yes' to these questions, then you need a Ferm-Rite Breathing Bung.  That's right, Firm-Rite.  The Original Breathing Bung.


a bad bung hole...

Our own bung expert, WinoBob, has brought to our attention a breakthrough in modern bung technology, the breathing bung.  This is no ordinary bung.  No, no, no, my wino friends.  This is a miracle bung!  Because of their unique two-piece design Ferm-Rite bungs stay in the bung hole, only releasing pressure when it's time.   You can relax with the confidence that your bung hole is safe, secure, and leak proof.  

Firm-Rite bungs, the bungs that work year round!

For more information, visit their website.  www.ferm-rite.com

You are now free to go about your business...

WinoJohn
October 1, 2003

 

Meet Big Bob

Long time friend of 'Stuff and Honorary Wino, Big Bob Ferdon of Dreyfus, Ashby & Co, will host a fundraiser on Friday, October 17 to benefit the Lakeland Regional High School Scholarship Fund.  Last year, the fund awarded $2000!

The Big Guy writes, "Come to Our Wine Tasting!  (Hot & Cold Buffet too!)  It's on a Friday this year.  (October 17th 6-9 PM)
There is no football game.  There is no World Series game.  There is No Excuse!"


Big Bob Ferdon

The event will take place at Berta's Chateau and will feature 150 different wines plus a hot and cold buffet.

Tickets are $45 and must be purchased in advance.  Tickets are discounted to $40 for Borough Employees, Police Dept, Fire Dept and First Aid.

Tickets are available at A & P Liquors, Olde Time Barber Cuts, Wanaque Chiropractic, Kressaty's Pharmacy or call 973-248-8635.

You can also get your tickets on-line @ www.afamilytown.org

We encourage all northern New Jersey winos to attend.  Big Bob knows wine!

October 13, 2003

Fund Raiser is a Big Success!

Big Bob Ferdon of Dreyfus, Ashby & Co reports that the fundraiser to benefit the Lakeland Regional High School Scholarship Fund was a huge success.  "We hope to be able to award more than the $2000 which was raised at last year's event," said Big Bob.   "We would have raised several hundred thousand dollars but WinoBob, in defiance of a court- issued restraining order, crashed the tasting and drank up all the proceeds.  He really is a menace to society!" stated an obviously angered Big Bob.  We know how you feel, big fella...

Apparently WinoBob was late to the event as his team of attorneys worked feverishly to find a loophole in the restraining order.  At the last minute, they played the race card (black-clad Polish stick figure) and WinoBob was granted temporary immunity.  

A disaster was avoided when BigBob adeptly dealt with the situation in the only way possible.  He squashed WinoBob like a..., well..., like a black-clad Polish stick figure.


Big Bob Ferdon grasps WinoBob by the neck and puts an end to his reign of terror...

On behalf of the entire staff at WinoStuff, we humbly apologize to Dreyfus Ashby & Co, the town of Wanaque, the police departments of Wanaque, Oakland, and Pompton Lakes, the staff and students of Lakeland Regional High School, the staff at Berta's Chateau, all the attendees of the fund raiser who may have been caught up in the WinoBob mass-consumption vortex, and most importantly, to BigBob Ferdon. 

For WinoBob's 'version' of what took place, click here...

WinoJohn
October 13, 2003

More Litigation

These days, it seems that the wine world always wants to duke it out in court.  First, there were all those frivolous lawsuits involving the French wine growers.  Now the Italians are jumping into the game.  The Spec reports that Italian Pino Grigio mega-producer, Santa Margherita, is suing the importer of another Pinot Grigio for trademark infringement.  Santa Margherita claims that the label for Tuscanini Pinot Grigio is too similar to the Santa Margherita label and that can lead to consumer confusion.  The plaintiff has the balls to argue that, "If you put the bottles next to each other and take three steps back, it's confusing."  In my local wine store, if you take three steps back from the Pinot Grigio, you're in the Chianti section. 

Unable to make money on this dopey web site through product sales or advertising, we at 'Stuff have also decided to jump into the lawsuit game.  We are suing the Warning Sign Industry for $100 trillion for blatantly ripping off the WinoBob stick figure image.  In fact, there is one guy who is actually making a career out of using WinoBob's image.  To visit his website, click here...


Warning sign depicting Bob going down into his cellar while it is on FIRE!!!

As soon as Johnnie Cochran returns my calls, we are on a lawsuit crusade, baby!  Watch out International Olympic Committee, you're next!  

      
More examples of blatant stick figure image infringement...

WinoJohn
November 1, 2003

 

Disturbance at Phelps Dinner

Last evening, the New Jersey- based wine retailer, Bottle King, hosted a very nice dinner at Bacchus featuring the wines of Joseph Phelps Vineyards.  Joseph Phelps' CEO, Tom Shelton, was on hand to discuss Phelps' history and their winemaking philosophy.  Many of New Jersey's most notable winos were in attendance.  

The evening was progressing nicely as the crowd seemed quite impressed with both the food and the wine.  And then it happened.  Again.   Our own WinoBob, still healing from the 'Champagne saber incident', was involved in yet another public brouhaha.  It was the same old scenario; WinoBob has way too much to drink, something is said, there's a push, then a shove, and another nice dinner party turns ugly.  Suffice it to say that Phelps' CEO, Tom Shelton, could more than hold his own against our habitual trash-talking, trouble-making stick figure.


Joseph Phelps' CEO, Tom Shelton, convinces WinoBob to behave...

Bottle King's very affable host, Larry Lascola commented, "If I had known that you were bringing him, I never would have sold you the tickets!"  Damn.  Now we're black-listed from another important wine purveyor's events.

WinoBob's notoriety for dinner-party antics dates back to the now-infamous Andrea Immer incident and more recently includes scuffles with Veronique Drouhin and Big Bob Ferdon.  Once again, I am forced to offer our apologies to all those innocent bystanders who may have been caught up in the ruckus.  I'd like to say it won't happen again, but...

WinoJohn
November 14, 2003

 

Pedestrians Beware!

Those whacky French are at it again!  In a move that can only be described as irresponsible, a group of French winemakers is encouraging the French people to drink and drive.  Yes, that's right, they want the French public to know that it is perfectly acceptable to toss back a few bottles of some girly wine and get behind the wheel of your Citroen.  (Honestly, I'd have to toss back a few bottles before I would be seen in a Citroen!) 


Citroen
The national car of Frogville

This bit of idiocy is completely contradictory to a French government initiative to keep tipsy Frogs off the road.  So far, the government's campaign has been quite successful with restaurant wine consumption down by 15% in just one year.  More importantly, "road deaths" fell more than 20 percent in the first 10 months of this year.  France's traffic death rate is still among the highest in Europe.

Pascal Rousseaux, director of a group called Afivin, which is an umbrella group for wine producers, distributors and retailers, wants diners to know that they can enjoy "two or three glasses" with their meal and still be fit to drive.  Pascal first gained national prominence for his campaign to inform children that it is perfectly acceptable to "run with scissors" and that rarely does anyone ever "put an eye out"!  (Pascal's children haven't been seen since they eagerly "took candy from strangers".)

Hey Pascal, here's an idea. Chauffeur désigné. 

WinoJohn
November 24, 2003

 

Wine.com gets more cash!

After blowing though tens of trillions of dollars in investor funds, wine.com is again raising capital.  This time, wine.com is getting $5 mil from  Rojasi Venture Group and another private investor.  Early rumors indicated that wine.com was planning a hostile takeover of another unnamed wine-related web site, one which hawks cheesy T-shirts and a miracle red wine stain removing elixir.  But, alas, these rumors proved untrue.  Wine.com is buying some company in Oakland that makes gift baskets or something.  Those idiots...

Although...  check this out... wine.com Chief Executive, Peter Ekman, says he would like to take wine.com public next year, "if the market permits."  Wine.com would then have the money to make a few desired acquisitions. 

 Huh?  Huh?  We all know which "desired acquisition" he was referring to!

Hey, it's the holiday season.  I can hallucinate if I want to!

Happy Holidays, winos!!!

WinoJohn
December 15, 2003


Cult Members Only!

Bill Harlan, owner of the California Cult Cab house, Harlan Estate, is embarking on a strange new journey.  Harlan has started a new venture called Napa Valley Reserve.  In this new project, "members" ante up $100,000 for the privilege of participating in the entire winemaking process from the vineyard to the winery to the packaging.  No, Bill's groupies will not be working at Harlan Estate, they will be working a plot of land in St. Helena which Harlan bought back in 2000.

According to Harlan, the intent of the project is to give "serious wine lovers the opportunity to learn about wine at the next level. To understand the satisfaction that comes from working with the land and the vagaries of working with Mother Nature."  In addition to the $100k entry fee, members get the privilege of paying $45 a pop for each bottle of wine that they help produce (up to a maximum of 75 cases each).  Harlan hopes to eventually have up to 400 members.

Let's see...   If we do the math...    400 dolts  x  $100k per, plus $45 a bottle  x  75 cases  x  12 bottles/case...    If my calculations are correct...     That's a whole shitload of money!  This Harlan dude is a genius!

In a totally unrelated story, the management of WinoStuff.com proudly announces the launch of a new project called The Wino Stuff Reserve Club.  The intent of the project is to give "serious wine lovers the opportunity to learn about wine-related website manage- ment at the next level. To understand the satisfaction that comes from working with the internet and the vagaries of working with WinoBob."  In addition to the $100k entry fee, members get the privilege of paying $45 a pop for each article that they help produce (up to a maximum of 75 articles/year).  WinoStuff hopes to eventually have up to 400 members.

Hell, if we get one friggin' member, I can retire...

WinoJohn
December 27, 2003

2001 Mouton Label

Each year for the past 80 years, Chateau Mouton Rothschild has hired a contemporary artist to design the label for the new vintage.  Past artists have included such notables as Salvador Dalí, Jean Miró, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol

This year, the artist chosen to design Mouton's vintage 2001 label is American stage director, Robert Wilson.   An American artist was chosen to "honor the United States’ resilience after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."

The label depicts two mirror image portraits of Baroness Philippine de Rothschild over a four color background.  Wilson described the image as "a symphony of colors in which the green vine shoots and the gold of the sun harmonize with the chromatic scale of the wine, from light red to deep purple."


2001 Mouton Label

The artist went on to say that he actually presented two different label concepts to the Baroness for consideration.  The second label, which was not chosen, depicts two mirror image portraits of WinoBob de Rothschild over a four color background.  Wilson described the second image as "a tribute to the resilience of the American liver with the same symphony of colors gibberish." 


2001 Mouton Label Runner-up

I think the Baroness made the right choice...

WinoJohn
January 11, 2004

 

Riedel Cracks!

Those whacky glass blowers over at Riedel have been inhaling when they should have been exhaling.  Perhaps their R&D department is bored, perhaps they have hired some former Arbor Mist Marketing genius, I don't know.  What I do know is that they are starting to crack.  Just look at their new product lineup...



The Riedel "O" Series

After convincing the wine-drinking world that you can't properly enjoy your favorite wine without spending $50 on the glass, the boys at Riedel are now telling us that you really don't need the stem to enjoy that same beverage.  (I think they had a little 'production problem' and now they are trying to sell the glasses that had the stem break off!)  Marketed as the wine tumbler, the new vessel is reported to be "the ideal glass for everyday use and for every occasion.  It is fun, feels good to hold, looks trendy and it works!"  (Designing a glass that "works" must be a real challenge...?)

The WinoStuff team of under- cover operatives (under the expert tutelage of Spymaster General, WinoWally) has uncovered some of the new products on the Riedel R&D horizon.  We reserve judgment on these yet to be released glasses...

    

WinoJohn
January 24, 2004

Superbowl Scandal !!

What were they thinking?  With more than 150 billion people tuned in to the big game, the NFL put on a halftime show that was more... uhhh...  titillating...  than anyone had anticipated.  Yes, I'm talking about Justin Timberlake bumping and grinding and finally getting all grabby with Janet Jackson (sister of Wino Wacko).   All I can say is WOW.  What were they thinking?

So far, the NFL has apologized.  Janet Jackson has apologized.  NBC Television and MTV (who produced the halftime show) have also apologized.  Justin Timberlake blamed it all on some kind of "wardrobe malfunction".  Timberlake is reported to have stated that, "I was just groping her boob and her uhhh... wardrobe malfunctioned! Yeah that's it! Really!!"  

The FCC has launched an investigation into what it calls a "classless, crass and deplorable stunt."  

"I have instructed the commission to open an immediate investigation into last night's broadcast," said FCC Chairman Michael Powell.  The entire commission is reported to have grabbed a couple six packs and some chips and salsa, and are prepared to replay the broadcast all night long in order to fully understand the incident.

On a related note, a crazed Panther fan was arrested for crashing the stage just moments after the boob incident.  Unconfirmed reports indicate  that the drunken stick figure is actually a New Jersey native.  You don't think...  ???  Noo..., it couldn't be...

click here for more...

WinoJohn
February 2, 2004

More Health News!!

Over the past four years, WinoStuff has repeatedly reported on the tremendous health benefits associated with moderate wine consumption.  Your heart, lungs, brain, prostate, etc., can all benefit from the complex chemical compounds found in wine.  In fact, resveratrol has even been found to fight cancer!  Now, the Associated Press is reporting that many of those same compounds are also found in chocolate!  CHOCOLATE!!  This is almost too good to be true!

Many wine writers have written about pairing wine with chocolate.  WinoStuff recently won both the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes for our definitive work on the subject.  (Missed it?  Click here...)  Now, in the wake of the news on the health benefits of chocolate and amidst the controversy surrounding the Atkins diet, WinoStuff presents the ultimate live longer diet, The WinoStuff ChocoRed Diet®.

The WinoStuff ChocoRed Diet may not cause you to lose weight but you will live to be 150 years old, minimum.  Here's how it works:

  1. Eat anything you want

  2. End every meal with a bottle of your favorite red wine and 8 oz of your favorite chocolate snack

  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as necessary

As usual, before starting any diet, check with your physician.  

For the full AP article, click here...

WinoJohn
February 11, 2004

Melee at The Manor !!

Despite the heightened security, despite the restraining order(s), despite all attempts to keep him away, WinoBob managed to crash yet another elegant and tasteful event.  And once again, WinoBob got his butt kicked.

It started out to be a very nice wine tasting at The Manor restaurant in West Orange, NJ.  The Manor is somewhat of a landmark in this part of the country.  Great food, impeccable service, award- winning wine list, etc.  I was fortunate enough to have been invited to the tasting which was hosted by our pal, Big Bob Ferdon of Dreyfus-Ashby.  We (the invited guests) were honored to have Laurent Drouhin of noted Burgundy producer, Maison Joseph Drouhin, as the special guest.  It had all the signs of a memorable evening.  Little did we know...

Somehow, WinoBob again managed to slip past the security guards.  (Stick figures can be quite stealthy.)  Before I knew it, WinoBob was in a heated discussion with Laurent.  Bob made some off-color remark about Laurent's sister, the very lovely and astute Veronique Drouhin (who herself had a run- in with Bob a few years ago, click here for details on that incident...).  There was a scuffle, punches were thrown, and in an instant, Laurent had the situation "under control".


Laurent Drouhin quells another WinoBob incident...

So, once again, I am forced to apologize to the Drouhin family, The Manor restaurant, BigBob and the staff of Dreyfus-Ashby, the state and local police, etc., etc.  I would like to say that it won't happen again but even I don't believe that...

WinoJohn
February 21, 2004

Women Love 'Stuff !!!

In what can only be described as a career-ending move, the Wine Host at BellaOnline.com has named WinoStuff.com as the Wine Site of the Month.  Yes, that's right, Paula S. W. Laurita, the wine brain over at BellaOnline and a self- proclaimed enophile, (polite name for wino), has bucked conventional wisdom and has chosen WinoStuff as the Wine Site of the Month.  This action raises two important questions.
1) What was she thinking? and 2) What's with the two middle initials?  

Obviously, it must be a slow month in the Wine Department over at Bella. 

Check out the following link...


click here to read article...

Wait a minute!  What seems to be missing from this article???  Read the last sentence...

"This month we salute Wino Bob, Wino Wally, and the rest of the 'lunatic fringe'."  

What seems to be missing here...?  Wino Bob...  Wino Wally...   Hmmm...   Let's see...  who's missing here...?  Yes, that's right, once again, I work my fingers to the bone on this dopey site and what do I get?  Just boney fingers!  Geez...  WinoWally is off on a covert mission to restore order in Haiti (or Afghanistan or France. I'm not sure.) and hasn't been seen in months.  Bob lacks the sobriety to do anything but post incoherent wino-babble.  All the real high tech dweeb work is left to you-know-who, and I get relegated to the "Lunatic Fringe".  Very nice...

Paula, we humbly thank you for this honor.  And when the management at BellaOnline realizes what you have done, we may have a position for you here at 'Stuff.  It doesn't pay much (actually, it doesn't pay anything) but if you can appreciate what we do here, you belong here!  But...  you'll have to lose one of those initials.

WinoJohn
March 2, 2004

Gallo or Galleaux?

Gargantuan U.S. wine producer, E&J Gallo is at it again.  After convincing the American wine drinking public that Hearty Burgundy doesn't really have to come from Burgundy, Ernie and Julie Gallo are planning to launch a new French wine, rumored to be called Red Bicyclette.  (WinoStuff has learned that it doesn't really come from red bicycles.)

French eonophiles have long complained that Gallo's Hearty Burgundy misleads the public into thinking that this plonk actually comes from Burgundy, France.  As any real wino knows, Gallo Hearty Burgundy comes from Gallofornia, a rogue city/state on the west coast of the United States.  The French government actually considered invading Gallofornia back in the 1960's to stop them from abusing the name of Burgundy.  However, the French military quickly realized that the Gallo empire was too formidable and they promptly surrendered.

Gallo's annual production of Hearty Burgundy is roughly 1.21 giga-tons (approximately the volume of Lake Michigan).

An article in Decanter.com reports that "details are still under wraps, but the wine will be produced in the Rhône and Languedoc, and will probably retail for US$10."  Decanter also reports that "the label will be in English, and will feature an affable Frenchman riding a red bicycle, with baguettes in the basket and a dog alongside."

Recognizing that they may have a credibility issue trying to convince the US wine-drinking public that this wine really is from France, and cognizant of our enormous popularity within the wino community, Gallo has contracted with WinoStuff to design the label for this new wine.  Check this out...

WinoJohn
March 12, 2004

 

National Wine Week !!!

As I watched Fox and Friends yesterday, I was shocked and horrified to find out that next week is National Wine Week! National Wine Week???  How could next week be National Wine Week?  Who made that decision and, more importantly, why weren't we consulted???

As it turns out, the meat-heads over at Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group do this event twice a year.  They declare a National Wine Week and they pour ten wines for $10 at lunch.  Hmmm...  ten wines for ten bucks...  As I think about it, that's not a bad deal.  However, they still should have contacted us first...

According to their website, nationalwineweek.com, "National Wine Week is held twice a year, in March and September. Now in its 19th year, Wine Week has grown into the premier wine event for people outside the trade. Since its inception with only four restaurants and 20 vintners in 1985, an estimated three and a quarter million customers have attended to date, and Wine Week has become a national event."  

If you read further, you see exactly why we were not consulted... "Working on the selections for March, (Smith& Wollensky's) Vice President, Kevin Zraly, is deep in daily conversation with vintners around the country."  That's it.  Kevin Zraly.  I believe the court order which bars us from all contact with Mr. Zraly is still in effect.  Damn!

For additional information on what sounds like a great week of food and wine, or to be added to their mailing list, visit smithandwollensky.com or
nationalwineweek.com

In an unabashed attempt to somehow capitalize on S&W's great idea, WinoStuff officially declares next week to be "Good Buzz at Lunch Week".  Here's how the program works...  

Go to any Smith & Wollensky's restaurant next week, mention WinoStuff.com, and you'll get ten wines for 10 bucks (if you also buy lunch)!  

That should get their attention.

WinoJohn
March 20, 2004

Wino Tutankhamun ??

A recent article in The Wine Spectator (your second best source for Breaking Wine News!) reports that Egyptian boy-king, King Tutankhaman, was a wino.  Even more interesting is the fact that King Tut was a RED wine wino!  How do we know this?  Science, damn it!  Science!!!

It appears that a crack team of Spanish scientists from the University of Barcelona  analyzed some residue found in the bottom of vases from the tomb of King Tutankhamun.  The scientistos reported that they had detected traces of some compound found in red wine.  

Wow.  There you have it, proof positive that the Tut-man was a red wino.   Or was he????

The crack team of WinoStuff scientists, having watched way too much CSI, have another theory.  How do we know that the wine in the vases didn't belong to the poor bastards that had to bury the King?  Think about it, it's hot there in Egypt.  These guys just carried a huge marble and gold sarcophagus halfway up a pyramid.  They finally lay the King to rest and they are a bit thirsty.  Thank goodness Abdul brought a couple vases of wine, you know, just to quench his thirst.  He and the rest of the slave gang polish off the vino and leave the vases behind.  Hey, it could happen.

And here's more evidence...  A close examination of some of the hieroglyphics found in Tut's tomb reveal that he was boycotting France!  I'm not kidding.  Check out this WinoStuff exclusive photo of the wall of Tut's tomb...

Consider the fact that they don't make wine in Egypt.  France was the only place you could get a decent bottle back in the 14th century BC.  Back then, if you were boycotting France, you weren't drinking wine!!!  Therefore, we contend that maybe the wine in Tut's tomb was not Tut's!  Case closed!

You don't get this kind of insightful analysis on just any wine web site...

WinoJohn
March 27, 2004

Gallo Gets Bigger!

No, not Gina Gallo.  She's still the same size.  The gargantuan E & J Gallo winopoly is getting bigger.  This time, they are gobbling up  Bridlewood Estate Winery, a 30,000 case per year producer in the Santa Ynez Valley.  An unnamed Gallo spokesperson stated that this acquisition is "consistent with the corporate goal to own all of Gallofornia...  uhhh... I mean California."  The addition of Bridlewood brings Gallo's total production capacity to just over a trillion barrels per day.

In addition to it's noteworthy Syarh, Bridlewood also makes a Rhône-style blend, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel.  

Here's the real story...

A few years ago, Gallo sued Bridlewood for some kind of trademark infringement.  (Apparently, E & J Gallo owns a 700,000 case per year brand called "Burlwood" which makes a cheesey white zin.)  Gallo was certain that consumers would confuse a decent mid-market wine with their cheap plonk.  (I would think that any confusion would only help the Burlwood label, but what do I know?)   Bridlewood won the suit so Gallo said, 'No problem.  We'll just buy them."

There's a lesson to be learned here, winos.  Develop a brand that is similar to a big-name brand.  Get sued.  Win and sell the brand.  It's pure genius I tell you! Pure genius!

On an unrelated note, going forward, WinoStuff.com will be known as ScreamingEagleStuff.com.  Same high quality content, same offbeat humor.  No reason has been given for the change...

WinoJohn
ScreamingEagleStuff.com
April 9, 2004

Wine and Technology

WinoStuff.com has often reported on the many health benefits of moderate wine consumption.  WinoBob's enormous world-wide popularity is proof positive of the social benefits of (mass) wine consumption.  We have even reported on the disinfectant properties of certain white wines.  Now, a recent article on the world's second best wine website reports of yet another use for wine.  A technological use... 

It seems that a team of brainoids from the University of Toledo have discovered that solar panels built with wine as an electrolytic coating produce more electricity than panels manufactured with no electrolyte.  I don't know about you, but I find this news to be groundbreaking. Maybe even earth shattering.  Well, at least interesting.  I do have a few questions, however:

1) The University of Toledo?  C'mon.  Toledo?  Where are the brains from MIT and Stanford?

2) How did the dweebs "stumble" on this discovery?  (Hey, Ralph, you spilled wine on that experimental solar panel!  Don't tell the professor!  He'll never notice!")

3) How will this discovery affect the world grape glut?  More importantly, how will this discovery affect the world plonk market?  (Beaujolais, Arbor Mist, etc.)

4) How can WinoStuff capitalize on this discovery?  Can you say "WinoStuff Magical Red Wine- Enhanced Electricity Producing Solar Panels"?  (You see now why I'm not in Marketing.)

Obviously more work needs to be done.  And I don't think we can count on the kids from Toledo to do it.  No, this work needs to be done by a crack team of wino-scientists from the (underfunded) WinoStuff.com Research Labs.  So, if you want to put bad wine to a good use and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, send your research grant money to:

WinoStuff Magical Red Wine-Enhanced Electricity Producing Solar Panel Research Fund, PO Box 64, Caldwell NJ 07006.

Be a part of history!  Send your contribution now!!!  (Note: Some funds may be used to buy wine for consumption by the scientists while they think about the solar panel project...)

WinoJohn
April 18, 2004

Folk Wine?

Legendary folk-rocker, Bob Dylan, has become the latest celebrity to take the leap into the wine business.  However, rather than buying the land, planting the vines, waiting years for them to bear fruit, then toiling in the vineyard to pick, crush and produce the wine, Bob has elected to simply put his name on someone else's hard work.  The gravelly voiced rocker has teamed up with Italian winemaker, Antonio Terni, to produce a blended red wine called Planet Waves.  Apparently, Antonio does all the work, slaps Dylan's name on the bottle and, viola!, Bob Dylan is in the wine business!  And what is Bob Dylan's compensation for his tireless efforts to lend his name?  Oh, just a few hundred bottles of wine!  Not too bad for doing absolutely nothing.

The 63 year old Dylan was also in the news recently when it was announced that his music would be used in several Victoria's Secret commercials.  Bob even agreed to appear in a few of the commercials himself.  Hey, at least he's putting in a little effort in that venture.

You know, as I think about it, Bob Dylan has a pretty good thing going.  He can spend most of his time sitting around in his living room, playing his guitar and drinking some free Dylan wine.  If he gets bored, he can jet off to Venice and hang out with Victoria's Secret supermodels.  In their underwear. While drinking free Dylan wine.   Damn!  He's got a great thing going on!   

I wonder if he would be interested in hawking Bob Dylan's Magical Red Wine Stain Removing Elixir.  Hey, it's worth a shot!

WinoJohn
April 25, 2004

Acanopiss Now?

Noted film director-turned- winemaker, Francis Ford Coppola, has released a new sparkling wine called Sofia. That fact, in and of itself, is hardly newsworthy.  It gets better.  Sofia is named after Coppola's daughter, Sofia, a credible director in her own right.  OK, that's kind of interesting but what makes this worthy of Breaking News! status?  Oh yeah, Sofia is available in 187ml CANS!

The Sofia Mini is a bright pink can of Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine.  Apparently, there is a certain demographic that is drawn to single serving sparkling wines.  In fact, reputable Champagne producer, Piper-Heidsieck, markets Baby Piper in 187ml bottles to the nightclub crowd.  These wines are often sipped through a straw.

 

Niebaum-Coppola's president, Erle Martin (who presumably is not a movie director), said that the winery is attempting to reach new customers. The target audience is “the Sex in the City crowd,” Martin said. “A 20-something, predominantly female, sophisticated, urban market..."   

Well, that goes without saying.  All of the sophisticated, urban, 20-something, predominately female people that I know drink champagne out of a can.  With a straw... 

The Coppola Can 'O Bubbly retails for about $5 and can be purchased in 4-packs or 24 can cases.  Straws are not included.

WinoJohn
May 10, 2004

Wine - The Low Carb Beverage

Amidst the national frenzy for all things low carb, wine and beverage giant, Brown-Forman Wines, has announced that they are releasing a low carb wine.  The collective marketing brains over a Brown-Forman have named the new wines after their purported carb content, One.6 Chardonnay and One.9 Merlot.  (With this kind of creative genius, these guys should be working over at Arbor Mist!)

According to the Brown-Forman website, "One.6 Chardonnay and One.9 Merlot are a result of careful grape selection, dry fermentation, and specific blending to maximize the grapes full flavor and produce a consistent low-carb count. The wines are analyzed along the way to ensure that they always deliver on both great taste and the lower carb promise."

Interesting...  According to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), for a wine to be considered low carb, it may contain no more than 7 grams of carbs per 5-ounce serving.  It would appear, then, that the Brown-Forman folks have nailed this one.  Their low carb wines have less than 2 carbs per serving.  These guys really are geniuses!  ... Or are they?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, most dry wines fall well below the 7 gram threshold.  In fact, the average serving of wine contains only about 0.8 to 1.8 grams of carbohydrates!!!  Whoa, Nelly!  What is Brown-Forman trying to do?  Their One.6 Chard is actually pretty average in the carb count department and the One.9 Merlot is above average!!  I think B-F is attempting to pull the proverbial wool over our collective eyes.  But don't worry, WinoStuff is here to protect you, the unsuspecting wine consumer.

On a related note, WinoStuff.com has been named The Official Low Carb Wine-Related Web Site.  Visiting WinoStuff.com will add approximately zero grams of carbohydrate to your daily dietary intake.  So we have that going for us, you know, ... which is nice...

WinoJohn
May 23, 2004

World War II Memorial

On this Memorial Day, we take a moment to remember all those brave men and women who gave their lives so that we may live in freedom.  We also honor the men and women from the "greatest generation", the 16 million servicemen and women who served their country during World War II.

 

Peace.

WinoJohn 
May 31, 2004

Ronald Reagan  1911-2004

Actor, Politician, Statesman.
  Today, we mourn the passing of Ronald Wilson Reagan.  
Our sincere condolences go out to his family.

June 5, 2004

Le Stinkulator®

Those whacky French are at it again!  Just when you thought your day was going to be mundane, you stumble onto something like this.  If nothing else, they do keep us entertained.  Check this out...

A Burgundy industry trade association called The Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne has plans to launch a new computer peripheral device that will  bring the "aromas" of Burgundy into your home.  (I've been to Burgundy and I'm not sure that I want some of those aromas in my house!)  Yes, that's right, The Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne is working with France Telecom on this device which stores chemicals and oils in small tanks and spritzes them into your home when you click on various icons while taking a "virtual tour" of Burgundy on their web site.  The device is called the Olfacom, but I have officially nicknamed it Le Stinkulator®.  Their goal is to get one of these Stinkulators® into every home and they foresee a time when every French tourism website will stink.  I'm not making this up.

I say, "Why stop there?"  I look forward to a time when every French website will stink.  Just imagine surfing the web and coming across some news article about the French Parliament.  Click on their site and voila!  You can actually smell the lawmakers.  Or how about this...  You're reading about a massive heat wave that hits France and thousands of old people are dying in their homes.   Ewwww...  better not go there...

Let's see if I can summarize this...  A group of French techno-geek winos is working with the French phone company to develop a device that will spray some simulated Frog stank into my living room.  WinoBob, I have a birthday coming up.  This should be on the top of my gift list!

WinoJohn
June 8, 2004  

 

I'll have the wine, medium rare...

You know, I really hate to criticize the French.  They have been such an important part of the evolution of civilization.  French food, The Renaissance, French wine, French Toast.  These innovations have had a lasting impact on our collective culture.  So who am I to question their latest endeavor?  So without any unnecesasary sarcasm, I offer you this article which I clipped from the Chicago Sun Times (who clipped it from the Daily Telegraph)...

PARIS -- Wine is to be reclassified as a natural food rather than an alcoholic drink under French law, if the combined forces of the country's wine industry and a majority of its legislators have their way.

The change would allow wine makers greater latitude in advertising their product at a time when French wine consumption is falling.

Forty years ago, the average French consumer drank 134 bottles of wine a year, compared to only 77 today.

The fall is blamed on changes in working habits, the arrival of numerous new alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and government anti-drinking campaigns.

Daily Telegraph

I just wish that I could make up this stuff.  This can only be compared to something as outrageous as naming a brewery as Winery of the Month...

WinoJohn
June 12, 2004  

Fresh or Frozen???

Last week, I reported that the rascally French are lobbying to classify wine as a food Well, was my face red when alert reader, WinoCraig pointed out an interesting fact about the US Frozen Food industry.  It appears that that the US Department of Agriculture has classified frozen French fries as Fresh Produce!  I'm not kidding! It appears that WinoCraig from the Great White North was out surfing the web (looking for HockeyStuff.com or IThinkIHaveFrostbite.com) and he stumbled upon our inane little domain.  He noticed the French Wine/Food story and he felt compelled to alert me to the USDA decision.  Here is a brief excerpt from the article...

The Frozen Potato Products Institute appealed to the USDA in 2000 to change its definition of fresh produce under PACA to include batter-coated, frozen french fries, arguing that rolling potato slices in a starch coating, frying them and freezing them is the equivalent of waxing a cucumber or sweetening a strawberry.

The USDA agreed and, on June 2, 2003, the agency amended its PACA rules to include what is described in court documents as the "Batter-Coating Rule."

For the full story, click here...

Craig, thanks for pointing out this little, uhhh..., oversight on the part of the USDA.  I'm sure that they are in the process of rectifying the situation.  

WinoJohn
June 23, 2004

Drink More Wine...

One of our original tag lines here at 'Stuff was "Relax, enjoy, and drink more wine..."  It now appears that the French have taken this advice to heart.  In light of declining sales of French wines, falling prices and increased foreign competition, there is a grassroots campaign underway in Frogland to "drink more wine".  French winemakers and a handful of lawmakers are lobbying the Parliament to change advertising laws to allow more wine advertising which would (hopefully) spur domestic sales.  In a move that can only be described as "Bob-esque", this group of wine advocates figures that they can drink their way out of the current worldwide wine glut.  I have to give them credit.  It is a very 'WinoStuff' solution.

Opponents of the legislation argue that the average French citizen over the age of 14 already drinks 1/4 bottle of wine per day on average.  Proponents of the legislation argue that the average French citizen over the age of 14 only drinks 1/4 bottle of wine per day on average.  Many health workers are opposed to the new legislation and three medical organizations have complained to the prime minister that the proposed changes would fuel alcoholism.  “What this amounts to is that we can’t export all the wine we want to, so French people will have to drink it,” said Alain Rigaud, president of the National Association for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Addiction.  France already has one of the highest drunk-driving rates in Europe.

Currently, French law  allows ads to contain only factual information about alcoholic beverages such as the "name, manufacturer, alcohol content and origin."  Curiously, the law does not allow the wine producers to say what grape varieties are actually in the bottle.  Here's a suggestion...  Maybe if the bottle indicated what was inside rather than where it came from, foreign consumers may be more inclined to pop a French cork.

WinoJohn
July 2, 2004 

The Official Team Wine...

If you know anything about soccer, you know that the Boca Juniors are one of the most popular soccer clubs in the world.  Based in Argentina, Boca is one of the oldest and most successful clubs in the sport.  Now, it appears that the Juniors are branching out.  The Boca Juniors have announced the release of their 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon called Boca Premium.  I'm sure this news has the wineries of Napa Valley concerned.  

As you know, Argentina has a thriving wine business.  They also have a fanatical soccer business.   What could be better than combining the two? The wine is being produced by a winery called Raices de Agrelo, which is Spanish for "buy it or we will kill you".  It will sell for about $4 per bottle but will not be available in the US.

This story raises interesting possibilities for the US wine industry.  What if your favorite sports team released a Team Wine?  Would you support the cause?  I would certainly pick up some Screaming Philadelphia Eagle Cab.   I know Wally would buy the Baltimore Ravenswood Zin by the case.  WinoBob would be all over the New York Giants White Zin.  

Drop us a line and let us know your team wine...     

WinoJohn
July 11, 2004 

Four Sisters Winery to Distribute 
WinoStuff's Magical
Red Wine Stain Removing Elixir!!

In a bold marketing coup, Four Sisters Winery in Belvidere, New Jersey, has officially teamed up with WinoStuff.com to offer their visitors our specially-blended red wine stain remover.  WinoStuff’s Magical Red Wine Stain Removing Elixir safely and effectively removes pesky stains from linens and clothing, carpets and cats.  Yes, folks, the chemistry is FDA approved for use around pets and old people. Feel secure the next time you drink more wine than your motor skills can handle. Those stains are no match for WinoStuff’s Magical Red Wine Stain Removing Elixir.


Do you see any stains on these beautiful sun dresses?  No!  That's because
Four Sisters Winery uses WinoStuff''s Magical Red Wine Stain Removing Elix
ir!

Four Sisters Winery sits nestled in a beautiful valley amidst the rolling fields and picturesque hills of Warren County, New Jersey. It is part of an agricultural tradition carried on by Matty and Laurie Matarazzo on their 392-acre farm, which reflects their commitment to the land and its fruitfulness. Since 1981, when wine grapes were first planted amongst the myriad of fruits and vegetables, Matty and Laurie have been making award-winning wine in New Jersey. Visit Four Sisters Winery at http://www.foursisterswinery.com

For info on the upcoming Jersey Fresh Wine and Food Festival, click here... 

Wino Bob
July 17, 2004

Party in NJ Wine Stores!!!

I was in the A&P Wine and Liquor Warehouse recently when Wine Guy Brian Badlowski (serious wine guys don't like to be called "wino") informed me that New Jersey wine stores will soon be able to offer wine tastings.  (Up to that point, I had not realized that wine stores could NOT offer tastings.)  Brian was excited at the prospect of popping open a few bottles to help educate the palates of his clientele.  I was psyched at the opportunity for a "try before you buy" scenario.

Well, winos, it's official.  Governor Jim McGreedy McGreevey signed the bill into law back in January but it just went into effect last week.  Under the terms of this new law, a store can have up to six bottles open at a time and each customer may "taste" up to four 1.5-ounce samples per day.  

The liquor store industry has been lobbying for this bill for years.  The bill was strongly opposed by restaurant and tavern owners who claimed concern about the economic impact on restaurant and bar wine sales.  Deborah Dowdell, president of the New Jersey Restaurant Association, which opposed the change in law, said her group has concerns about the ABC's ability to enforce the regulations.  Dowdell said, "If people have an opportunity to consume wine in a liquor store, they may be less inclined to consume wine in a bar or restaurant."  

C'mon, Debrah.  Debbie.  Deb.  You're dreaming.  Give it up.  You've got no argument.  This is a good law which helps the wine industry, the retailer, and the consumer.  In the long run, it will probably help the bar and restaurant industry as well.   

WinoJohn
July 25, 2004

 

Wine and ED

Noted wine-news provider, Decanter.com, is reporting that a doctor in the Ukraine is now treating erectile dysfunction with a wine-based concocktion.  I'm serious.  Apparently, if your Johnson isn't quite 'up to the task', you can visit a hotel in the Crimean tourist resort of Alushta on the Black Sea for an 'uplifting' treatment which consists of, in Ukrainian medical terms, "potion number 5".  Potion number 5 is a secret mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, rosemary, sage and other herbs.  (It's not clear whether the patient ingests the potion or rubs it vigorously on the afflicted area...)  

Noted erectologist, Dr Alexander Sheludko (also known as Dr. Hardwood), chairman of the prestigious Chub Institute in Bonerville, Siberia, stated that their recipes are made from regional wines and herbs found exclusively in Crimea.  They get their ideas from medical and scientific books and novels, Dr Sheludko told the French news agency, AFP.  I'm not making this up.  (OK, I made up the Chub Institute but not the fact that they are getting their ideas from novels.)  Hell, they might as well get their ideas from WinoStuff.com!!!

For the full story, click here...

On a related note, WinoBob has informed me that he will be "on assignment" in one of the former Soviet republics for the next few weeks.  He was last seen clearing all the rosemary and sage out of his wife's spice rack...  (I had a funny picture to go along with this story but, apparently, the WinoStuff censors feel that depictions of "Little WinoBob" are inappropriate for a wine-related website.)

WinoJohn
August 1, 2004       
 

A Really Big Cab !!!

In an obvious attempt to own the title of World's Biggest Cab, those whacky guys over at Beringer Vineyards have created the world's biggest bottle of cab.  That's right, the Beringer braintrust, in conjunction with the meatheads over at Morton's Steakhouse, decided that the world needs something bigger than the 15-liter nebuchadnezzar.  They toyed with the idea of a 50 liter Bobachadnezzar (roughly the volume of WinoBob's liver), but that wasn't big enough either.  So this band of merry beef-and-cab guys came up with the Maximus, a 130 liter monstrosity filled with the 2001 Beringer Private Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  This Monument of Cabernization will be auctioned off in November and the proceeds will be donated Share Our Strength, a hunger-fighting charity organization. 

For the record, the Maximus measures in at 4 1/2 feet tall and 340 pounds.  It holds the equivalent of 173 standard 750ml bottles.  

This issue raises the question as to whether we actually need 130 liter bottles of premium cabernet.  I think the answer is a resounding "YES"!  Our own WinoBob had this to say, "If I could buy red wine in Maximus-sized bottles, my wine consumption would be reduced to only one bottle per day!"  

 

To view the article on the Beringer website, click here...

WinoJohn
August 7, 2004

Genetic Predisposition to Wine ???

After years of intense research, a biomechanics professor at the prestigious University of California, Berkeley, has come to the conclusion that mankind may have evolved to consume alcohol.  Robert "The Big Dud" Dudley theorizes that humans may have an instinctual attraction to alcohol.  Ethanol is commonly found in ripe wild fruit, The Big Dud explains. Wild yeast feeds on the natural sugars in fruit and fermentation occurs. The riper the fruit, the more alcohol it produces.

In articles published in The Quarterly Review of Biology and Addiction (the medical journal, not WinoBob's biography), The Dud speculates that many prehistoric mammals depended heavily on fruit.  They may have learned to find this key food source quickly by following the scent of ethanol.  

Doug Levey, an apparent disciple of The Big Dud and an ecologist at the University of Florida, echoes that "There is often a big nutritional reward associated with being attracted to ethanol."  He adds that this may help account for the fact that "there are health benefits associated with low-to-moderate levels of ethanol consumption."

On a related note, there appears to be no truth to the rampant rumor that 'the more wine one consumes, the higher he is on the evolutionary scale'.  This revelation comes as devastating counterevidence to WinoBob's proclamation that he is, by virtue of his voluminous alcohol consumption, the "highest" life form on the planet.

 

 

WinoJohn
August 14, 2004

 

New Screwpull Corkscrews Make Cork Extraction Easy!!

The Wine Spectator reports that a new line of corkscrews from Screwpull -- maker of the lever-style wine openers -- are deceptively simple.

Two young wine lovers celebrate the new, deceptively simple, corkscrew.

Hey, that's wine-related!  Give me a break!

If you are completely comatose and you want to leave this page to read the Spectator article/advertisement click here...

WinoJohn
August 28, 2004

 

Wine.com scores more cash...

The brain trust at wine.com has done it again.  Once again, they have convinced the capital markets that they are worthy of more cash.  This time, it's $20 million more in cash!  I just don't get it...

As you will recall, wine.com was originally the website URL of Virtual Vineyards which ultimately merged with Wineshopper.com, forming what was expected to be a mega-powerhouse in Internet wine sales.  Between the two companies, they raised (and lost) at least $150 million in VC cash (which, incidentally, is approximately $150 million more than WinoStuff.com has raised or lost!).  The eventually cash-strapped venture was ultimately purchased by eVineyard in 2001.  Shortly after their purchase of wine.com, eVinyard raised another $30 mil with the promise of brighter days ahead.  

Damn it, Bob, these guys are on to something!  wine.com's total revenue in 2003 was only about $22 million.  They hope to do $35 million in sales in 2004.  They might even be profitable in 2005, who knows?  Now, eVineyard has raised another $20 million in what is described as the "final round of financing".  We could do this.  We're not making money!  We're not profitable!  Where's our VC funding?  So wine.com sells wine on the Internet.  So what?  We have real, high quality products such as Magical Red Wine Stain Removing Elixir and cheesy T-shirts and coffee mugs.  Hell, we have WinoBabes (that we don't even compensate!)  That alone should get us at least a few mil of private equity with no expectation of actual profit.  

C'mon, VC guys, don't make me turn this into a porn site!

WinoJohn
September 15, 2004         

Sex Sells !!!

As  everyone knows, SEX sells.  Just check out our unabashed attempt to attract more visitors by posting "unretouched" photos of scantily-clad, famous wine-industry babes.  In fact, if you put wine and sex together, you get blockbuster results.  (These 'results' can sometimes include pregnancy so be careful with the whole "wine and sex" thing.)

Anyway, the brain trust over there at Marilyn Wines, concoctors of Marilyn Merlot, have just upped the ante.  They recently announced that they will be printing images of a naked Marilyn Monroe on the label of their new Velvet Collection wines.  You heard me.  Naked.

Unfortunately, it appears that for some unknown reason the US Federal Government doesn't allow naked women on the labels of wine bottles!  (Cough, cough, homos, cough, cough...)  So the clever label scientists at Marilyn Wines came up with an ingenious "peek-a-boo" label.  Apparently, there is some kind of "peel away" outer label covering the picture of Marilyn's actual goodies.  Pull off the outer label and voila!

Be forewarned, however, the Velvet Collection is priced at some ridiculous number, like $200 for a bottle of merlot.  So your pals here at 'Stuff are going to peel away the outer label for you without requiring any purchase.  Click on the bottle on the right to expose the new Velvet Collection label.  

WinoJohn
September 25, 2004          

 

Véronique Drouhin-Boss  -  Pioneer

In a move that can only be described as pioneering, the lovely and talented winemaker, Véronique Drouhin-Boss of Maison Joseph Drouhin and Domaine Drouhin Oregon, has boldly gone where no man has gone before.  (I love bringing Star Trek references into this lame site.  I'm such a dweeb...)  In fact, Véronique has boldly gone where no woman has gone before (and this has nothing to do with WinoBob!)

Yes, my wino friends, I am delighted to announce that the collective genius at Maison Joseph Drouhin in France is releasing a new line of wines that the American market will certainly embrace.  These wines are labeled in English and..., get this...,  and ... (I'm getting choked up...),  and ...  AND...  the grape variety is printed ON THE LABEL!!!  I think I'm going to cry...

 

The success of Domaine Drouhin's Rhone-style wines proves Véronique's understanding of the American palette.  By releasing a French wine with the grape variety clearly printed on the label, Ms. Drouhin-Boss now proves her keen business acumen.  (Or she frequents the pages of this dopey web site and has heeded our call for French wine label reform.  I'm guessing it's the former.)  

Now, if we could just find some of this wine for a premiere sampling.  Where would we go to get a taste...?  Perhaps some big-time wine importer might arrange a private tasting...  Hmmm...  Who could that be...?

To be continued...

WinoJohn
October 1, 2004       

What's up at Mondavi???

Wow, things are imploding over there at the Robert Mondavi Corporation (RMC).  It seems that the fan is blowing at full speed and the shit is flying!

Last week, Michael Mondavi was forced to resign his seat on the board of directors.  (Michael was at one time CEO and Chairman of the Board)  Shortly thereafter, Tim Mondavi resigned from his position as vice chairman and head winegrower.  It doesn't just suck to be a Mondavi family member, 360 workers at RMC were laid off.  That's one third of the entire company's workforce!  What is up with that?

You may recall back in September, the RMC braintrust announced that it would be selling off its premium brands and luxury holdings.  That means that Mondavi's interests in Opus One, Ornellaia, Luce, To Kalon vineyards, the RMC Oakville winery, etc., are all on the block.  (I'll bet those chowderheads who invested in wine.com are kicking themselves now!)  The unfortunate RMC shareholders will be left with the "lucrative" high-volume brands like Woodbridge, La Famiglia and the Robert Mondavi Private Selection.

Rumor has it that Michael, Tim and their sister, Marcia Mondavi Borger, are putting their heads (and finances) together to buy up the jewels of the RMC.  Now if only they had a unique and innovative website to bundle into the package...   Where could they buy such a website...???  (Hey, we could become mondavistuff.com.)  You never know...

WinoJohn
October 10, 2004        

"New" Wine Spectator Online ???

WinoWally has often reported that the good folks at Wine Spectator are sometimes a little... uhhh... "late" in reporting the news.  How many times have you visited WinoStuff.com to get the latest in wine news and reviews and then picked up the Spec a few months later and get the same "news"?  Well, my wino friends, Marvelous Marvin is out to fix all that.  The Spec braintrust has just announced the release of the "new" (and improved?) Wine Spectator Online!

According to Marv's recent press release, the Spec is taking "another bold step. Wine Spectator Online has been completely revamped."  Reportedly, the site "is loaded with fresh, exclusive features. And it’s much easier to navigate."  What a relief to all of us hungry-for-news winos...

Oh wait, there's more...  "Every single story on our (Spec's) home page is original to the Web site. None of the content we post daily has been previously published in Wine Spectator magazine or any other source. However, for handy reference, you can find the contents of back issues of Wine Spectator magazine in our online archives.  You’ll enjoy a lively mix of breaking news, in-depth analysis and exclusive commentary on a wide range of interesting and provocative topics. Contributors will include our senior editors, plus celebrated and accomplished people from all walks of life."

By "celebrated and accomplished people from all walks of life", I assume they mean people other than Wally, Bob, and John!  OK, fair enough.  We're big enough to take a little "new" competition.  I'm even willing to link to the "new" Wine Spectator Online.  For a sneak preview, click here...

WinoJohn
October 22, 2004       

 

Constellation Brands to buy Mondavi...

Constellation Brands, the huge wine and beverage megalopoly, has announced that their $1.36 billion offer for the Robert Mondavi Corporation has been accepted by the Mondavi board of directors.  What does this mean for the Napa Valley landmark?  Let's take a look...

Constellation Brands is the parent company of Constellation Wines, the world's largest wine business.  Their brand portfolio includes such memorable marques as Almaden Bag-in-a-Box, Arbor Mist, and Wild Irish Rose.  Constellation Wines sells more than 75 million cases of wine per year.  Seventy five friggin' million cases of wine.  That's 900 million bottles of wine per year.  If they raise the prices of their wine by just $1.50 per bottle, they can pay off the Mondavi deal in one year.  Think about that.  They can pay off their $1.36 billion acquisition in one year.  That's mind boggling.  Using that same math, if they raise their prices by just $1.50 per bottle, they could buy WinoStuff.com in just over 9 minutes.  Hey, it's something to think about...

But back to business... The purchase of Mondavi raises the logical question, "What is in store for the Mondavi brands?"  The answer?  God only knows.

WinoJohn
November 5, 2004  

     

Pansy Going to Australia

Having realized some level of success with their gay-friendly rosé wine, Pansy, the braintrust over at New Zealand winery, Kim Crawford Wines, is now planning to take the show on the road.  And who would enjoy a good Pansy more than the Australians?

Recognizing the size of the Sydney gay community, Kim Crawford wines has announced that Pansy will soon be available in that city.  Apparently, gay Australians traveling to New Zealand have been known to take a little Pansy back home with them.  Now, they won't have to travel quite so far to enjoy a little Pansy.

The 2002 Pansy appears to have been quite popular among the New Zealand gay community.  According to the Kim Crawford web site, the 2002 Pansy is "Cherry in colour with mauve edges."  The aroma is of "ripe Pacific Rose apple and sherbert," yet "complexed with hints of bisto."  On the palate, Pansy is a "fruity little number. The wine has great fruit intensity, with juicy fruit and watermelon characters."   I don't know what all that means but it certainly sounds pretty gay.

While the 2002 wine was primarily Merlot and Cab Franc-based, the 2003 Pansy is made from Pinot Noir.  (Fill in your own Pinot Noir joke here...)  

You know, you don't get this kind of cutting-edge, gay wine news reporting just anywhere.  Stay tuned to 'Stuff for all the latest blah, blah, blah...

God, I have to get a real job...

WinoJohn
November 12, 2004    

Taste-o-Matic

A pair of San Francisco entrepreneurs have opened up a rather unique wine tasting bar.  This new establishment is not distinctive in terms of the actual wines that it serves.  Rather, this place is unique in how it serves its wines.  VinoVenue, located at 686 Mission Street at 3rd Street, utilizes automated "tasting stations" to serve up one ounce pours of 100 different wines.  Consumers use a pre-paid smart card to purchase individual wines from 10 different stations.  If a customer finds a wine that he/she likes, bottles are available for purchase as well.

Founders Mary Lynn Slattery and Nancy Rowland stumbled upon the wine dispenser concept while traveling in Europe.  (Leave it up to those rascally Europeans to meld technology and wine!)  VinoVenue offers a wide variety of wines across the entire spectrum of price points.   Prices range from $1 to $28 per pour with bottle prices ranging from $7.99 to $292.  

If the business is a success, you can expect to see more VinoVenues opening up across the country.    

Founders Mary Lynn Slattery and Nancy Rowland pose while an uninvited visitor from New Jersey tests the wine dispensing machine...

WinoJohn
November 22, 2004       

Glork® in mass production!

Alert 'Stuff readers will recall a What's New! article back in March of 2004 about a revolutionary new wine bottle stopper made of glass.  (What?  You killed those brain cells?  click here...)  Anyway, back in March, we reported on a new cork replacement made of glass and developed by Alcoa.  We also reported that Alcoa had named this revolutionary product "Vino-Lok"  (obviously without consulting with the marketing brainoids here at WinoStuff)!  Glork® would have been a much better name but we won't go there again...  Well now, it appears that Alcoa has begun volume production of this new closure and they are shipping the device to major wineries.  

It would appear that things are looking pretty good for the Vino-Lok.  This product recently won the "Gold Prize for Innovation in the Filling, Packaging and Sealing" category at the international wine and fruit juice exhibition, Intervitis/Interfructa, in Stuttgart, Germany.  It is also the leading contender in the "Product That Should Have Been Called Glork®" contest now running at a leading wine-related web site.

However, there is one glitch dulling the future prospects of Vino-Lok.  Alcoa, in their infinite genius, is making these little glass plugs in Germany.  Worms, Germany.  Yes, WORMS, Germany.  Why not just make these things in Crotchitch, Sweden?  Or Zitsburgh, Austria?  Who's the soon-to-be former head of Product Planning at Alcoa?

Hey, Alcoa, picture this.  The UPS truck pulls up outside your very important customer's loading dock.  The driver opens the sliding door on the back of the truck and the $5-per-hour Shipping and Receiving clerk at the winery sees a box marked WORMS, Germany.  What do you think he's going to do?  And that's assuming it gets past the Customs agent.  I'm pretty sure that in the post-911 era, we have cracked down on imported worms.

WinoJohn
December 3, 2004    

 

Constellation Buys Again!

Just a few short weeks after announcing their intention to buy the Robert Mondavi Corporation for like 1.21 gigadollars, those acquisition-happy winos over at Constellation Brands are at it again!  This time, they set their sights on the popular Chianti producer, Ruffino.  Rumor has it that Constellation still had $80 million left after the Mondavi deal and they just had to spend it.  (Hmmm..., sounds like my wife...)  For $80 mil, Constellation picks up 40% of the Ruffino company.  

Reports indicate that one of the better wine divisions of Constellation Brands, Franciscan Estates,  will take over distribution of Ruffino in the US.  In fact, Franciscan's  CEO, Jon Moramarco, said, "The wine brands and rich heritage of Ruffino give us a much-desired place in the attractive Italian premium wine category, and we look forward to expanding the Ruffino brand's distribution, image and prestige".   Uhhhh..., yeah...

This raises several important questions.  To Franciscan's CEO, Jon Moramarco, we ask, 

1) "C'mon, Jon.  Jonny.  Jon-boy...  John is spelled with an "H"!  What's up with this 'Jon' stuff?"  That's just not right.

2) You are going to improve Ruffino's "distribution, image and prestige".  Again, c'mon Jo(h)nny.  Who are you foolin'?   Distribution?  As far as I can tell, Ruffino is already sold in every wine store, supermarket, gas station, bodega, corner drug store  and kool-aid stand in the country.  Constellation is going to improve that distribution model how?  OK, what about image and prestige?   How about this...  Constellation owns Arbor Mist which sells wine in cans, jars, boxes, jugs and flasks.  That's ummm....  pretty prestigious... ???

Admit it, Jo(h)nny, you're looking for a legitimate "business" reason to set up a summer home in Tuscany.  There's nothing wrong with that!  Ciao!

WinoJohn
December 11, 2004  


 

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