Old Breaking News!



This page has old WinoStuff Breaking News! articles from 2005 and 2006.  

If you have no life and need old news from 2003 or 2004, click here.  

If you are really pathetic and want to read older news from 2000-2002, click here.  And get a life! 

WinoJohn


Tsunami Relief

Amidst allegations that Americans are "stingy" (made by diplomats from third world countries like Sweden), Americans are stepping up to the plate to help the victims of the Tsunami disaster in southeast Asia.  One Auburn, CA wine shop owner is doing his part.  

The owner of Carpe Vino wanted to do something to help the tsunami victims, and making a personal donation didn't seem to be enough.  The owner, Gary Moffat came up with another idea.  The wine shop is holding a special wine sale to benefit the victims of Asia's devastating December tsunami.  Moffat has pledged to donate 100% of the revenue from the sale to the American Red Cross.  That's 100% of the revenue, not just the profits!  Mr. Moffat, we salute you.  

If you would like to make a donation to help the victims of this enormous disaster, we have provided links to a couple worthwhile agencies:

American Red Cross
2025 E St. NW
Washington, DC, 20006
800-HELP-NOW
www.redcross.org

AmeriCares
88 Hamilton Ave.
Stamford, CT 06902
800-486-4357
www.americares.org

Wino John
January 6, 2005  

Rare Wine Stolen

The Weekend Australian recently reported that rare wine worth more than $100,000 was stolen from a home in Australia earlier this month.   More than 100 bottles were taken during a burglary at the home in the Canberra suburb of Farrer sometime between January 3 and 5.  Constable James Stokan told the newspaper that, "Only the best wines were targeted including Penfolds Grange Hermitage, Penfolds St. Henri Claret and Henschke Hill of Grace."  Reportedly, the vintages dated back to 1970.  

Police are urging anyone who is offered wine for sale that resembles the vintages stolen, or who knows anything about the theft, to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-333-000.  

This appalling burglary raises several important questions...

  1. What kind of twisted Aussie math was used to calculate the value of this loss?  I'm sure that this was pretty good wine but $1000 per bottle?  C'mon...  what's the deal here?

  2. Why does the Australian Crime Stoppers' phone number have only 9 digits?  What happens if WinoBob starts serving Grange at the WinoStuff staff meetings?  If I suspect something is amiss, how would I call them from the US?  I'm pretty sure this would be a problem.

  3. Most importantly, if WinoBob starts serving Grange at the WinoStuff staff meetings and I suspect foul play and if I call Aussie Crime Stoppers from the US and somehow (miraculously) get through, is there a reward??? 

Relax, Bob, your secret is safe.  For now...

Wino John
January 10, 2005  
        

G*L*U*T - Glut, Glut, Glut !!!

According to the South African news daily, Business Day, global wine production in 2004 was the highest level since 1992.  World wine production was estimated to be 287 million hectoliters in 2004, up 9.5% from 2003.  Conversely, world wine consumption was estimated to be only 230 million hectoliters in 2004, a shortfall of about 57 million hectoliters.  That's a lot of hectoliters!

This report raises several disturbing questions.  Notably:

  1. What the hell is a hectoliter?

  2. Why don't they just express the total wine production in cases or gallons or some other unit of measure that we are all familiar with?

  3. Where is all this excess wine stored?  France?

  4. What is the plan to dispose of all this excess wine and does that mean that prices of California cabs will continue to fall?  (Please, God, please!!!)

One fact that has become glaringly obvious is that we (the world's wine-drinking population, not just Bob and I) consumed only 80% of the wine that was produced last year.  Therefore, we (the world's wine-drinking population, not just Bob and I) should be ashamed of ourselves. (Actually, Bob and I did our part.  We personally consumed over 1.21 gigaliters. I estimate my 2004 personal consumption at 20 cases of wine.  If you do the math, that puts Bob's personal consumption somewhere around 1.209999 gigaliters, give or take a few hectocases.  So the rest of you losers should be ashamed of yourselves...)

Think of all those poor, family-run wineries and the dedicated family members who meticulously and lovingly hand-crafted their artisanal wines for our ultimate enjoyment.  What's going to happen to them?  And what about all those huge, multinational wine conglomerates  that dispassionately  crafted their industrial plonk for our ultimate cheap buzz?  What's going to happen to them?   

Therefore, my wino friends, it looks like we are in for an extended glut.  It is imperative that we all do our part.  I am urging all of you to relax, enjoy, and toss down a few hectobottles.  Do it for the good of the industry.  Do it for WinoStuff!!!

Wino John
January 22, 2005  
 

 

Halftime Deja-Vu

In a disturbing repeat of last year’s SuperBowl fiasco, there was another unexpected “wardrobe malfunction” at this year’s Big Game.  This time, the unlikely victim was Paul McCartney.  The ex-Beatle was singing a provocative duet with Justin Timberlake during the halftime show when his costume unecpectedly “gave way”. 

 

Paul, who looked rather demure in his form-fitting latex outfit, was dancing to the sultry sounds of JT when the groping Timberlake pawed at his clothing.  In a shocking spectacle, broadcast live to hundreds of millions of television viewers around the world, Paul’s shirt burst open revealing an enormous Nipple Ringoâ on his bare breast.  The sight immediately triggered the gag reflex among millions of drunken football fans.  

Ringo Starr, the ex-Beatle whose face was emblazoned on Paul's man-boob, was unavailable for comment.

Wino John
February 7, 2005
          

Commie Wines??

This tidbit has been around for a while but I just stumbled upon it recently...     A wine- making factory in the Ukraine has released a new line of wines with labels that feature the faces of famous communist dictators.  These wines, which are marketed under the sub-brand "Leaders", give a whole new meaning to the term "Red" wine. 

The current lineup of commie honorees includes (among others) Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro.  With this lineup of powerful ruthless dictators, the wines must be really big reds.  

But this makes me wonder...  What would the wines be like if they were named after recent American leaders?  After extensive WinoStuff research, here are the results.  (Don't blame me!  There is research behind these findings, damn it!!!)

  • George W. Bush - Non-alcoholic.  Popular in rural America.  Despised in most urban areas and in France.

  • Bill Clinton - Screw cap.  Popular with the women.

  • George H. W. Bush - This wine will make you barf on Commie leaders!

  • Ronald Reagan - Big Californian, people will love it!  May not age well...

  • Jimmy Carter - Peanut wine.  Won't even appear on the shelf with any subsequent presidential wines.

I don't know what all this means but that's what the research showed.  Next week, Hollywood celebrity wines!  Stay tuned...

WinoJohn
February 13, 2005           

USA! USA! USA!

According to recent reports, America is moving up the world ladder in terms of per capita wine consumption.  In the last 10 years, U.S. wine consumption is up more than 24 percent and is expected to grow by another 29 percent by 2008.  (Even if you discount WinoBob's enormous personal consumption, the US is still up more than 20% since 1995.)  If the current growth rate of US wine consumption continues and if the current trend of declining consumption in France and Italy continues, the good ol' US of A will be the number one wine consuming nation in the world by 2008.  Wa hooo!!!

WinoBob, curiously dressed as General George S. Patton, salutes the efforts of all Wino-Americans in pursuit of the title of Biggest Wine-Consuming Country.

This trend has many wine "aficionados" concerned.  They are afraid that if the US becomes the biggest wine market in the world then foreign winemakers will be forced to tailor their winemaking to the American palate.  That could result in fewer 'finesse' wines and more "big, bold, over-the-top" wines.  Personally, I fail to see the problem here...

Let's take a closer look at this...  If we start drinking more wine, then more countries will start making wine in the style we like...  What's the downside here...?  What are we waiting for, people???  Drink up!!!  We're gunnin' for number one and when we get there, all wine will taste like our favorite California Cult Cabs!!!   God, I can't wait...!!!

WinoJohn
February 26, 2005           

A Tale of Two Winos...

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...,  it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, ..."  This famous line from Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities could be the introduction to the story of our dinner with a visiting marketing executive from Torres, Christian González. 

For some unknown reason, BigBob invited WinoBob and I to the dinner/tasting with Christian.  BB was understandably apprehensive about inviting WB, but I assured him that WinoBob had been behaving himself for the past year.  He was off probation and most of the restraining orders had been lifted.  Reluctantly, BigBob agreed and we kept our fingers crossed, hoping that we could all enjoy a nice evening together tasting a selection of Torres' recent releases.  But, Noooooo!!  When will we learn?

With patience worn thin after watching him single-handedly consume the first seven bottles of the evening, Torres marketing exec, Christian Gonzalez, "convinces" Wino Bob to share the 1975 Gran Coronas...

So, ONCE AGAIN, I am forced to apologize to all involved in the resulting melee.  Therefore, on behalf of the entire staff of WinoStuff, my sincere apologies to Christian González, the Torres organization, the Montville police, the Montville EMT's, the staff of the Columbia Inn, all of the other diners at the restaurant (especially the blonde woman from the Pinot-drinking table), the other drunks in the Montville Jail drunk tank, the Municipal Court judge, etc., etc., etc...

WinoJohn
March 4, 2005       

WinoBob bail is revoked...

In a shocking display of disrespect towards the Montville Municipal court, WinoBob showed up to his hearing on the charges of "Drunk and Disorderly" in his PAJAMAS!  Yes, WinoBob showed up to court in his jammies!!!

With an entourage which, for some unknown reason, included Joe Jackson, WinoBob shows up for his court hearing in his bed clothes...

In addition to his strange garb, WinoBob was 45 minutes late to the hearing and appeared obviously intoxicated.  In his defense, Bob testified that he "overslept" and was a little "hung over".  Montville Judge, Rodney Melville, immediately revoked WinoBob's $300 bail and ordered him in contempt of court.  Bob was also fined $150 and was ordered to perform 40 hours of community service.  With his clothes on.

This, once again puts a strain on the WinoStuff finances.  We are forced to transfer funds from the New Liver Fund and we are earmarking all of our Google Ad money for the next 10 years to cover these unexpected and unnecessary expenditures.

How can you help?  By sending cash, of course.  You can make your checks payable to Wine Ventures, LLC, PO Box 64, Caldwell, NJ  07006  

WinoJohn
March 11, 2005 

Warning!  Not for the faint of heart (stomach)!

The Modesto Bee out of where else but Modesto, California, is reporting that some Chinese whack job entrepreneur is launching a company to make wine.  And you know what?  It's making me SICK!  

Now you may say, "WinoJohn, what's wrong with that?  The Chinese have every right to make wine.  Just because China is not recognized as one of the world's premier grape growing regions doesn't mean they can't at least try to make some wine.  C'mon WinoJohn, what's wrong with you?"

And I would respond by saying, "This whack job wants to make wine out of something... uhhhh...  unusual.  He wants to make wine out of FISH!!!  Yes, I said FISH!!!  He wants to ferment FISH!!!  To make WINE!!!  Damn!!!  Isn't there a law against this type of behavior???  Well there should be a law!!!  (There should also be a law against excessive use of the exclamation point but, fortunately for me, there's not.  !!!.)

According to the Modesto Bee, who picked up the story from The Crush (the California Association of Winegrape Growers newsletter) who reportedly got the story from China's official news agency, Xinhua, (don't you just love fourth-hand news?), this nut job named Sun Keman from the Chinese port city of Dalian has formed the Dalian Fisherman's Song Maritime Biological Brewery to make this soon-to-be cult classic.  (Geez, he can't even get the name of the company right.  You can't make a good fish wine in a brewery!)  Reportedly the fish wine making process involves cleaning, boiling and fermenting the fish.  The product is said to be nutritious...   uurrppp...    and low...   uurrppp...   in alcohol.  BLLUUUUGGHHHH...

Sorry about that.  I told you it was making me sick...

Anyway, when I first heard about this brave new venture, one image came to mind.  Anyone over 40 should remember this...  BASS-O-MATIC '76 !!!

WinoJohn
March 18, 2005  

French wine saves woman's life!

A recent article in The Advocate out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, describes yet another incident involving wine saving a human life.  Yes, once again, wine is proven to be the miracle beverage for the ages.  Here are the unbelievable details...

Two men, allegedly ne'er-do-wells, entered a convenience store at a truck stop in St. Helena parish in southern Louisiana.  One of these scalawags pulled a gun and ordered the cashier to hand over the money.  After taking the cash, the gunman attempted to kidnap the cashier, ordering her to get into his pickup truck.  (I'm guessing that the cashier looked like our WinoBabe, but I could be wrong...)

Now here's where the unbelievable allure of wine saves the day...  

On his way out of the store, the gunman stopped to pick out a nice wine from the obviously well-stocked wine shelf.  Keep in mind that this is a TRUCK STOP!  The gunman picked up a bottle and stared at it long enough for the woman to run away and contact the police!!!  Local authorities arrested the gunman's accomplice, Leroy Martin, a short while later.  The gunman, Harvey Ware, remains at large.  

So you see, once again, wine saved the day!!!

Sherrif's Deputy, Barney Fife, told reporters that the suspect confessed to him saying, "Harvey jus' wanted a nice bottle to take wit us for da road.  You know what I'm sayin'?  We didn't have no co'k screw, you know, so he picked up a bottle wit a twist top and, damn man, da wine was French!  We couldn't even tell what kind of wine was in da bottle!  You know what I'm sayin'?  What da hell is Medoc anyway, man?  Damn!  Why don't dey just say what kinda wine is in da bottle???  Damn the French." 

To read the actual article (and determine which parts of the story I didn't make up), click here... 

WinoJohn
March 31, 2005             

More on Wine and Chocolate

Obviously taking a cue from our Pulitzer Prize award-winning expose on Wine and Chocolate, researchers at the world famous Monash University Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (MUD of E and PM) in Melbourne, Australia, have  announced that a daily diet which includes wine and chocolate will boost life expectancy.  DID YOU HEAR THAT PEOPLE???  Wine and chocolate will make you LIVE LONGER!!!  If that's the case, I'm going to live to be 150... 

But wait, don't stop exercising and eating healthy yet.  A closer look at this startling news by the WinoStuff Department of Wine and Chocolate Research (WSD of W and CR) reveals that the research may be flawed.  (Damn the WSD of W and CR!!!) 

Apparently, there was some research a few years ago into a pill called the "polypill" which contained a bunch of different ingredients which were supposed to reduce heart disease risk by 80%.  The crack team of researchers at the (MUD of E and PM), assisted by a handful of researchers at Erasmus University Medical Centre in the Netherlands (EUMC in the N), devised a meal that included foods that had naturally-occurring ingredients from the polypill.  They called this meal the "polymeal".  They theorize that if you eat the polymeal, it will have the same result as taking the polypill.  In fact, if you take a close look at the announcement, it states that the researchers "estimate that a 'polymeal' of wine, fish, dark chocolate, fruit, vegetables, almonds and garlic, eaten every day (or at least four times a week in the case of fish) would increase men's life expectancy by an average of six and a half years and women's by an average of five years".

That's it???  They estimate that there will be some benefit?  What's my assurance that if I eat a daily polymeal, that I'll live to be 150?  Where are the clinical studies?  What about the control groups and the placebos?  Does anyone else see a problem with their findings???

You know, those researchers probably got a Research Grant from the Australian government and they were probably paid a stipend by the Fish and Almond Council.  And all we get are estimates.  Well, winos, try this one on for size.  WinoStuff hereby estimates that a daily meal of steak, potatoes, wine, and chocolate will make you thinner, wealthier and more attractive to members of the opposite sex.  Throw in the occasional pasta with red sauce and garlic bread and we estimate that you'll win the lottery.

You know our findings are accurate and unbiased because no one is giving us a damn cent.

WinoJohn
April 14, 2005                

Wino of the Week

No, I'm not starting a new weekly column.  I don't have time to keep up with all our current columns.  However, every once in a while, a news blurb comes in involving an apparent wino and his/her deviant behavior.  So when that happens, we'll name a Wino of the Week.  That's what happened recently.  Here is the story...

A variety of news sources reported last week that a woman was arrested after fleeing the scene of an accident!

Whew!  If that's not Wino of the Week material, I don't know what it is!  It doesn't get much better than that!  What?  You disagree?  Wait, there's more...

Apparently, 35-year-old Yanique Mauldin fled the scene after driving her car into two other cars.  And a pedestrian!  There.  Definitely WotW material!  Still not convinced?  How about this little fact...

Ms. Mauldin (who happened to be intoxicated and on probation) fled the scene of the accident(s), eluded police, abandoned her vehicle (with her six-year-old son inside) and yet managed to take her bottle of wine with her!  Now that's a dedicated wino!  The newswire didn't report on exactly what wine Ms. Mauldin was enjoying while she went on this little crime spree.  I'm guessing (and this is purely speculation) that it was something in the Mad Dog 20/20 family.  Purely a guess.

And so, our hats are off to Yanique Mauldin, our inaugural Wino of the Week.

WinoJohn
April 24, 2005           

All Roads Lead to Wine Country

Over the past several years, we have reported numerous stories of celebrities that have decided to take a leap into the wine business.  Golf legends Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman, football icons Joe Montana and Dick Vermeil, as well as race car drivers Mario Andretti and Randy Lewis have all taken the vinous plunge.  Somehow, that seemed OK.  But now, a disturbing new trend has emerged.  Old rock stars are getting into the wine business.  I'm not sure I'm ready for this...

First we saw Jerry Garcia's name gracing bottles of California wine.  That was OK because Jerry is Jerry and, as far as I know, he's still dead.  Then Sting announced that he was going to make some Italian wine.  That was cool because Sting wasn't actually going to sell his wine.  He was just going to give it away to his friends.  (Hey Stinger-dude, I'm still waitin' for my bottle!)  Then Bob Dylan announced that he was lending his name to some Italian wine venture.  No problem, Dylan's a whack-job anyway.  

But now, other rock legends from the 60's and 70's are getting in on the act.  I'm sorry but this just scares me.  I recently read that The Doobie Brothers have teamed up with B.R. Cohn to release a cab / merlot / cab franc blend called the Doobie Red Series.   (At least they are donating a portion of the proceeds to a worthy cause, The National Veterans Foundation.)  Where will this madness end, people?  You know what's coming next...

  • Red Zeppelin

  • Pink Floyd Rosé

  • Dan Fogelbergundy

  • Two Buck Chuck Berry

  • Ozzy Brain Dead Red

  • Lynard Skynard Zynfandel

We have to stop this trend now, people.  It's just too dangerous to start co-mingling old rock and roll memories with new wine appreciation thoughts.  Imagine sitting down at an important business dinner, ordering a nice Zynfandel and suddenly having the urge to jump up on the table, light a match and shout "Freebird!!!".  We don't want to go there...  Let's just let the old rockers fade away in our hazy college memories!  I don't want them striking up a chord in my wine glass and I certainly don't want them hanging out in my wine cellar!

WinoJohn
May 1, 2005            

Feed Mayonnaise to the Tuna...

In the 1982 movie, Night Shift, Michael Keaton played an "idea man" named Bill Blazejowski.  In one memorable scene, Bill came up with the brilliant idea of "feeding mayonnaise to the tuna", thus eliminating the need to mix the two ingredients to make tuna salad.  I think that there is a similar opportunity to save time and effort in the worldwide wine market.

Two tidbits of info made the news recently and that got me thinking.  First, we know that the French wine industry is suffering from the worldwide wine glut due in part to rapidly growing competition from countries like Australia.   It was reported recently that French winemakers were granted a few hundred million Euros in subsidies to distill their excess wine into industrial alcohol.  This alcohol will eventually be burned as a gasoline additive.  

Second, a major Australian wine producer recently announced a record harvest in the 2005 vintage.  New Zealand recently announced that wine exports were up 124% from a year ago.  This certainly can't be good news for the French.

OK, here's where it gets interesting.   France is getting paid to burn their excess wine.  Australia and New Zealand continue to produce more wine.  Here's the brilliant idea...  What if the French government just sent all those Euros to Australia?  They could just pay the Australians to grow less grapes!!!  Geez, this is friggin' brilliant!!!  I should be in politics!  

However, if I know the French (and who knows the French better than me...), they might just burn the Euros...

WinoJohn
May 7, 2005        

Dweeb to the Rescue!

Yes, they laughed at us in high school.  We were outcasts in college.  But now, see... NOW they embrace us.  Yes, my wino friends, a fellow dweeb has made the news recently for inventing a product to eliminate cork taint from a bottle of wine.  Yeah, baby!  Dweeb to the rescue!!!

Decanter.com has reported that a French biochemist named Professor Gerard Michel, along with his oenolgist pal, Laurent Villaume, has developed a product which can remove TCA from a contaminated bottle.  Did you hear that, people?  No more dumping that prized bottle down the drain!!  No more disappointment on that special occasion!  This is obviously a groundbreaking discovery.  This is up there with putting a man on the moon or mapping the human genome.  This is Nobel and Pulitzer prize winning material.  In fact, if this works, we should throw in an Academy Award, a Congressional Medal of Honor and maybe Sainthood.  I don't know, this is pretty important.  I might even name Professor Girard as WinoStuff's Winery of the Month.  It's that big!

The Prof calls his product "Dream Taste".  (OK, he's dweeb, not a marketing genius...).  The product uses a special copolymer material to absorb the TCA molecules right out of the wine.  If you pop open a bottle and suspect that it is tainted, you simply decant the wine, lower some of this copolymer stuff into the decanter and, voila, the dreaded TCA disappears from the wine!  (OK, "voila" may have been an overstatement.  It can take up to an hour to cleanse the bottle.)  But still, this guy's a genius!!!

The Dream Taste kit will sell for €40 and will be available in France in June.  Copolymer refills will be available for €5 each.  

WinoJohn
May 13, 2005      

Supreme Decision

Unless you've been sleeping in a cardboard box (which many of our faithful winos do), you know that the US Supreme Court recently struck down the ban on interstate wine shipments.  Woohoo!!!  This was definitely a landmark day for wine drinkers!  Or was it...?

They way I interpret the ruling, the Supreme Court only ruled that the state's policies must be consistent meaning that if the state allows intrastate shipments, it must also allow interstate shipments.  That's still good news...  sort of... 

Wait, what if the State of New Jersey decides to accept a little payola from the Liquor Distributor lobby?  (Like that can't happen...)  They could decide that intrastate shipments will now be banned and therefore, out-of-state shipments will still be banned!  Then I couldn't even have any wine shipped to me from in-state liquor stores!!!  That would totally suck!

Stay tuned, Jersey winos, we'll see how this one plays out...


WinoBob celebrates with some of his new pals from the SC  

WinoJohn
May 18, 2005 

Vino-Terrorist Frogs Strike Again

As we reported a few months ago, a radical band of French winemakers who call them selves CRAV (Comité Régional d’Action Viticoles) has been protesting the fact that they can't sell their wine.  It's not that there is a law against them selling their wines, they just can't compete with low-priced yet very drinkable wines from foreign producers.  So what do they do?  In typically European fashion, they demand that the French government give them some money.  I'm thinking of moving to Europe...

A few months ago, the CRAV boys just seemed to be making noise.  They were setting off a few firecrackers and dumping a few cases of foreign wine in the streets to make a statement.  They got some press coverage and everyone got a good chuckle out of it.  But now, these whacky Frogs have gone too far.  Decanter.com reports that the CRAV has begun to terrorize the French countryside.  Their last action involved sabotage of the railway system and the torching of several rail cars.  The CRAV is now putting the average Frog-in-the-street in jeopardy.  They also smashed the valves on 13 tanks of Chilean wine, releasing 10,000 hectoliters of wine into the streets of Montpellier.  (There's that pesky metric system again.  If you don't understand the metric system, 10,000 hectoliters is enough wine to keep WinoBob drinking for an entire weekend..., if he doesn't drink on Saturday...)  Click here to see actual footage of the situation from some French TV station...

In an exclusive interview with WinoStuff.com, unnamed sources in the Chirac administration have reported that the French government is planning a surprise surrender.  If that happens, the entire country could end up in the hands of a bunch of drunken, disgruntled (and newly affluent) winemakers.  It's time that this vino-terrorism is stopped.  In an attempt to find a solution to this difficult situation, WinoStuff.com has dispatched their chief negotiator, WinoWally, to France to negotiate a settlement.  Both sides have to understand that capitalistic forces are at work here.  It's supply and demand, people, and handing out Euros is not the solution!  God, I just hope WinoWally can talk some sense into these people before someone gets hurt.  Godspeed, Wally, Godspeed.

On an unrelated note, this dopey site may be updated only sporadically over the next few weeks.  I'm off on a dweebquest to Taiwan and China and I have no idea if I will be able to post updates or even get email while I am in transglobal dweeb mode.  I'll do my best but I make no promises.

Wish me luck... 

WinoJohn
May 29, 2005   

Napa Wine Auction Raises $10.5M

The stars were out and the cash rolled in at this year's Napa Valley Wine Auction.  The three day event, now in its 25th year, raised a record $10.5 million, a considerable increase over last year's $5.2 million.   

This year's event was hosted by Jay Leno and the highlight of the auction was a lot which included dinner with Desperate Housewives star, Teri Hatcher and a walk-on role on the show.  Teri appeared on stage during the auction and inched her skirt up as the bidding increased to the delight of many wealthy winos in attendance.  The Hatcher dinner package sold for $300,000.

The highest-priced lot of this year's event went to Texas wino, John Gorman.  The G-man,  who also bought the most expensive lot in 2003, paid $650,000 for four 3-liter bottles of wine from cult Cab producer (and former WinoBabe of the Month), Ann Colgin, along with dinner for eight prepared by Thomas Keller, chef and owner of the French Laundry in Yountville and Per Se in New York.


Jay Leno gets the bidding going on a lot which included a date with Teri Hatcher.
WinoBob's antics earned him yet another restraining order.

The annual event held at the Meadowood resort in St Helena in Napa Valley is sponsored by the Napa Valley Vintners, a nonprofit trade organization with nearly 270 member wineries. Proceeds go to local healthcare, youth and housing projects.

WinoJohn
June 11, 2005 

Academy of Chocolate...

Check this out...

A group of British chocoholics has banned together and created the ultimate culinary establishment...  The Academy of Chocolate.  Did you hear that, people???  The ACADEMY of friggin' CHOCOLATE!!!   I'm starting to tingle...

This group of serious choco-chomping Brits created the Academy to "raise the profile of fine, high cocoa-content chocolate through tastings, wine-and chocolate pairing sessions, seminars and demonstrations..."   Uh-oh...  I'm starting to shake...

AoC founders, including Chloe Doutre-Roussel, chocolate buyer for Fortnum & Mason (how do I get a job as "Chocolate Buyer"?), Michael Edey of Nudge PR, and Chantal Coady of Rococo Chocolates, will also help organize the annual UK Chocolate Festival (formerly Chocolate Week) and launch the first-ever World Chocolate Awards.  Argghhhh!!!!!  I'm jones'n bad!!!

Ok.  Now I feel better.  That was close...

I'm guessing that it's just a matter of time before the Academy contacts me about becoming a Professor.  Or a Dean.  Maybe a Department Chairman, I don't know.  After having written the definitive Wine/Chocolate dissertation, I am certainly on the short list.  

I knew this idiot site would someday pay off!!!  

WinoJohn
June 21, 2005   

Women's Wine Mag???

In what can only be taken as a direct smack in the “Bobalones”, there are some in the wine community who do not think that our Wino Babe properly trumpets the contributions of women in the wine industry.  No, there seems to be a group of women who feel the need to launch a magazine "by women for women", or BWFW.  (Oddly, that just doesn’t have the marketing cache of For Us By Us or FUBU.)  It seems that the powers that be at the new 'woman and wine' magazine, Wine Adventure, feel that the current mags do not address what women need to know about wine.  The techie articles, preoccupation with size (ratings) and the perspective on wine is too masculine for the 53% of the population called women who are buying wine.

I tried contacting Michele Ostove, editor-in-chief of Wine Adventure, but was snubbed, so I clipped her statements from their developing web site.  I don’t get it.  With WJ’s Wino Babe of the Month and the amount of Pinot Noir we have consumed through our friend Big Bob, how much more womanesque do we need to be?  We look forward to the wine and food pairings, the softer way of reviewing wine, the wine spa section and the naked babe in the center fold.  However, if they start featuring a WinoBabe each month, we are cranking up our legal team for a battle royale. 

The maiden issue is due to hit the stands in early July.

"Most women who drink wine don't care about rating systems or amassing their collections -- they simply want to enjoy wine and its related lifestyle," says Michele Ostrove, editor-in-chief of Wine Adventure. "But, until now, no magazine addressed that segment. Wine Adventure is about expanding your wine horizons, both around the world and at home, and having fun as you learn."

WinoBob
June 29, 2005   

Wine surpasses beer...

Recent reports from Bloomberg News indicate that Americans are now drinking more wine than beer.  According to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday, wine is now the most popular alcoholic beverage in the US.  I'll drink to that...

According to the poll, about 39% of U.S. drinkers said that the alcoholic beverage that they drink most often is wine, compared with 36% for beer and 21% for hard liquor.  Gallup started monitoring this statistic back in 1992 and this is the first time that beer did not come out on top.  

Michael Bellas, chairman and chief executive of Beverage Marketing Corp. in New York, stated that, "It's a confluence of factors.  One is the advertising, two is the demographics as people age, and they're doing a better marketing job on wine. Also, people are looking for more sophisticated products."  The HBO TV series "Sex and the City," whose characters often consumed martinis and Cosmopolitans, helped boost the popularity of cocktails among young people, and the film "Sideways," set near Santa Barbara, has increased wine sales, Bellas said.

Alert winos will immediately realize that Mr. Bellas' official statement is all marketing gobbledy-goop.  If we cut out all the marketing double-talk, this is what Mr. Bellas was really saying:  "The increase in wine consumption by the American population can be entirely attributed to the efforts of an off-beat website called WinoStuff.com".  

That's my story and I'm sticking to it...

WinoJohn
July 22, 2005

Johnson dis's Parker...

Stand back, winos, two wine industry heavyweights are putting on the gloves.  In a recent article appearing on Decanter.com, British wine writer, Hugh Johnson, launched a sucker punch at American wine critic, Robert Parker, Jr.  According to Decanter, Johnson called parker a "dictator of taste" and an absolutist.  He makes an explicit comparison between the 'imperial' style of the current US government and the style of Parker, suggesting that both tend towards the dominant.  Johnson is reported to state that 'Imperial hegemony lives in Washington and the dictator of taste in Baltimore…  Taste, in the past, was largely a matter of harmless fashion. In American hands it feels more like a moral crusade.'

Wait a minute...  I think Johnson is taking a cheap shot at America!  That bastard!!!  Who the hell does he think he is?  I don't know what imperial hegemony is but it sounds bad and I don't want some Limey accusing us of having it!  I see a boycott of Hugh Johnson coming, my friends!  Let's all hop on this train!!  (This is great!  We haven't had a good boycott in months!)

Robert Parker, generally acknowledged to be the second most influential wine writer named Robert (behind our own WinoBob), showed a great deal of class by declining to comment on the story.  Way to go, Robert!  


Limey dork, Hugh Johnson, sports a bad comb-over while 
classy American, Robert Parker, Jr. appears relaxed

WinoJohn
July 31, 2005    

WinoStuff Magical Red Wine Stain Removing Elixir
to the Rescue.

Dateline- Caldwell, NJ

     A malaise was averted last weekend by the quick-thinking and aptly- prepared young hostess at La Stella.  During the height of the dinner hour on Saturday evening, a table of three were dining, conversing and drinking several bottles of red wine.  One older gentleman had been excitedly expressing himself, complete with over-the-top hand machinations to accompany every word of his story.  Sometime after an adjective, but before the noun, his gesticular acrobatics, hindered by wine, contacted the filled glass and spewed the juice like a bloodied whale spout.  In self-preservation, the second gentleman turned quickly so as to not get a face full of wine and said substance landed squarely on the back of his imported Italian shirt.  Words were exchanged and language fit for the docks of Port Newark flew from the lips of the perpetrator of the event toward the glass as if the vessel leapt into the path of his exaggerated hand motions to create the issue.

     Sensing a potentially embarrassing event, the young hostess pulled from the hostess stand a bottle of the NASA-developed, Space Shuttle-safe elixir and in a few quick spurts, had the stain vanish from the finely tailored Italian silk garment.  Not only did the magical fluid quell the stain, it quelled the near fisticuff temperament at the table. 

     As you can see, the product not only works, but also promotes world peace and eliminates expensive dry cleaning bills.

WinoBob
August 5, 2005   

 

Diageo Speaks Out Against AWOL

In an August 8 press release, Diageo, one of the world's leading spirits, wine and beer companies, announced its opposition to AWOL machines.  My reaction to this startling news was much the same as yours.  I immediately shrieked, "What the hell is an AWOL machine???"

Well, it turns out that some alkie technodweeb has invented a new machine for the consumption of alcohol through inhalation.  Damn those alkie technodweebs!!!  (Wait...  I'm an alkie technodweeb!  Strike that last statement.)  The machine is called Alcohol Without Liquid, or AWOL, and it involves the inhalation of vaporized liquor mixed with oxygen.  What will they think of next???

Anyway, these dweebs have invented this machine and the braintrust at Diageo has come out against them.  Yo, lighten up, dudes!!  My guess is that Daigeo realized that it takes about 20 minutes to inhale 1/2 shot of liquor and it only takes about 2 seconds to drink 1/2 shot of liquor.  I could be wrong but I would think that liquor sales might slow down if this device takes off.  Just a guess...


The kids are enjoying a good whiff of alcohol...

WinoJohn
August 14, 2005

Lend a hand...

The hurricane which struck Louisiana and Mississippi last week has devastated the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.  Countless Americans are now homeless and desperate.  The people of the United States have helped out every God forsaken nation on earth in their time of need.  Now we need to help our own.  The staff of 'Stuff encourages everyone to make a donation to help our fellow Americans down south.  (Hopefully, your donations won't help those idiots that are looting and shooting at the police and rescue workers.  What's up with that???)


A young refugee receives a Red Cross comfort pak

To make a donation, you can click here to go to the American Red Cross website.  Remember, these are AMERICANS !!!



WinoJohn
September 3, 2005

Engaging, Edgy, Vibrant Virgin

There's a new Virgin on the market, people, and this one is accessible.  In fact, just look in the Personals section of your local paper and you can buy this Virgin.  Cheap.  Is this a great country, or what?

Get your minds out of the gutter, winos.  This Virgin is the brainchild of Richard Branson, CEO of all things Virgin.  You know, Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Virgin Megastores, Virginia, etc.  (He doesn't really own Virginia but wouldn't that be cool?)   Wino Richard, or should I say Sir Wino Richard, recently announced that he is jumping into the Virgin wine business.  Partnering with mega- wine and spirits producer, Brown-Forman, Virgin will be launching Virgin Vines, a "hip" new wine brand aimed squarely at the twenty-something consumer.  "We've got an engaging, edgy, vibrant, fun product," says the King of All Virgins. "It may or may not work, but we're going to give it our best shot."  (Hmmm...  That doesn't sound too confidant...)

Apparently, Branson's "best shot" includes an edgy advertising campaign that will appear in newspaper personals columns.  One personal ad reads, "Full-bodied shiraz desires hookup. No commitments, baggage or corkscrews."  I don't usually shop for wine in the personal section, but what do I know?  He's like a gazillionaire and I'm a lowly techno-dweeb.  We'll see...

WinoJohn
September 13, 2005  

Harvest Moon Red may have new meaning...

A techno-dweeb scientist with millions of dollars will be pioneering an experiment aboard the International Space Station, ISS, paving the way for other astro-nuts. Yes, the exceedingly wealthy scientist and entrepreneur, Dr. Greg Olsen, has paid undisclosed millions to be the third private citizen to journey into outer space.  Besides being extremely wealthy and a spaceophile, Dr. Olsen is the owner of the South African winery, La Vinette.  The Spock-like oenophile will find a small patch in the garden area of the ISS and see if the native South African varietal, pinotage, can supply the crew with some much-needed wine. 

There is nothing better than driving around space at 17,000 miles per hour with a .12 BAC.  Fortunately, the intergalactic DWI station has been setback by the recent foam panel issue on the shuttle so the crew has 25 years before the International BATF will be stationed 4.8 million kilometers above earth to ticket the inebriated crew. 

If successful, Dr. Olsen, will be the true God of Wine.  God speed, Dr. Bacchus.


Amateur astronaut, Dr. Greg Olsen, gets some last minute tips from
WinoStuff space expert, Major WinoBob

WinoBob
October 7, 2005      

American Businessman Causes
International Incident

British Police, Scotland Yard and Interpol have joined forces in an attempt to track down an American businessman who successfully eluded capture after breaching security at Buckingham Palace and posing as a wine industry VIP.  Eyewitnesses at the event described the man as having a slim "stick figure" physique with "extremely bloodshot eyes".  The suspect is thought to have been inebriated. 

According to unnamed sources within the Palace, the Royal Family was enjoying a royal wine tasting with many industry VIPs when one of the "guests" began making rude comments and inappropriate overtures towards members of the family.  Palace security guards attempted to subdue the suspect but he managed to escape when the handcuffs slipped right off his stick-like wrists. 

American intelligence experts have been notified to be on the lookout for the man pictured below (holding the wine glass).


An American businessman raises the ire of the British Royal family after referring to Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of York, as a DILF...

On a completely unrelated note, WinoBob sends his regards from his geek-job meeting somewhere outside of London...

WinoJohn
October 13, 2005  

Nazi Raccoons Run Amuck

The British wine magazine, Decanter, recently reported that a band of marauding raccoons are running amuck in the vineyards of central Germany.  Apparently, thousands of these rascally rodents have been invading vineyards in the Brandenburg area outside of Berlin and snacking on the ripe grapes.  In many vineyards, the harvest has been ruined.  "Raccoons wiped out almost the entire harvest in a matter of days," winemaker Werner Kothe said. "We have 540 vines and they have been stripped bare by these animals."  There are an estimated one million raccoons in central Germany.

I know what you're thinking... "Raccoons?  In Germany?  Raccoons are not indigenous to Germany!!!"  (If you're not thinking that, you should be...)  While raccoons are not native to this region, the animals were introduced by Nazi air force chief, Hermann Goering, in 1934 to 'enrich' Germany's fauna. With no natural predators, their numbers have exploded.


Nazi Raccoon plotting a vineyard attack in the forests of Germany

The main winegrowing regions in west Germany – including the Mosel, Rheingau, Saar and Pfalz areas – are believed to be unaffected.

WinoJohn
October 28, 2005 

Sacrilege in LA

From our "In Poor Taste" Department comes the following story...   WorldNetDaily.com reports that a couple from Los Angeles is capitalizing on Michael Jackson's love of the grape (and little boys).  I guess it was only a matter of time.  Soon, in a wine store near you, you'll be able to buy... 

According to news reports, actress Dawn Westlake and her husband, CBS Evening News producer Bruce Rheins, registered the name "Jesus Juice" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office  in January of 2004.  They are searching for a winery "with a sense of humor" to produce a line of white wines with the name made famous by the King of Pop.  You know they will need a catchy tag line so the crack WinoStuff marketing team has worked diligently through happy hour to come up with the following (slightly plagiarized) slogans...

  • What happens in Neverland, stays in Neverland...

  • Just drink it.

  • 99 44/100 % Queer

  • See what White can do for you...

  • When he absolutely has to stay there overnight...

WinoJohn
November 8, 2005     

The Pepsi Nouveau Generation

Well, it's that time of year again.  This is the time that winos look forward to all year long.  Yes, my wino friends, the Beaujolais Nouveau is here!!!  (Actually, we don't look forward so much to the wine.  We do look forward to all the hype and the noise that the French make trying to convince the world that we should all sit up and take notice.)  This wine has been fermenting for almost two months, damn it!  It's time!!!

This year, the effort is particularly entertaining...  In the past, the Nouveau winegrowers used the slogan "Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive!" (the Nouveau has arrived!) to launch the Nouveau frenzy.  I guess that slogan was getting a bit stale so the growers laid out a cool $1.17 million to come up with a new and improved announcement.  So, what does $1.17 million get you these days?  How about this? The new slogan is "It's Beaujolais Nouveau time!"  If I were part of the winegrowers group, I would be asking for my $1.17 million back...  C'mon, $1.17 million to rip off a Miller Brewing Co. slogan?  Apparently, the group promoting the Beaujolais region's wines feel that this new slogan will "attract a hipper young clientele" and would also "propel sales in emerging markets like China." 

"The arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau is the most important event of the year in the Japanese wine world," the Nouveau producers' website quotes Japanese importer, Kenji Koga, as saying.   Personally, I have my doubts...

The Nouveau website is somewhat entertaining, however.  Check this out... (www.beaujolaisnouveautime.com)  There is a nifty little Flash clip which shows the silhouette of what appears to be young, hip people enjoying a little Nouveau...  and perhaps a little Xtasy.

WinoJohn
November 18, 2005 

 

WinoStuff Enters Hall of Fame

Yes, winos, it's true.  The World's Most Important Web Site (WinoStuff, you idiots!) has been inducted into the Chef2Chef Culinary Hall of Fame.  All our hard work has finally paid off.  The wine world has sobered up and recognized the real genius that is WinoStuff.com  Thank you, thank you...

I always knew that we would one day be recognized for our contributions.  However, I kind of expected a little more pomp and circumstance.  I thought there would be a whole induction ceremony with trophies, diamond-encrusted rings and maybe a big check.  Instead, I received the brief notification via email from "The Team" at Chef2Chef.net.  It read something like this...

Hello WinoJohn ,

I don't know how you did it but WinoStuff.com has been inducted into our Culinary Hall of Fame. Your serialized award button is enclosed.

Please don't call us...

The Team at
Chef2Chef.Net

While the official notification may have been less than formal, the accolades from the wine world have been pouring in.  Here's what the "recognized" wine cognoscenti had to say...

"I'm still the most famous wine critic named Bob!"  Editor of The Wine Advocate and all-around famous wine guy, Robert M. Parker Jr.

"Bloody hell!  Those lads are wankers!"  Limey dork, Hugh Johnson

"If they don't take my picture off that damn web site, I'm suing!" Famous wine writer and former WinoBabe of the Month, Natalie Maclean

"Leave me alone.  The restraining order is still in effect..."   Head winemaker at Domaine Drouhin Oregon and former WinoBabe of the Month, Veronique Drouhin-Boss

"I'd love to corkscrew that stick figure guy..."  Porn star-turned-winemaker and former WinoBabe of the Month, Savannah Samson

WinoJohn
November 26, 2005      
  

Christina goes Staglin

Reports coming in from the west coast would indicate that the world-famous pop tart, Christina Aguilera, is actually a wino.  That's right, people, she's one of us.  Damn, it makes me proud to fly the wino flag. 

Sometime last week, the Mouseketeer-turned-skankateer got married to record executive, Jordan Bratman at the exclusive Napa Valley estate of Staglin Family Vineyard.  Apparently, the Dirrty girl is a big Cabernet fan and Staglin certainly has a big one.  (Cab, you morons)

There were over one hundred guests in attendance including another dirty little wine lover, Sharon Stone.  The wines included Billecart-Salmon non-vintage Champagne at the reception along with a pre-release 2004 Chardonnay, Salus Cabernet and Chardonnay (the estate's second wines), as well as 2000 and 2001 Staglin Cabernets.  Except for one minor interruption involving an intoxicated and uninvited guest, the wedding went off without a hitch.


Hall of Fame member, WinoBob, crashes Christina's nuptials

Congratulations, WinoChristina!

WinoJohn
December 7, 2005    

What's up your butt?

From our Bad Taste department comes the following story...  (Yes, we do have a Bad Taste department!)

Word has it that more people are enjoying wine these days -- but not exactly as you might imagine. Experts say there's been a recent increase in the popularity of wine enemas. Yes, that's right, wine enemas.  As in wine up your butt...

California-based sex therapist, Dr. William Fitzgerald, says that Cabernet colonics have been used for centuries to calm the nerves. Fitzgerald says wine enema enthusiasts must be careful, though, because there's a risk of alcohol poisoning since booze passes through the bowels much faster than through the stomach. He also warns that champagne enemas can cause cramping due to the bubbles and cold temperature. And if you insist in partaking in wine enemas, Fitzgerald suggests you limit yourself to two bottles. Otherwise your large intestine could pop like a balloon, causing death.  (That would be bad...)

This disturbing news raises several important questions:

  • How many synapses have to misfire in your brain to make you think that wine in your butt is a good idea?

  • Why do the "experts" involved in this whacky stuff always hail from California?

  • Why do some French wines have that "barnyard smell"?  Never mind, I don't think I want to know...

  • How much wine could WinoBob consume annually if he were to consume it analy?

Obviously, some questions are better left unanswered...


WinoBob experiments with the wine enema in the WinoStuff test lab...

WinoJohn
December 16, 2005      
        

Science, Schmience...

I subscribe to a number of wine-related email services. I have to keep up with the wine industry news, you know, in order  to report Breaking News events to all you hapless winos.  ("Hapless" is such an interesting word.  It implies that you have no "hap".  I don't know what hap is but if you don't have any, you are hapless...)  Anyway, one email that I received recently had a link to a story from TheAge.com.au (some Australian online rag) entitled "Sobering Message for Red Wine Lovers".  Now, considering that I have this hapless addiction to red wine, I quickly clicked on the link to reveal the sobering message.  Fortunately, I was sober at the time because I think some Aussie bastard was trying to scare me sober.  Here's the scoop...

The article talks about how some Australian researchers have determined that the alcohol in red wine damages your DNA and can cause premature aging.  Well, I certainly don't want any mutant DNA and I'm already older than dirt.  If red wine is going to make me older or cause me to grow a third eye, I may have to rethink this whole wino-lifestyle thing.   I was beginning to grow concerned until I re-read the article.  Apparently, some band of bored Australian scientists tested the blood of young Australian men after they consumed some wine.  (I think it was the young men who consumed the wine but it could have been the scientists...)  The tests revealed that... blah, blah, blah..., the DNA in the blood of the young men who drank wine showed some damage after it was blasted with gamma radiation...,  blah, blah, blah...    So what else is new? 

Wait...  What was that?  Gamma radiation?  The blood was damaged "AFTER BLASTING IT WITH GAMMA RADIATION"!!!???    Whoaa!!  Hold on there, mate!!!  What's up with that???

I read the article a third time and yes, these scientists blasted the samples of blood with gamma radiation and found that it became damaged.  In response to this disturbing news, I only have one word.  DUHHH???   If you blast my body with massive amounts of gamma radiation, I'm gonna glow!  At that point, DNA damage is the least of my problems.  Of course I'm going to age.  My friggin' hair is gonna fall out.  My skin is going to turn into one massive melanoma and my internal organs will be ready for the Chinese barbeque skewer.  Where is the scientific discovery here, people?  Am I the only one questioning the findings from these rogue "scientists"?  Is the Australian scientific community trying to scare us away from red wine?  What's going on here???

Damn.  I need a drink.  Where's my red wine?  What's that thing growing out of my forehead...?

WinoJohn
December 27, 2005    

Just a Spoonful of Sugar...

Alert winos will recall my totally emasculating exposé on ice wine awhile back.  Don't worry, I'm not going there again!  However, there was another super-sweet desert wine in the news recently.  This time, the wine is from the Tokaj region of Hungary and is called Essencia.  The producer? Royal Tokaji.

This is no ordinary chick wine, people.  Hell, it's barely even wine.  At only 2.9 percent alcohol, you'd have to feed your chick like 12 bottles to achieve the "desired result."  That's if you could afford 12 bottles.  Or even find 12 bottles.  Only 600 bottles of the most recent vintage, 1999, are being imported into the US.  The price tag?  Only $500 for a 500 ml bottle.  Damn, you may need 18 bottles...

Anyway, this wine is not in the news because it is super-sweet.  It's not in the news because of it's limited availability or it's ridiculously high price.  No, this wine is in the news because every bottle ships with a... (get this...) a "Hungarian crystal sipping spoon"!!!  That's right.  For 500 smackers you get a nearly non-alcoholic bottle of liquid sugar.  And a spoon...   Where do I sign up?

"The Hungarian crystal spoon was designed exclusively for Royal Tokaji by Ajka Crystal, enabling 33 sips per bottle of the world's richest wine," explains the winery's U.S. importer, Wilson Daniels Ltd. of St. Helena, Calif.   If you do the math (don't worry, I'll do the math...), $500 per bottle divided by 33 spoonfuls...  carry the one...  that  comes out to like $15 per spoonful.  That had better be a pretty big spoon!

As I read the article in The Star Ledger, I discovered that The Royal Tokaji Wine Co. was established in 1989 and is partially owned by none other than Limey Dork, Hugh Johnson.  You remember Limey Dork HJ...  He's the idiot that had the balls to criticize uber wine professional, Robert M. Parker Jr. (aka The Second Most Influential Wine Writer Named Bob).  In the process, the Limey Dork dis'd the entire US.  Well, Mr. Johnson, or should I say Mrs. Johnson, enjoy your Hungarian chick wine.  The Bobs and I will stick with real wine.

WinoJohn
January 13, 2006  

Shit, Bricks and Nuclear Frogs

What the hell is going on in France these days?  Here's a quick breakdown of recent news out of Frogville...

A horde of angry French farmers dumped a load of manure outside the offices of a French wine broker last week.  The action was intended to protest the activities of the broker which included, get this..., selling wine for €700 per barrel!!!  What was that wine broker thinking???  He obviously deserved to get cow shit dumped on his front porch...

According to an article on Decanter.com, members of a group called Jeunes Agriculteurs are outraged by the activities of the broker, Stephane Page.  It appears that Mr. Page sold some wine at market price!  The Juenes Agriculteurs (which means something like 'Young Manure-Throwing Frogs') feel that wine brokers should not sell French wine for less than €1000 per barrel.  To do so apparently threatens the livelihood of all of France (except the manure-producers who applauded Mr. Page's actions.)   Mr. Page seemed unfazed by the brazen shit-attack.  The scent reminded him of that wonderful "barnyard essence" found in so many French wines...

In a related story, another group of French malcontents bricked up the entrances to the headquarters of the Bordeaux wine trade authority in a similar protest.  In that incident, the angry Frogs were from the radical extremist group, Fédération Nationale des Syndicats d'Exploitants Agricoles (which means something like "National Federation of Wine Growers Without Easy Access to Manure").

Apparently, both groups of angry young Frogs skipped Economics 101 and don't quite understand the concepts of Supply and Demand, Market Price and world-wide wine glut.  They would rather hold onto their wine until either A) someone pays them €1000 per barrel, or B) the government of France surrenders and agrees to buy the wine from the growers and turn it into ethanol. 

Which brings up the final story...  Famous Frog President, Jacques Chirac, has threatened to exercise the nuclear option.  He indicated last Thursday that France reserves the right to nuke anyone that launches a terrorist attack on France.  And by that, he means Iran, America, or anyone who won't pay €1000 per barrel for French wine.

WinoJohn
January 20, 2006   

KZ Joins "the other Bob"

Kevin Zraly is joining eRobertParker.com.  Evidently, the attempts to convince him to join WinoStuff.com by our own WinoBob convinced him to take a chance on a newer wine website run by a decidedly untech guy (but a great wine guy and an honorary Wino - but he's Wino Rob and not Wino Bob).  It must have been that restraining order that put him over the edge.  Anyway, congrats to Wino Rob for signing a great catch and wine guy for his site.  We'll continue to work the cheap eats and cheap drinks.

   
World famous wine authorities Kevin Zraly, Robert M. Parker Jr, and WinoBob

Wino Wally

 

New Developments in Capsule Technology

You hear a lot of talk these days about wine bottle closure technology.  There's the synthetic cork, the semi-synthetic cork, the treated cork, the twist-off cap, the Glork© and a host of in-betweens.  But you never hear much about developments in capsule technology.  I don't get it.  Is the capsule not an equally important part of the overall wine bottle opening experience?  Don't you prefer the look and feel of a heavy-gauge tin capsule covering the top of your bottle rather than one of those new-fangled, up-and-coming polylam capsules?  I sure do.  And I, for one, feel sorry for all those Capsule Technology Engineers working their nerdy little fingers to the bone trying desperately to improve upon the simple capsule.  And usually, it is all for naught.  But all that is about to change...

Wine Business Online reports that Maverick Enterprises will soon be introducing a "new and unique closure" this fall.  But this is more than just a capsule.  Oh yeah, my friends, this is an entirely new "closure system" incorporating a twist-off type cap and a built-in "capsule skirt".  I can hardly wait.  But the best part is...  get this...  the name.  This new, innovative closure technology is called...  he he ...  B.o.B!!! which stands for Best of Both.  (You know, you can't make this shit up...)  According to the article, "The difference between B.o.B. and a screw cap is that a screw cap is rolled on and crimped, showing the threads, but B.o.B. hides the threads..."  (I'm afraid to ask where B.o.B. hides the threads... )  More importantly, "B.o.B. can also be resealed easily, allowing wine drinkers to enjoy a glass of wine at any time."   All I can say is it's about time B.o.B. did something productive!

For more information on B.o.B. and his capsule skirt check out the article on Wine Business Online by clicking here...


Our own WinoB.o.B models his favorite capsule skirt...

WinoJohn
February 6, 2006    

 

CabFest2

Despite the secure perimeter, regardless of the guard dogs, even with the surveillance cameras and the helicopters in the sky, WinoBob still managed to elude detection and crash the gates for Cab Fest 2.  How does he do it?  (Hint: He's nearly invisible when he turns sideways...)

Yes, WinoStuff fans, the premier Cab event of the year in this, the Year of the Cabernet, took place last night at the humble yet secretive WinoJohn estate.  The usual cast of characters were in attendance: WinoBob, BigBob, The Other Bob, and yours truly.  (Hmmm..., in retrospect, it seems to have been more of a Bob Fest than a Cab Fest but that's just creepy...)  Everyone brought a cab or two, even the world renowned pinotphile, BigBob found a few cabs in his cellar.  The Other Bob grilled up some massive steaks and the wine and laughs flowed well into the evening. 

I'm not sure who slept where or when all the winos got up and left.  All I know is that there was an impressive lineup of dead soldiers this morning and every cell in my body hurts.   For those of you who missed CabFest 2, rest assured there will be a CabFest 3.  I just need a few days weeks months to allow my liver to heal.  Stay tuned...

For the record, the CabFest 2 lineup included (in no particular order):

  • 1995 Mount Veeder Reserve Napa Valley

  • 1995 Peter Michael Winery ‘Les Pavots’ Knights Valley 

  • 1999 Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County

  • 1987 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford  

  • 1983 Grand Vin de Chateau Latour  

  • 1994 Henry Lagarde Cabernet Sauvignon Lujan De Cuyo Mendoza

  • 1998 Chateau Los Boldos Requinoa Chile

  • 2001 Sadler-Wells Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley

  • 2003 Big Ass Cab Napa Valley

  • 1996 Signorello Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Founder’s Reserve

  • 1997 Adelaida Cabernet Sauvignon San Luis Obispo County

WinoJohn
February 18, 2006                           

Dude Wine

In the last year or two, there have been a plethora of chick wines to hit the market.  Marketing geniuses finally recognized that women buy and consume the majority of wine in the US.  It only made sense that marketers would target that demographic. Well now, guys are getting equal time.  Mega wine mogul and world famous wine guy, Jess Jackson, has launched a marketing campaign for his Ray's Station Vineyards brand and he's targeting guys.  Ray's Station is named for a rugged Alexander Valley grapegrower from the 1850's named John G. Ray.

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle (and who knows guys better than guys in San Francisco?), "The Hearty Red Wine for Men" slogan is featured on the wine's promotional materials, though not on the labels themselves. One tag attached to bottles of Ray's Station Cabernet Sauvignon shows a multipronged deer and reads, "John G. Ray thought a 12 point buck paired nicely with his Cabernet." Another depicts a fly fisherman catching a trout, with the copy, "John G. Ray believed if you could catch it and cook it, it would go with red wine."

Personally, I applaud Jess Jackson's efforts.  However, I notice that there is a Merlot in the Ray's Station lineup.  Hmmm...  What's that all about?


Quintessential American guy, Wino Homer, tastes the new Rays' Station cab

WinoJohn
February 28, 2006  

Wine and Choppers

In the last few years we have reported extensively on the health benefits of wine.  It's good for your heart, your lungs, your skin, your prostate, your uvula, etc.  As if we need another reason to drink wine, we get news that wine may also be good for your choppers.  No, not that old motorcycle in the shed (that's Zed's chopper and Zed's dead, baby.  Zed's dead!)  No, it appears that wine is good for your teeth!

Apparently, a bunch of Canadian researchers have come to the conclusion that "The antioxidant properties of red wine polyphenols could be useful in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory periodontal diseases as well as other disorders."  Hey!  That sounds good to me! 

But wait...  A gaggle of British dental experts disagree.  (And who knows more about bad teeth than the Brits?).  The British Dental Health Foundation said that red wine can cause staining with frequent consumption.  Furthermore, their chief executive, Dr Nigel Carter, says, "Drinking red wine can lead to many different oral health problems and can be associated with mouth cancer."   Ewww...  I could be wrong on this but that doesn't sound good...

You know what?  I have to go with the Canucks on this one.  In fact, the WinoStuff team of crack oral hygiene researchers overwhelmingly agree with the Canadian hypothesis.  (Note to self:  Don't use the words 'crack' and 'oral' in the same sentence...)  For example, when I first met WinoBob, he was a beer drinker with a very scary smile.  (See the "before" photo below.)  After just a few short years of daily excessive wine consumption, his smile cleared right up! 


WinoBob, in his "Beer" days...                 WinoBob now!                

I rest my case!!!

WinoJohn
March 12, 2006      

 

Wine Spectator Announces Takeover!
WinoWally Involved!

Today it was announced that The Wine Spectator has been acquired by a secretive, well-heeled investment corporation named WinoStuff III LLC.  Editor and majority shareholder, Marvin Shanken, stated that it had been a goal of his to find an equity investor with the financial power to take The Spec to the next level in the wine industry.  While the partners in WinoStuff III LLC have not been named, its managing member has and it turns out it’s our own Wino Wally.

Contacted by the crack reporting staff at WinoStuff, Wino Wally explains his motives.  “I had a great year financially, hitting on all cylinders with a few of my investments.  I had heard that  'The Spec' was on the market.  I contacted Marvin through a mutual friend of ours.  I explained that I had no media investments and that a foundation investment in his two premier properties, The Wine Spectator and Cigar Aficionado, would suit my long-term investment objectives.”

While the financial terms of the deal were concluded in three hours over a Screaming Eagle vertical, Wino Wally states that it took a little while longer to cement the “extraneous terms”.  In an exclusive to WinoStuff, Wino Wally reveals the “other terms”.

“While Marvin’s media properties serve the high end consumer market, I felt that he needed to add an appeal to the ‘common guy’ in order to maximize the properties’ potential.  It didn’t take too long to convince Marvin that our own Wino John was the perfect complement to his Cigar Afficianado editorial staff.  Witty, techno savvy, and a bon vivant of the Cubano cigaro set, Wino John was the perfect match.  A 35 minute helicopter ride from Manhattan to the WJ estate cemented the deal.  It didn’t hurt that WJ  pulled out all of the stops opening his walk-in humidor to Marvin and me.  WJ will be the Features Editor of CA beginning in June.”

“Marvin and I had a tougher time talking about the ‘Everyman’ concept relative to the Wine Spectator.  While I initially had our own Wino Bob in mind for the featured wine taster, Marvin convinced me that we needed a new, fresh face, someone with a broader appeal and someone without multiple restraining orders on record.  During the visit with Wino John, we decided we would detour our Bell Ranger to the environs of the Pennsylvania mountains in search of Wino Rocker.  After another vertical of Colgin Herb Lamb, Wino Rocker and his wife signed on as the ‘Everyman and Everywoman’ for The Spec.”

“Lastly, Marvin and I discussed his ongoing role with my special purpose acquisition vehicle, WinoStuff III LLC.  I offered him a three year contract to continue as CEO provided that he would mentor my COO candidate as his successor.  It is my great pleasure to announce that WinoStuff’s Big Bob, friend and confidant to many a great vintner, will serve in that role.  While my loyalties are strong for my long-term partners, WJ and WB, BB has substantial wine industry expertise and contacts and my investment priorities are always first, ahead of my friendships.”

WinoWally
April 1, 2006

 

NASCAR Goes Wino Friendly

First it was Childress Vineyards Fine Swine Wine.  Now, the ubiquitous American auto racing organization, NASCAR, seems to be recruiting even more fans and sushi is the bait.  Recognizing the enormous economic clout of the wino community, NASCAR and Phoenix International Raceway have announced the opening of Octane, an upscale lounge overlooking the race track.  This new attraction will feature sushi and wine rather than Skoal and Budweiser.  (Skoal is probably available but the spittoons will be Baccarat...)  Octane will be situated 6 stories above turn 1 at Phoenix International and will feature hand-crafted bars, custom tiles and a water wall.  One hundred well-heeled patrons willing to fork out $2400 for a three day racing package will be treated to pasta and carving stations and decadent desserts in addition to the wine and bait.

Rumor has it that NASCAR has also hired an unnamed wine industry celebrity to host the grand opening of Octane.  Industry insiders hint that it could be someone very familiar to fans of The World's Most Important Wine-Related Web Site.  (And by that I mean this site, you morons...)


Our own WinBob is seen here practicing for his NASCAR debut...

WinoJohn
April 10, 2006   

High Octane Vino???

I received an email message in my inbox recently from one of the many wine-related e-news services that feed me fodder for this column.  One headline that caught my attention screamed, "Diesel is getting into the wine business!"  Now, I'm just a lowly wino-technodweeb.  My first inclination was that diesel fuel has a rather distinctive odor and the taste...  well, the taste might not be exactly what the discriminating wino is looking for. ???

Not quite sure that I would ever belly up to the pump to get my daily fix of red, I decided to actually read the article.  (I usually just read the headlines and make up the story to report on this lame web site.)  As it turns out, Diesel is some kind of uber-expensive Italian designer jeans company!  Apparently, their founder, Renzo Rosso, bought a farm in Veneto a few years back and has been cultivating 5 hectares into vineyards.  (Again, what the hell is a hectare???)  Now he is selling his wine at prices that would make the average wino spontaneously combust.

While the first vintages of Diesel are now in the market (mostly in the UK), the quality is reportedly not quite up to the $150 price tag.  However, noted Italian oenologist, Roberto Cipresso, is on the case and promises that they will get to the top!  I look forward to my first glass of Diesel!


WinoBob models his new Diesel Jeans with his new Diesel friends...

...and no, this wasn't just some cheesey excuse to publish half naked super models on the front page of WinoStuff.com.  This is news, damn it!!!

WinoJohn
April 22, 2006

 

A Kinder, Gentler Gallo...

The second biggest wine company in the world is changing their name.  Actually, they aren't changing the name of the winery, just the wines.  The wines produced by the iconic California winery, E&J Gallo, will soon be known as the much gentler sounding, Gallo Family Vineyards wines.  I feel better already...

Representatives for the gargantuan wine producer said that "the aim of the rebranding was for the name to become more recognizable for the consumer."    'Some people have no idea what the E&J stands for,' said Jane Hunter, one of Gallo's marketing directors.  As any well-educated and well-inebriated wino knows, the initials refer to the founders, Ernest and Julio Gallo (Ernie and Julie to their buddies).  Ernie is 97 years old and Julie is... er...  was ... pretty old, too.  Ms. Hunter went on to say that a 'significant sum' was being spent on the marketing campaign, which includes the wine giant's presence at a series of outdoor concerts.   The lovely and talented (and inaugural WinoBabe), Gina Gallo was unavailable for comment.  Or at least she wouldn't return my calls... !

Now when a mega gigantic company like Gallo says that they are spending 'a significant sum' on marketing, you gotta believe they are spending hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars on the program.  With that kind of cash being tossed around, you know this is a good idea.  And if there's anything that we do well here at WinoStuff, it's copy other people's good ideas.  Therefore, I am pleased to announce our new and improved website logo and name...

The way I see it, we just saved boatloads of money on marketing.  Viva la 'Stuff!!!

WinoJohn
May 5, 2006  

Wine and Futbol...

Once again, soccer-mania is upon us as the World Cup matches are set to begin in just a few weeks.  And once again, every business with half a brain is adding soccer to their marketing plans.  (Every company except WinoSuff, that is!)  (Note to Bob:  What's wrong with our Marketing Department?)

Now that soccer in the USA has become the second largest contributor to the Gross National Product (just behind the oil industry), everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon.  What?  You don't believe that soccer is that big in the United States?  You obviously didn't read my definitive soccer expose during the last world cup games.  Click here to see what you missed...

Anyway, World Cup mania has once again hit the wine biz and the newest johnny-come-lately is a company called Lanson who is marketing an "affordable" World Cup Champagne.  This new bubbly, as far as I can tell from the label, is going to be called Champagne.  Now there's some marketing genius!!!

Lanson is putting their money where their mouth is, so to speak.  They claim to be the exclusive Champagne in all the PR events of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.  (Only slightly less impressive than actually forking out the big bucks to become the Official Champagne of the 2006 FIFA World Cup)

Let's see if the lawyers hop on this one...


Official Lame Web Site of the 2006 FIFA World Cup

WinoJohn
May 29, 2006

Nukular Bubbly...

According to Greenpeace, the international environmental watchdog organization, the vineyards of the Champagne region of France are under nuclear attack.  (Or, as President George W. would say, "nukular attack")  No, this is not an assault by some Islamic terrorist group, this nuclear threat comes from within.  Literally, from within the ground.

According to the braintrust at Greenpeace, the Soulaine waste dump, which lies only10km from the Champagne region vineyards, is leaking radioactive waste into the underground water.   The organization said that the dump had been 'releasing radioactivity into the atmosphere and underground water for ten years'.

According to a French government report published in May 2005, a waste storage container wall at Soulaine cracked as a layer of concrete was poured in to seal the waste. ANDRA, the French Government agency responsible for the disposal of nuclear waste, has just been given the go-ahead by the government to repair the damaged casement. (1 year later?  What's up with that???)

Although Greenpeace has admitted that there is no actual proof of vineyard contamination, "We are sounding the alarm for future dangers," said Frédéric Marillier, the apparent head of Greenpeace's Department of Nuclear Misinformation.  

Wait, what?  There is no "actual proof" of vineyard contamination and yet Greenpeace is sounding the nuclear alarm?  Hmmm...,  some might call that irresponsible...   At WinoStuff, we call that "More Champagne for Us!"


An actual, unretouched photo from Greenpeace.org showing the nuclear contamination already affecting the wines of Champagne...

WinoJohn
June 4, 2006       

Buy Starbucks stock!

Here's some good news for those of you that may down a bottle of red at night and rely on a big ol' cup of joe to get you going in the morning.  (You know who you are...)  Researchers at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA have come to the conclusion that COFFEE PREVENTS LIVER DAMAGE FROM EXCESSIVE DRINKING.  Did you hear that???  Coffee prevents cirrhosis of the liver!  Coffee is going to keep WinoBob alive!!!

According to a study published this week, drinking coffee might help prevent liver cirrhosis among heavy drinkers.  This is like mind-bogglingly good news.  This is almost too good to be true.  This is an answer to my prayers.  You see, I fall into that "bottle a night, pot a day" category.  I feel better already.

If this research is accurate, I think the good men and women at Kaiser Permanente deserve a medal.  Maybe a Congressional Medal of Honor.  (God knows, there are enough heavy drinkers in Congress!)  Bob, call the Pulitzer Prize people.  And the Nobel prize people.  Hell, we may have to create an even more impressive award...  maybe the WinoStuff Most Valuable Discovery Award.  I don't know.  This is huge. 


WinoBob dances in his thong as he enjoys a big cup of Joe!

Drink up, winos!  There's some fresh, hot medicine available at your local 7-Eleven!

WinoJohn
June 11, 2006  

 

What up wit Louis Roederer!

According to a recent article on Decanter.com, the American Hip Hop community is now down on Cristal.  That's right, after years of promoting Cristal as one of the spoils of success in the rap industry, superstar Jay-Z is now accusing Frédéric Rouzaud, the managing director of Champagne house Louis Roederer, of being racist.  Mr. Z has banned Cristal from his 'upscale sports lounge', the 40/40 Club, replacing it with Dom Pérignon and Krug.

It appears that Mr. Rouzaud (who goes by the rap name Snoop Froggy Frog), has mixed feelings about rap songs and videos which depict rappers "drinkin' Cris with bitches and hoes!" (OK, I made that part up.  Snoop Frog never said that...)  In Jay-Z's opinion, however, Mr. Rouzaud views the “hip-hop” culture as “unwelcome attention”.  This stems from a statement that Rousaud made indicating that the Champagne house viewed their association with rap 'with curiosity and serenity'.  Did you hear that?  Curiosity and serenity!  Now if that's not racist, I don't know what is!

I don't know about you, but I'm with Jay-Z on this one.  I'm tired of those French bastards viewing us Americans with "curiosity and serenity".  It's about time that we send them a message.  Like maybe a boycott or something, who knows?


WinoStuff's Hip Hop Editor, P-Dantic B-Diddy BobDawg,
shows Louis Roederer what we think of "curiosity and serenity"

WinoJohn
June 18, 2006 

 

WINE.COM SUCKS UP ANOTHER 12 MIL
WINOSTUFF.COM CONTINUES TO RUN LEAN

The gaping black hole of wine-related web sites (wine.com), has just sucked in another $12 million.  Yes, that's right, the online wine retailer, wine.com, just hired a new CEO and guess what?  He brought $12 million with him.  (Damn!  If someone showed up at my house with $50 and a case of Silver Oak, they could have this lame web site...)  Mr. Rich Bergsund, wine.com's new head honcho, handed over the check for 12 mil and wine.com handed him the keys to the executive washroom.  Good deal !!!  How do I get in on that action???

Actually, Baker Capital forked over the money.  It's been a few years since Baker threw any money into the wine.com money pit and they had this $12 mil just burning a hole in their corporate pocket and, well..., you know the rest. 

Rob Manning, chairman of wine.com (and a General Partner of Baker Capital) commented, ''We are delighted to have someone of Rich's caliber joining the Company. Rich has a strong track record turning around businesses and driving them to positions of leadership, profit and growth.''  Mr. Manning continued, ''This financing simplifies the Company's capital structure, making it easier to create strong incentives for the management team and better position the Company for future capital formation and value creation.''

"Strong incentives for the management team" seems to be the operative phrase.  The financing will be used to continue to "reposition the company" following the departure of the prior management team last year, and to implement "a new strategy".   

Here's a strategy, boys.  Invest the $12 mil in a lean, mean, wine-related web site machine.  (WinoStuff, you idiots!)  Hire the crack team of 'Stuff writers, editors, graphic artists, techno-dweebs and all-around brilliant wine guys to lend a bit of credibility to your tarnished web site and see what happens.  Who knows, it may just pay off (for some of us...)!

 

 

 

 

WinoJohn
June 28, 2006                                 
 

 

Champagne Prices Crashing

The Champagne was on ice.  The celebration was set to begin.  Win or lose, legions of soccer fans were set to celebrate the career of one of soccer's greatest stars.  Out of retirement, Zizou had come back to help his countrymen and to try to bring home the cup.  After all, he was instrumental in bringing the FIFA World Cup home to France in 1998.  If he could do it again, all of France would celebrate.  And you know what that means... CHAMPAGNE, Baby!!!

But alas, it wasn't to be.  There would be no Champagne celebration.  Cases of bubbly went back on the shelves as Zidane showed his true colors.  During the second overtime period, in a moment that can only be described as ZIDANE HAVING HIS HEAD UP HIS BUTT, this one-time superstar decided to head butt one of the Italian players.  The rest is, as they say, French History.

 



Champagne sales plummet as French fans bemoan the head
butt by French butt-head, Zinedine Zidane.

After the game, the French government was considering having a big reception for the French team along the Champs Elysees in Paris.  However, the French coach had this to say (I'm not making this up), "If it is up to me there won’t be a parade.  It is very French to be satisfied with a defeat, but I cannot be satisfied."

Congratulazioni, Italia!!!

WinoJohn
July 10, 2006 

Wino of the Week

As you may recall, we occasionally take a moment to recognize someone who's behavior can only be described as Winoic.  (We don't do this every week because frankly, that would be a lot of work and we are all about minimizing the amount of work that goes into this dopey site!)  This week we feel compelled to recognize someone who has truly advanced the cause of winoism.  This week we award the rare Wino of the Week award to the American-born-but-now-living-in-Britain supermodel, Caprice Bourret.

 

I know what you are thinking.  You're thinking, "WinoJohn, you are just fabricating a reason to post another half-naked babe on your idiot web site."  (At least that's what The Wife is thinking...)  But that is not the case.  Caprice Bourret actually did something worthy of mention.  Get this...

Back in December, Ms. Bourret was arrested in London for DUI or, as they say in jolly old England, "drink driving".  That, in and of itself, will not win you the Wino of the Week award.  However, the case finally went to court last week and Caprice had a very plausible explanation.  It seems that the lovely Ms. Bourret admitted to consuming mass quantities of wine twice in the preceding 16 hours before her arrest.  She said she drank a bottle and a half of red wine during lunch and later that day, she went to a "drinks party" where she consumed more wine.  She doesn't know how much more wine because her friends kept "topping up" her glass.  So far, so good...

Here's where it gets a little dicey...  Ms. Bourret argued that the reason her BAC was 50% over the legal limit was because she took some medication for a bladder infection.  And it affected the way her body metabolized alcohol...

Uhhh... yeah...  Good luck with that argument, Caprice.  Look at it this way, even if you lose the legal case, at least you have earned one of winodom's most coveted awards,  WinoStuff's Wino of the Week!

WinoJohn
July 23, 2006 

Havoc in London Town

Recent news reports out of jolly olde London are disturbing.  And I'm not talking about a bunch of towel-heads trying to blow up airplanes.  It appears that an intoxicated American tourist has been wreaking havoc on the British capitol and surrounding areas and, once again, the image of the United States is that of the "Ugly American"...

Details are sketchy but this is what we know...


An American tourist hijacks a London double-decker bus...


The Ugly American taunts the Royal Guard...


An unnamed American tourist passes himself off as royalty...


Yankee tourist arrested for trespassing at Stonehenge...

On an unrelated note, WinoBob will soon be providing an update on his European vacation and his quest for the missing "Blair wines"...

WinoJohn
August 9, 2006   

 

Wine Facials Popular in India...

In an ongoing effort to keep the public informed of the tremendous therapeutic value of mass wine consumption, we bring you this somewhat-related news flash...  Women in India are beginning to recognize the natural health and beauty benefits from wine facials.  I'm not exactly sure what constitutes a "wine facial" but it has to be good.

One customer in a Jaipur beauty salon stated that Indian women believe "wine facials provide an instant glow to their skin and relieve them of tensions and headaches."   (Note to men: "relieves headaches...")  Another patron said, "This facial is very good. No doubt, it brings a glow on the skin, but it also relaxes a person and works as a headache reliever."  (Note to men:  Again, a "headache reliever...")  

The price range for a wine facial reportedly ranges from 250 to 1500 Rupees.  (I suppose it depends on the quality of the wine and the size of the face...?) 

Obviously, this story raises several important questions:

  1. What the hell is a Rupee?  I thought it was some kind of date-rape drug...

  2. Exactly how long do you have to soak your face in the wine in order to realize the benefits?

  3. What do they do with the wine after the face-soak?  Do they use the same wine on the next patron?  Is the old wine considered a bio-hazard?

  4. What would happen if you took a bath in wine?

  5. Most importantly, does it work?

To answer the last question, the team of crack WinoStuff Scientists in our Cosmetology lab set out to determine the effectiveness of a wine facial.  The results of their study are shown below:

                    
Indian woman before wine facial          Same woman after wine facial     

And remember, men, it also relieves headaches...!

WinoJohn
August 19, 2006  

Jackie-WinoBob Smackdown

After months of relative calm, WinoBob reverted back to his old ways.  I could see it coming early in the evening but I couldn't stop it.  Yes, the evil WinoBob has replaced the respectable WinoBob and Point Pleasant, New Jersey will never be the same.

What should have been an evening of laughs and good times turned ugly when WinoBob became the lunatic stalker and his target was none other than Jackie The Jokeman Martling. 


Surveilance video shows WinoBob stalking Jackie The Jokeman
before his show at Vinnie's Comedy Club in Point Pleasant, New Jersey.

One off-hand comment by Jackie (I believe he called WinoBob a "c@$%sucker") and The Bob went nuts.  The rest is, as they say, history...


Jackie "takes care of some business" after the show...

When will I ever learn?  I gotta get some new friends.  So anyway, the obligatory apologies go out to Jackie, Uncle Vinnie's Comedy Club, the Point Pleasant Police department, the chick with the "JUICY" shirt (oh yeah...), the New Jersey State Police, Point Pleasant Fire and Rescue, and all the other services and individuals that witnessed the ugly side of WinoBob.

The trial is set for early October.  Hopefully, it will only result in another restraining order.

WinoJohn
August 29, 2006 

Faux Bordeaux?

You know, when you drop a half million bucks on few bottles of wine, you have some expectation that the wine is real.  Decanter.com reports that some rich American wine collector (not WinoWally) bought four bottles of wine in the mid 1980s that were purported to be 18th century Bordeaux from Thomas Jefferson's personal collection.   The bottles, which were mysteriously "found" in a walled-up cellar in Paris, had the initials "Th. J." engraved on the side.   How could you possibly question that provenance?

Last year, the rich American wine collector (still not WinoWally) assembled a team of experts to prove the authenticity of his purchase.  The team included former FBI and British intelligence agents, wine and glass experts, a nuclear physicist and Sotheby's former head of wine sales, David Molyneux-Berry.  The result?  The wine was determined to be a FRAUD!   So now, like any rich American wine collector (other than WinoWally), the buyer is going to sue

This whole disturbing story raises several important questions...

  1. Would you buy wine at auction from a guy named Molyneux-Berry?

  2. Why did the team of experts not include "French intelligence agents" or is that an oxymoron?

  3. Why would you assume that "Th. J." stands for Thomas Jefferson?  Any true Jefferson historian will tell you that the second American President preferred to be called "T-Jeff"

  4. Why would you assemble a team of experts to authenticate the wine AFTER you purchase it?

  5. This brings into question the authenticity of WinoWally's extensive collection including his rare ancient Israeli wines etched with the names "Mo." and "Abe."

In the future, all serious rich wine collectors should have their wine collections authenticated by the WinoStuff.com Rare Wine Authentication Service.  Send us your rare wines and our crack team of expert rare wine authenticators will taste (guzzle) your entire collection and provide you with a full report of it's authenticity along with detailed tasting notes.  We may even send you a highly collectable WinoStuff.com T-Shirt.

Send your rare wines to:

WinoStuff.com Rare Wine Authentication Services
PO Box 64
Caldwell, NJ 07006

We're sorry.  No rare wines can be returned after authentication.

WinoJohn
September 9, 2006                        

Want More Money? Get Drunk!

Now here's some news you can use...

An institution called "The Reason Foundation" has released a study that finds that SOCIAL DRINKERS MAKE MORE MONEY THAN NON-DRINKERS!   Oops.  I'm sorry.  Was I shouting?  I just thought that this is compelling news for our...  uhhh...  more "prolific" winos.  I apologize.  Please, let me continue...

The study finds that men who drink socially make, on average, 10 percent more than those who do not drink socially.  And women who drink socially make 14 percent more than those who abstain.  I don't know about you but I find this to be fascinating, important, Nobel Prize-winning type information.  This is huge!

The story goes on to say stuff about drinkers tending to be more charismatic and having larger social networks and that this helps them to make more business contacts and blah, blah, blah...  Get back to the point, researchers, you make more money if you drink!!!

As good as this news sounds, I'm not sure that the Reason Foundation fully completed the research.  So, to their report, I feel compelled to propose the WinoStuff Mass Consumption Hypothesis:  The more you drink, the more money you make.  Now proving this hypothesis will take some additional research and maybe some government funding but we MUST fully investigate this correlation.  Let's take a look at the staff of 'Stuff (aka the "WinoStuff Lab Rats")...  Here are a few interesting facts:

  • WinoWally:
    Drinker? Yes. 
    Social?  Without a doubt. 
    Wealthy? Abso-friggin'-lutely. 
    Conclusion:  100% correlation.  WinoWally's wine cellar takes up the better part of three zip codes.  He drinks turns his entire inventory monthly.  You KNOW he's rolling in the dough! 

  • WinoBob: 
    Drinker?  Are you paying attention here? 
    Social?  When he's not drinking alone in his dank, third floor office, he's stalking some wine industry professional.  You tell me... 
    Wealthy?  If the drinking/wealth correlation held true, WinoBob would be the wealthiest man in the solar system. 
    Conclusion:  100% contradiction. WinoBob consumes his weight in alcohol on a daily basis.  When he does take his mass-consumption show on the road, the whole "social drinking / business contacts" theory falls apart and he inevitably ends up in the slammer with a restraining order hanging over his head.

  • WinoJohn: 
    Drinker?  Ummm...  "occasionally" 
    Social?  Reluctantly. 
    Wealthy?  Not as much as I would be if I didn't have a kid in a prestigious Ivy League School!!! 
    Conclusion:  Inconclusive.  WinoJohn should definitely drink more, you know, to test the hypothesis...!

You know what this means...  more research required!!!

WinoJohn
September 19, 2006   

$30 Large (Canadian)

Noted website for all things wine-related, decanter.com, reports that a bunch of whacky Canadians have announced the release of the world's most expensive wine.  The Ontario winery, Royal DeMaria, has released a new icewine called "The Billy Myers" series icewine.  It is named in honor of a Niagra grape grower named..., you guessed it..., Billy Myers.  The wine is initially priced at $30,000 (Canadian) for a half bottle.   Yes, that's right, $30 friggin' thousand per half bottle.  If I do the math correctly, that would be approximately...  ummm....  like $60 thousand per full bottle.  $60 grand for a bottle of wine?  Who do they think they are, the French???  (Wait...  they're Canadian...  they do think they're French...)  OK, so it's Canadian dollars (which are a lot like Monopoly® dollars) but it's still a stupid expensive price.  I'm guessing that those guys at Royal DeMaria are smoking some of that good Canadian crack...

Royal DeMaria's director of sales and marketing, Charlene Stephenson, defended the winery's asking price.  According to Stephenson, the wine is worth the price because it is "a unique varietal that has done very well on the competition circuit."  (Apparently Chardonnay is considered a "unique varietal" in the Canadian icewine "competition circuit".)    Besides, they only produced five cases of the stuff...

So, not to be outdone, the team of professional icewinologists in the WinoStuff Icewine Lab have come up with an even more expensive icewine.  Presenting for the first time to the international icewine-drinking community, WinoStuff's new TwiceThePrice Icewine.  Our wine will be conservatively priced at a mere $60 grand per half bottle.  That will teach those smarmy Canadians...

Our expert icewine tasters tell me that WinoStuff's TwiceThePrice Icewine tastes exactly like a bottle of 2002 Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine.  Coincidentally, it comes in a bottle that looks exactly like a bottle of Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine.  The cork might even say "Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine". The label, however, will be 100% WinoStuff.  You'd better act fast, however.  Production is limited to just one bottle (unless Bottle King has some more Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine in stock!)

WinoJohn
September 24, 2006    

 

Paris Hilton Likes It In The Can...

As you may know, the model, actress and cyber porn star, Paris Hilton, was arrested a few weeks ago for drunken driving.  That move almost landed her the unenviable title of WinoStuff's Wino of the Week.  This past week, Hilton announced that she likes it in the can, a move that will most certainly put her in the running for WinoStuff's WinoBabe of the Month.

Before you pervs start Googling "Paris Hilton", listen to the whole story.  Paris Hilton has signed on as a celebrity spokesmodel for an Austrian company that is buying up bulk Italian prosecco wines and selling it under the brand name of Rich Prosecco.  The lovely Paris is promoting Rich Prosecco's line of sparkling wines which are sold in 20cl cans.  Apparently, Paris likes wine in the can.  (OK, now, go ahead an Google "Paris".  I know you want to...)

The traditional prosecco producers in Italy are understandably upset about the whole situation.  They fear that this wine, and Paris' delight in taking it in the can, will damage the image of Italian wines in general.  Other prosecco producers are ready to take legal action if the Austrian company attempts to reference the traditional prosecco territory of Conegliano Valdobbiadene.


Paris Hilton appears at a Rich Prosecco promotional event
with an unnamed American wine writer...

Ironically, Paris is legally forbidden from taking it in the can in Italy.  Under Italian law, wine is only permitted to be sold in bottles.  The company selling Rich Prosecco is planning to export the canned prosecco to Britain, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.   (Hmmmm...  does that mean Paris can't get it in the can in the US???)

WinoJohn
October 1, 2006

Wino of the Week

Once again, we are compelled to recognize one among us who has taken wine abuse to a new level.  (Remember, Wino of the Week recognition is not necessarily a good thing...)  TheDenverChannel.com reports that a Boulder County woman was cited for criminally negligent child abuse for giving her 17-month old son red wine.  According to the police report, Lisa Shattuck took her son to the emergency room because he was alternating between "unresponsive" and "vomiting".  The baby's blood-alcohol level was found to be .195 percent.

Apparently, this wasn't the first time that Wino Lisa gave wine to her child.  She allegedly told the emergency room nurse that the baby "likes red wine..."   The emergency room physician, Dr. Kerry Broderick stated that a baby with a blood alcohol level of .195 should be comatose, implying that perhaps the baby had built up a tolerance to alcohol.  Broderick went on to say that "alcohol can be detrimental to infants since they are developing their brain and nervous systems.  It can affect babies' learning and cognitive abilities."  When asked what the long-term prognosis might be, Broderick indicated that this child may grow up into an anti-social, stick-figure adult that drinks mass quantities of wine alone in a dank, dark third-floor office. 

It's amazing what modern medicine can predict...


Early file photo of the original wine-drinking baby,
WinoBobby

WinoJohn
October 14, 2006   

US 3 - France 0

You all remember the big wine competition in Paris back in 1976 pitting a bunch of Yankee upstart wines against some of France's elite clarets.  You also remember the recent re-enactment of the Paris tasting to commemorate the 30th anniversary of France succumbing to Napa Valley.  Well those two defeats (without a single surrender) didn't sit well with some snooty French wine industry execs.  They felt that the deck was stacked against them and they decided to hold a "fair" competition.  This time, they would put up a bunch of 1995 Bordeaux to compete with a bunch of 1995 Cali Cabs.  After all, 1995 was a good year in both areas.  To make it even fairererer, the Frog wine guys put together an independent international panel of experts to do the tasting.  (Apparently, according to the Frog organizing panel, the 30th anniversary event was tainted by an "Americanization" of taste...???)  This was going to be the fairest of them all.  How could France possibly lose?  He he he...   

Well, you guessed it.  Californian wines have once again beaten their French counterparts in a blind tasting.  Of the top five wines, the first three were Californians. The winner was Abreu followed by Beringer and Pahlmeyer. Bordeaux's Valandraud came in at number four and Chateau Latour was number five.

The Top Ten  (All 1995 Vintage)

1  Abreu (Madrona Ranch)
2  Beringer Private Reserve
3  Pahlmeyer Propriatory Red
4  Valandraud
5  Latour
6  Shafer Hillside Select
7  Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve
8  Ausone
9  Leoville Les Cases
10 Phelps Insignia

Viva la Cali !!!

WinoJohn
October 29, 2006    

Drunken Wino Disrupts Wine Dinner

I thought it would be a nice evening.  I thought I had kept it a secret from a certain out-of-control wino (Bob).  I thought I could finally enjoy a night out without having to bail a certain someone out of jail...  But NOOOOOooooo!

It all started out very nice.  I was invited to the Ch. Ste. Michelle Wine Dinner by my pal and wine industry executive, Wino Larry Lascola.  I hadn't seen Larry since the Tom Shelton debacle and I thought I had been black-listed because of the antics of my alcohol-soaked web site partner.  (Don't remember the Tom Shelton incident?  click here...)  I was enjoying the dinner which was held at the Brick House restaurant in Wyckoff, NJ.  It was a very nice event.  I was making small-talk with the lovely and talented babes from the Chateau and catching up with Wino Larry when out of the corner of my eye, I saw the bane of my wino existence, Wino Bob.  Damn!  I knew this couldn't end well...

I tried to play it cool.  I tried to ignore him.  I went so far as to pretend I didn't know him.  I even tipped off the restaurant's security staff.  But it was too little, too late.  After guzzling several bottles of the Artist Series Meritage and single-handedly polishing off all the Col Solare, WinoBob got that glazed look in his eye and I knew the end was near.  He made his move toward the Ste. Michelle winery representatives.  I'm not sure what he did or said but the ensuing fracas resulted in overturned tables, broken glassware, fisticuffs, sirens, flashing lights, billy clubs, etc.  Just another typical night out with WinoBob...


Helen Heinzer of Ch. Ste. Michelle puts the final ass-whoopin'
on the drunk and disorderly WinoBob...


WinoBob later that evening...

Bottle King hosts some excellent wine dinners.  Thanks to Helen, Beth, Steve and Wino Larry for a great evening!

WinoJohn
November 10, 2006  

Desperate Housewino...

Teri Hatcher plays hot little minkie on the hit TV show, Desperate Housewives.  This 40-something hottie shared one of her beauty secrets with America Online recently.  The lovely Ms. Hatcher revealed that she enjoys a nice hot bath infused with leftover wine.  Yeah, baby...

According to Hatcher, " Wine has a natural skin softener and exfoliant in it, and it just makes you feel luxurious." 


WinoStuff's skin-softening expert, Dr. WinoBob, consults with famous TV babe,
Teri Hatcher, on some unusual beauty tips...

When consulted on this practice, the team of crack scientists from the WinoStuff Health and Beauty Labs had this to say, "Teri Hatcher imparts a certain flavor into the wine which cannot be achieved through barrel aging alone...". 

Uhhh...  The boys in the lab don't get out much.

WinoJohn
November 20, 2006 

Prince Charles Gets Mouton Label
WinoBob Shunned Again!

The wine industry on-line news source, decanter.com, reports that the picture on the newly-released 2004 vintage of Chateau Mouton Rothschild is the work of none other than Prince Charles.  Apparently, the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild chose a painting by the Prince to mark the 100th anniversary of the Entente Cordial between France and England, which was celebrated in 2004. The Entente Cordial (which is French for "surrender before the sneaky Brits build a chunnel") was a series of agreements signed on April 8, 1904, between the United Kingdom and France.


Prince Charles' artwork on the 2004 Ch. Mouton Rothschild label
depicts pine trees at Cap d’Antibes on the Cote d’Azur.

News of the decision by Baronness Philipine de Rothschild has once again shattered the hopes and dreams of our own wine label artiste,  WinoBob.  Bob had hoped to join the elite community of artists who have adorned the Mouton label.  The list includes such notables as Picasso, Miró, Chagall, Warhol, and Dali.


WinoBob's proposed artwork depicts an unknown stick figure
running through the French countryside in a thong...

How could the Mouton brain trust pick the Prince's art over Bob's?  Maybe it was that whole Boycott France thing.  Or maybe the Baroness is waiting to award the highly acclaimed 2005 vintage label to WinoBob...   Stay tuned!

WinoJohn
December 3, 2006  

WinoStuff = Best Blog?

It has come to my attention that someone out there in Wino Land has nominated WinoStuff.com for the title of Top Blog on Eric Orange's popular wine events site, LocalWineEvents.com.  Now, I don't know who nominated us and I don't care.  (It was probably another one of WinoBob's stalker-groupies.)  However, if someone out there will get some kind of perverse pleasure from seeing 'Stuff atop the rankings, well who are we do deprive him/her of that pleasure?  After all, WinoBob is the king of perverse pleasure. (But that's another story...)  While I'm not sure that WinoBob's stream of semi-consciousness ramblings really constitute a "blog", we'll go with it.  Heck, we're already in the Hall of Fame (much to the chagrin of serious and pedantic wine snobs), we might as well go for the title of Top Blog

After visiting the LocalWineEvents site, it appears as if they are not going to just hand us the title of Top Blog.  Apparently, people have to vote for us!  What's up with that???  Don't they know we're in the Hall of Fame???  Damn.  This is starting to sound like work. 

So anyway, to achieve this highest of wine blog honors, we need your help. We need you to go to LocalWineEvents.com and let them know who has the best wine blog site.  In fact, we'll make it easy on you.  Click here to vote for your favorite goofy wine blog site (WinoStuff.com, you idiots) as Top Blog.  If we win, we'll have a big party to celebrate.  You won't be invited but you may get some king of perverse pleasure out of knowing that you helped us to have a big party.   Do it now!!!

WinoJohn
December 9, 2006 

Dinosaur Found in NJ!!!

Thought to have been extinct for more than 150 million years, a LIVE brontosaurus was found in northern NJ recently.  Scientists are baffled as to how this species could have survived in the mountainous area of Passaic County, NJ.  Paleontologists, zoologists and biologists from around the world have gathered in Wanaque, New Jersey to investigate this most important discovery. 

Dr. Norman J. Underwood, Chief Scientist at the National Institute for the Study of Really Old Things was outraged when he arrived at the scene of what is perhaps the most important zoological find of the last million years.  "I can't believe this!", Underwood stated.  "This is outrageous!  This is unbelievable!  This is...  this is...  this is absolutely criminal!", he charged.

Apparently, Dr. Underwood and the entire scientific community are horrified that the only surviving animal from the Jurassic period may have actually been butchered and consumed during a gluttonous meal at the Christmas Party of an obscure New Jersey company.  "It appears that a bunch of drunken winos actually consumed this poor beast during some wine-infused, carnivorous feast.  The thing weighed 35 tons and measured over 90 feet long.  How could they do this???", Underwood asked in astonishment.

The management of the NJ company, Wine Ventures LLC (parent company of the world famous web site, WinoStuff.com), were unavailable for comment.


Big Bob Ferdon digs in to some prime roast brontosaurus
at the recent WinoStuff.com Christmas party...

WinoJohn
December 23, 2006   


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