Old Breaking News!



This page has old WinoStuff Breaking News! articles from 2007 and 2008.  

If you missed some news from 2005 and 2006, click here.

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


Limey Dork named OBE !!!

World-famous wine writer and Limey Dork, Hugh Johnson, was named an Officer of the British Empire in the Queen's New Year Honours List.  While that may not mean a lot to the average American wino, it is apparently a big deal to the Brits.  The 67 year-old Johnson was awarded this honour for his many years of service to both wine and horticulture.  (Who knew that the Limey Dork is not only a wine expert but also an accomplished horticulturist with a particular interest in trees!)  This honour is awarded to only 858 people every year so you can imagine how dorky the rest of the list must be.  (The alert wino will notice that I am using the British spelling of words such as "honour" out of respect for the Dorkmeister himself.)

Among Mr. Johnson's many achievements, the Limey Dork has written a number of books including The World Atlas of Wine, The Annual Pocket Wine Book, The International Book of Trees and The Gardener's Companion - The Principles and Practice of the Gardener's Art.  Mr. Johnson is currently a partner in the Royal Tokaji Wine Company in Hungary and was at one time director of Chateau Latour.  Although Hugh Johnson was named Decanter Magazine's Man of the Year in 1995, if you ask him about his greatest achievement, he would (probably) say that he most cherishes the honour of being named WinoStuff.com's WinoBabe of the Month back in April of 2007.  (Missed that?  Got a strong stomach?  click here...)

Ewww...  That is nasty... 

Here is a slightly less disgusting picture of the Dorkman...


Limey Dorks are known for their cool hair and bad teeth...

So then, tally ho, mate.  Cheers then.  You're a bit of a wanker now, eh?  Cheerio.  Stiff upper lip.  Bloody well done!

WinoJohn
January 14, 2007 
 

"Wine" for your pooch?

One of my many wine-related news services recently sent me a headline that caught my eye.  It read something like, "More ways to pamper your four legged friend...".  Now, being the alert wino news hound that I am (no pun intended), I immediately clicked through to find an article that talked about the insane amount of money that people are spending on their pets.  As I read about some of the silly items that people can buy for their pets, such as pet jewelry, pet beds, pet spa products and massage oils, etc., one item stood out.  Yes, my wino friends, one company is promoting "Fine wine for the canine and feline".  This was almost too ridiculous to be true...

But, alas, it is true.  Sort of.  Some company called Bark Vineyards is promoting their line of pet wines.  Their 2007 lineup includes: Barkundy, Meowlot, Sauvignon Bark and Pinot Leasheo.  A quick visit to their website indicates that "a gourmet treat experience awaits the canine or feline who receives a bottle of the Bark Vineyards' 2007 varietals.  Pour evenly over a meal, step back as your beloved furry friend savors the delicious bouquet and unique flavors."

 

This disturbing story raises several important questions:

  • Exactly how stupid are the people that buy this stuff?

  • Can they legally call it "Barkundy" if it doesn't come from Barkundy, France?

  • If a dog drinks Meowlot, is he gay?

  • Will homeless people splurge and have this "wine" with their cat food?

After consuming nearly three cases of this new animal wine (in an attempt to answer the aforementioned questions), the boys in the WinoStuff Animal Products Testing Lab have discovered that this crap is actually some kind of gravy that pet owners pour over their pets' food.  It seems to me to be some kind of "truth in advertising" violation.  WinoBob, contact the lawyers, we have another lawsuit to file!


WinoBob tests pooch wine on his dog, WinoRover

WinoJohn
January 27, 2007 

Save the Wino, Save the World

Alert winos will have seen recent news articles concerning an important discovery coming out of Spain.  (Comatose winos can continue reading here to find out about this discovery...)  It appears that a crack team of Spanish scientists (el equipo de científicos españoles expertos) has discovered that ozone can be used in place of sulfites to preserve wine grapes.  This technique also results in a wine with higher levels of antioxidants.  This could mean that..., hold on to your hats, people..., this could mean that the average wino could drink more wine (with more health benefits) without experiencing the sulfite-induced hangover headache!  This could be huge! 

Here is an excerpt from an article in The Daily Mail...

Wine without the headache?

Scientists have developed a new way to preserve grapes and wine which could lessen the effects of the morning-after hangover.

Many drinkers develop a headache and other symptoms after a few glasses of wine - not because of the alcohol but because of the sulphite preservatives which are added.

Sulphites occur naturally at low level but are routinely put into wine - particularly reds - to maintain colour and stop them turning a muddy brown.

But a significant number of wine-lovers are allergic to the chemicals and suffer from headaches, skin irritation and difficulty breathing.

Now a team of scientists from Spain have found that using ozone can both replace sulphites and guarantee that the grapes and wine retain high levels of antioxidants.

As with any new scientific breakthrough, this announcement raises several
important questions:

  1. Who the hell is that hot chick with the wine glass in the article?

  2. If we can generate ozone to act as a preservative for wine, why don't
    we erect gigantic ozone generators to replenish the depleted ozone layer
    in the atmosphere and stop global warming (and Al Gore)?

  3. Exactly how much wine could WinoBob drink if there was no chance of
    hangover from excess sulfites?

  4. If this technology is adopted across the industry, would wine demand increase?  Would the worldwide wine glut disappear?  Would France be able to sell their less-than-stellar wines to an unsuspecting international market?

We need answers and the staff of 'Stuff is on the job!  We plan to drink as much of the ozone-treated wine as we can in order to inform you, the info-needy wino public.  Stay tuned...

WinoJohn
February 11, 2007

Celebrity Train Wreck of the Week!

Yes, winos, we are happy to launch a new feature that we proudly call Celebrity Train Wreck of the Week.  Like our now-famous feature, Wino of the Week, Celebrity Train Wreck of the Week will not necessarily appear every week.  We only produce this feature when some notable celeb slips up and reveals an overwhelming penchant for excessive alcohol consumption.  (Given the current state of Hollywood, we may be able to run this feature every day, but that sounds like a lot of work...)

This week, we recognize the original pop tart herself, the beaver-flashing, vomit-splashing, now skin-head-scratching, Britney Spears.  It's been all over the news channels.  Over the past two days, the seemingly out of control Mrs. Federline checked in and out of Eric Clapton's Rehab center, stopped by the house to grab a sweatshirt, then went to her favorite beauty parlor.  To shave her head!  Yes, that's right, she shaved her dome.  She put a shine on her cranium.  She pulled a Sinead.  (Maybe she grabbed a couple Apple-tinis back at her house in addition to the sweatshirt!)  I'm guessing that she just wanted the carpet to match the drapes...

Unnamed sources close to Brit have revealed that Britney hooked up with a "bad seed" on the way to the hairdresser.  Once at the beauty parlor, the drinking began and the Wild Child got a little crazy.  The rest, as they say, is Celebrity Train Wreck history...


Britney Spears and an unnamed "evil influence"
 take turns shaving their heads.
 

Congratulations, Britney, you are our inaugural Celebrity Train Wreck of the Week!!!

WinoJohn
February 17, 2007 

Another One Bites the Dust...

And another one's gone, and another one's gone, another one bites the dust...

Another wine-related magazine and their web site are calling it quits.  They bought the farm.  They are packing it in.  They are dead as a doornail.  Who is this latest casualty of war?  It is none other than Wine X Magazine and their website, winexmagazine.com. 

Wine X magazine was supposedly founded to provide information on "Wine, Food and an Intelligent Slice of Vice" to Generation X-ers and maybe Generation Y-ers.  Whatever the hell the current 21 to 35 year-old generation is called, that is who they were targeting.  And apparently, the 21 to 35 year-olds were not listening.  Although, if you ask the founder of Wine X magazine, Darryl Roberts, he'll tell you that it was the wine industry itself that wasn't listening.  If you ask me, nobody was listening.

If you have ever visited their website (and I am assuming that their magazine is similarly styled), you would find that they were actually pretty rude.  They were rude to the companies that should be advertising with them.  They were rude to the readers.  They were pretty much rude to everyone.  I think they were trying to be hip or funny but it really just came off as rude.  If I wanted rude, I would just talk to my kids...  But I am certainly not part of their target demographic.

According to Roberts, "There's a lot of talk within the wine industry about marketing to young adults.  New wines have been created, new wine divisions have been formed by large wine companies, all with the idea of targeting young adults. Yet they give us absolutely no support."  He goes on to say, "The wine industry says it's interested in young adults but spends all of its ad and promo money targeting the same people it's been targeting for the past 30 years - rich, old white people."

Yeah.  That's it.  That's the problem.  Rich, old white people.  There is obviously something wrong with targeting rich, old white people.  There is something inherently flawed with the wine companies spending money to attract customers who have the interest, the taste and the disposable income to buy their products. There is just something so wrong with that...  I'll tell you what.  One of the richest, oldest, whitest people I know, WinoWally, could take this magazine and turn it into a money-making machine so let's not talk trash about rich, old white people!

Personally, as a (non)rich, old white person, I think what it really comes down to is competition and a lack of business acumen.  Wine X couldn't compete with the professionalism and financial strength of the well-written glossy mags like Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate.  They couldn't compete with the lame humor, general irreverence and financial hocus pocus of The World's Most Important Website, WinoStuff.com.  And perhaps most importantly, they couldn't compete with hip-hop music, Texas Hold'em Poker, iPods, Abercrombie and Fitch and whatever else kids waste their money on these days. 

Or perhaps they just suck.  A quick visit to their website today highlighted something they called dishwasher salmon.  How could they not succeed with brilliant articles like this?  What winery wouldn't want to advertise on this site only to have their wine paired with a soapy, lemon-scented fish?  I don't get it.  But then again, I'm not Gen X.

WinoJohn
February 25, 2007 
 

Chicken Wine...

Alert winos will remember Breaking News back in March of 2005 when we reported that some whacky Chinaman named Sun Keman formed a company called the Dalian Fisherman's Song Maritime Biological Brewery to make wine...  out of fish.  (You can't see me but my face is making that ewwww expression!)  Personally, I found that story quite disturbing back then and I find it equally disturbing now.  Why do I bring up this old, disgusting news tidbit now?  Because I recently came across a similar story out of India.  This time, however, the wine is made out of...   you guessed it...  chicken!  What is going on over there in Asia?  Can't they just grow some grapes like the rest of the civilized world?  Jeez...  They go off and do this bizarre stuff and then I am compelled to write about it and we all end up feeling a bit queasy.  It's just wrong, I tell you, it's just wrong.

But here it goes...

The HindustanTimes reports that the people of Rimbick, just below the high reaches of Sandakphu, enjoy a unique local beverage that they call Chicken Wine.  (What?  You don't read the Hindustan Times?  You should!  They are considered the authority on fermented beverages made from fowl...)  No, this is not wine that you enjoy with chicken.  This is wine that you enjoy from chicken.  Apparently, this beverage provides both "a kick" and some "medicinal value."  Mmmmm...   sign me up!

WinoStuff is going out on a limb here and we are going to publish the recipe for some good chicken wine.  Check this out...  It's just this easy...

Take a dressed chicken, remove the legs and head, make a slit in the middle and empty out the liver, intestine and the stomach. Stuff the chicken full of ghee and garam masala and wrap it in a fine cloth. Brew the stuffed, wrapped wino-chicken in a special container called a Fonshi.  (Don't have a fonshi?  You're screwed.) Half-fill the fonshi with Janr (millet beer) and close tightly.  Heat the entire contraption over a wood fire. 

The Janr will evaporate and condense once it hits the upper part of the Fonshi. The condensed liquid will collect inside another vessel called an Odhan. (Oops.  Did I mention that you need an Odhan, too?)  As the distilled fermented liquid soaks into the chicken, add more Janr. 

At some point, I imagine when the chicken is about ready to explode, you remove the whole concoction from the fire and wring out the saturated chicken into a wine bottle.  Invite your friends over and let the good times roll!

Or you could just cook the chicken and eat it with a nice glass of millet beer.  It's up to you...


A young Indian winemaker, WinoBahb,
making his specialty, Chicken Wine

WinoJohn
March 5, 2007 
 

The British Wine Jock...

This week, I became aware of a disturbing new effort underway at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in Britain.  I am sorry to report the growing support for... the wine jock.  No, I'm not talking about that rather disgusting thong-like thing that WinoBob insists on wearing while lounging around in his dank, third floor office.  I'm talking about efforts underway within the wine societies of Oxford and Cambridge to have wine tasting recognized as an official school sport, thus creating wino-athletes or... wine jocks. 

Apparently, varsity athletes at these two prestigious British schools earn the privilege of wearing "colors" (or "colours" to you Brits) which means they are allowed to wear a kind of varsity jacket.  In jolly old England, this varsity jacket is more of a varsity blazer much like the green jacket worn by the winner of the PGA Masters Tournament except that it's blue.  If you are an athlete in a major sport, you can earn a "full blue".  If you are an athlete in a lesser sport, you can earn a "half blue".  (At Oxford, the half-blue jacket is simply a blue and white striped blazer.)  In this case, the wine jocks want to earn a half blue for competing in wine tastings.  Those nerdy Brits are such a laughable lot.

This whole wine athlete thing raises several important questions:

  1. What about the beer athletes?  And the scotch athletes?  Don't they deserve half-blue status, too?

  2. Is there an amateur standing among wine jocks?  Can you turn pro?  We need to know this as WinoBob may want to compete in the upcoming winolympics.

  3. Do you have to actually wear a jock to be a wine jock?  If so, we are about to release the uber-trendy blue and white striped WinoStuff jock!

  4. Is it true that British chicks really dig wine athletes?

  5. Do you think Limey Dork Hugh Johnson prances around in his speedo and his Oxford half blue blazer, admonishing the US as imperial hegemons?  (I only bring this up in order to fire up Photoshop to bring you the unimaginable photo of Hugh Johnson in a half blue jacket and speedo...  Ewww...!!!)


File photo of Limey Dork Hugh Johnson showing that he can
still fit into his Oxford Half Blue Blazer and his varsity Speedo...

Thus far, both universities have shown the good sense to decline the request from the wine tasting team.

WinoJohn
March 11, 2007 
 

Mayhem in Wanaque, NJ

Tipped off to the high probability of an uninvited dinner "crasher", the charming and dapper winemaker, Pietro Ratti, took control of what could have been a messy situation.  Other winemakers and wine industry professionals can learn from Pietro's obvious preparedness.  The situation unfolded something like this...

Last week, BigBob Ferdon of Dreyfus Ashby fame was hosting a winemaker's dinner at Berta's Chateau in Wanaque, NJ.  On the day of the event, I informed BigBob that WinoBob was thinking about "making an appearance" at the dinner (code words for "WinoBob is drunk again and is on his way up to Berta's to ruin your dinner plans").  BigBob, a veteran of many ugly WinoBob wine dinner fiascos, tipped off Berta's security detail, as well as the evening's guest winemaker, Pietro Ratti, that an inebriated stick figure named WinoBob, who has been known to sneak into these types of events and wreak havoc with the celebrity guests, may stop by.  WinoBob's rap sheet and his tales of destruction are legendary in the tri-state area.

This time, however, WinoBob had a different plan.  This time, he thought that if he could pass himself off as Pietro's twin brother, he would enjoy an evening of mass wine consumption uninhibited by the looming security guards or the long arm of the Passaic county law.  But it wasn't to be...

The ever-alert Pietro spotted WinoBob at the Barolo table, polishing off the last two bottles in the case.  With a cat-like pounce, Pietro was onto WinoBob like barnyard stink on Burgundy.  In no time at all, Pietro choked the bejeezus out of WinoBob, salvaging a very pleasant evening for all the other "invited" guests.


The very debonair winemaker Pietro Ratti, who looks nothing like the pale white stick figure, WinoBob, takes care of some "business..."

Once again, our apologies go out to BigBob, Berta's Chateau, Pietro Ratti, the Passaic County Sheriff's office, and the Wanaque EMT squad (who have made a career out of reviving and treating WinoBob). 

WinoJohn
March 17, 2007

Wino of the Week!

Yes, once again, the newswires bring to our attention the actions of an individual that obviously enjoys his alcohol.  We don't get this kind of news every week so it is a special occasion when we hear of a qualifying incident.  This week, the prestigious Wino of the Week award goes to a guy named Michael Mankamyer from Orlando, Florida.  And just what did Mike Mank do to earn this coveted award?  Check this out...  It seems that Mike got drunk a few weeks ago (a clear prerequisite to earning WotW honors) and jumped off the deck of a cruise ship.  At night.  In the middle of the Ocean!!!  Way to go, Mike!!!

It is not yet clear why the Mankster jumped.  It could be that he was unhappy about his 300 pound girth.  Maybe he was just tired of people laughing at his name (I would call him Mankamyer the Wankamyer, but that's just me...).  I'm pretty sure that mass quantities of alcohol entered into his decision to belly flop over the side.  All things considered, this was a truly winoistic act and Mike should be honored for it.

As for Mike, he survived the splash down into the 70 degree waters of the Atlantic Ocean and he drifted for 8 hours until a coast guard cutter spotted him 20 miles away.  They dispatched a helicopter and the MankMan was pulled to safety.   Unnamed sources speculated that the Mankmeister survived the cold waters due to the insulating effects of his voluminous body fat.  This feature probably also kept him afloat. 

So there you have it.  Another courageous wino putting all on the line in the quest for the perfect buzz. Congratulations, Mank, you are the WinoStuff.com Wino of the Week!!!

WinoJohn
April 4, 2007

More Chinese Wackiness

Here's another story from  the 'What the Hell is Going on Over There in Asia' file... 

We reported a while back about the whole fish wine thing.  Then there was the chicken wine horror.  Now, it appears that our friends in Asia are enjoying another vinous delicacy...  Tiger wine.  That's right, tiger wine.  As in made out of tiger.  OK, now repeat after me, "What the hell is going on over there in Asia?"

For those of us who have never enjoyed tiger wine, my research reveals that it is made by steeping a tiger carcass in rice wine.  Mmmmmm.....   It makes my mouth water just thinking about it...   Those who drink tiger wine believe it makes them strong.

The BBC News reports that Chinese delegates at the International Tiger Symposium in Nepal are arguing for the lifting of laws which ban the trade of tiger bones and skins.  After all, tiger carcass is a key ingredient in the making of tiger wine!  Some other (non-tiger wine drinking) countries want the ban to remain in effect.   I, for one, didn't even know there was such a law.  Nor did I realize that tiger wine was so popular.  I have been to China a dozen times and not once did any of my hosts ever offer me any tiger wine.  Not ONCE!!!  Now I feel insulted...

Some Asian nations with threatened tiger populations want the ban to stay in effect.   They feel that tiger wine production is one reason for declining numbers of tigers in the wild.  Furthermore, a number of tiger farms have been developed in China with the ostensible purpose of entertaining visitors.  In reality, according to the World Wildlife Foundation, these farms are merely fronts, having bred thousands of tigers for the production of tiger wine. 

This disturbing story raises several important questions:

  1. What food do you pair with tiger wine?  Chinese food?  (Just a guess...)

  2. If they ban the trade of tiger bones and skins, where does a guy go to get a good glass of tiger?

  3. What about deer wine?  Have they tried to make wine out of deer?  If anyone wants to make some nice deer wine, I've got the ingredients for thousands of cases of deer wine right in my back yard.

  4. Is there some predisposition against GRAPES in Asia? 

  5. What's next?  If they are successful in stopping the production of tiger wine, what's next?  Will they be removing dog from the menus?  Will cat no longer be a staple in Chinese restaurants?  This is serious! 

These questions need to be answered before we throw the immense political influence of WinoStuff.com into the fight.  Stay tuned...

WinoJohn
April 21, 2007 

Paris in Prison.  That's HOT!

You could call her our Celebrity Train Wreck of the Week but that would only give a bad name to Celebrity Train Wrecks.  This past week, the lovely and talented Paris Hilton, was sentenced to 45 days in prison.  With 2200 other women.  And no men.  Just women.  That's HOT!!!

You will remember back in September, Ms. Hilton was busted for drunken driving out in Hollywood.  Her license was suspended at the time and she was sentenced to probation.  She was also ordered to attend an alcohol-education program.  Confident that she knew enough about alcohol and believing that the law doesn't apply to rich little white girls, she was subsequently arrested twice for driving with a suspended license.  Most recently, her defense was the nearly indisputable, "I didn't know my license was suspended..."   The judge, who obviously saw through this ingenious ploy, surely believed that Paris was simply too stupid to remain unincarcerated.  (I tend to agree...)  He revoked her probation and sentenced her to 45 days in the slammer.

Fortunately for all of us healthy, red-blooded male winos, Paris likes to...  uhhh...  make movies.  I can't wait to see this new release...


See Paris Hilton in the modern remake of this 1950s classic...

Now if we could only get Britney thrown in jail...

WinoJohn
May 5, 2007

Attack of the Killer Frogs!

We have reported several times in the past about the whacky actions of the radical group of French winemakers that go by the name CRAV.  Well, the CRAVers are in the news again.  This time, they have issued an ultimatum to the new, pro-American French premier, Nicolas Sarkozy.  The band of Frog ne'er-do-wells has threatened "action" if the new premier does not help the floundering French wine industry.  Action, damn-it!  Did you hear that?  They are threatening ACTION!!!  (Apparently, action is very unFrench which could be why the entire French wine industry is in the crapper to begin with.) 

This time, however, CRAV intimated that 'action' could include death.  (I'm guessing that 'action' could also include surrender, but that's just a guess...)    Remembering the 1907 winemakers' revolt in Montpelleir in which several unsuspecting frogs lost their lives, the CRAV has called on all French winemakers to join the fight.  "If Sarkozy does not support the interests of the wine industry, he will be entirely responsible for what happens," said a CRAV spokesman. "We are at the point of no return."


File photo of French soldier preparing for "action"

Let's hope that cooler heads prevail.  If this Sarkozy guy really is pro-American, we at WinoStuff may have to call for a massive "Drink French" rally.  That alone should be enough to combat the glut of French wine and bring the entire industry back to profitability.  Stay tuned...

WinoJohn
May 20, 2007 
  

America Remembers...

As we enter this long holiday weekend, let us remember those brave Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy all those freedoms that we have today.  We also honor those men and women who continue to protect us both home and abroad.  God bless America.


 

This weekend, as you are charring some animal flesh in the back yard, enjoy a nice American wine and please BE CAREFUL!!!


WinoBob grilling up some burgers on Memorial Day 2007

WinoJohn
May 26, 2007 

The Great One Launches Wine Line... eh?

Joining a long list of athletes and celebrities, the greatest hockey player of all time has thrown his skates into the vineyard.  Yes, winos, Wayne Gretzky announced that he has partnered with a Niagara winemaker in releasing Wayne Gretzky Estate Wines.  I don't know about you, but I can't wait to taste some Gretzky, eh?

The all-time leading scorer in NHL history is lending not only his name to the new line of wines but also his number!  Each bottle of Gretzky Estate Wine will also bear the number 99 (just in case you don't remember who Wayne Gretzky is...)

The Gretzky lineup will initially consist of a 2005 meritage (Cabernet Franc with 20 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 15 per cent Merlot), a 2007 chardonnay and a 2005 vidal icewine.  The Gretzky wines will be made by Creekside Estate Winery's winemakers Craig McDonald and Rob Power. They are priced at $17 for the red, $14 for white and $45 for the icewine.

The announcement was made at Gretzky's Toronto restaurant which is coincidentally named Gretzky's.  At the press conference, Gretzky revealed that "Janet and I have for many years wanted to fulfill a dream of launching a winery that makes world-class wines.  We are fortunate to have found talented winemakers who have already won numerous international and domestic wine awards."  (Alert winos will recall that Gretzky is also fortunate enough to have married former Playboy model, Janet Jones.) 


The Great One and his wife, The Totally Hot One, display the label design
for the new Wayne Gretzky Estate Wines

Yeah...  I gotta get me some Gretzky...

WinoJohn
June 24, 2007

Wine Saves Lives !!!

Here's some good news...  Wine may have saved a few lives down in Washington, DC.  And no, I'm not talking about WinoWally saving me from certain disaster on the highways.  I'm talking about a crisis averted.  Check it out...

According to the Associated Press, police in DC are baffled by an attempted robbery that began when the perp (that's TV-speak for "perpetrator") slipped into the home of an unsuspecting family having dinner and put a gun to the head of a 14 year old girl.  He demanded cash and threatened to shoot the young lass.  When the homeowner offered the assailant a glass of wine, the perp dropped his gun and joined the family for a little wine and cheese.  The whole event ended with a group hug.  I'm not making this up...  You can't make this shit up.

The wine is reported to have been French, specifically Château Malescot St-Exupéry, a third growth Margaux.  (No word on the vintage!)  The would-be robber was apparently a Francophile as he also enjoyed a bit of Camembert with his vino.

Now, I gotta admit, if I'm sitting around the dinner table with the wife and kids and some dude breaks into my house and points a gun at one of my little princesses, demanding cash, I'm not sure I would suggest that he have a glass of wine.  I would be more inclined to say something like, "Please don't shoot!" or, "My wife has all the cash!"  I certainly wouldn't offer up any wine, especially if it was good wine!  After all, there's no guarantee that he wouldn't drink all the wine and then start firing away.  That would be just wrong.

So, kudos to the homeowner who managed to not get shot.  Hopefully, the police have a good description of the suspect.


Artist's rendition of the France-loving robbery suspect...

WinoJohn
July 14, 2007 

Shocking Photos From CabFest 5 !!!

In a direct violation of the rules of CabFest, someone took incriminating photos of the Festers.  In this WinoStuff exclusive, we reveal the previously unseen photos of The Other Bob and WinoJohn.  Warning: these photos are disturbing.


The Other Bob is seen here taking a break from the Fest to enjoy a little cake.


WinoJohn is caught daydreaming about some important technical stuff...

WinoJohn
July 20, 2007

Big Wine Business Gets Bigger...

In an ongoing reminder that wine is a business and not just a passion, several big name wineries were sold recently.  The latest winery to change hands was Duckhorn Wine Company of St. Helena, CA.  A private equity firm called GI Partners bought a majority interest in the winery from 80 individual investors for something north of $250 million.  Along with the Duckhorn brand and 321 acres of prime vineyard property, GI Partners got the Duckhorn-owned brands Paraduxx and Goldeneye.  As a side note, Duckhorn produces one of the few Merlots that is actually enjoyable to WinoJohn.

In other M&A activity, Warren Winiarski of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars announced that he is selling Stag's Leap to a joint venture between Chateau Ste. Michelle of Washington and the Antinoris of Italy for a nifty $185 million.  Not bad...   And the mega-conglomerate of Ernie and Julio Gallo picked up William Hill Estate and 145 acres of vineyards plus the Canyon Road brand from Beam Wine Estates.  That price was not disclosed.  That now makes E&J Gallo the second largest object in the known universe (right behind WinoBob's liver...)

All this mega-merger talk is exciting.  One the one hand, we worry that the quality of our favorite wines may suffer when a family-run operation gets turned over to a bunch of corporate bean counters.  Hopefully that won't happen.  On the other hand, it reminds us that someday WinoStuff may hit the jackpot and get gobbled up by some business savvy major internet wine company.  (So far, all we have is a buyout offer of $50 by some Professional Women of Wine organization to "get that crap off the internet!!!"  I'm not sure what they mean...) 

Let the bidding begin!!!


Two big time dealmakers discuss winery acquisitions.  And hair styles...

WinoJohn
August 4, 2007

Wino Goes to Rehab...
I say no, no, no...

In the world of young female celebrities with addiction problems, Amy "Wino" Winehouse is a heavyweight among featherweights.  (You gotta love her nickname, "Wino".  She obviously gets the honorary WinoStuff title of WinoAmy.)  It appears now that WinoAmy, although she musically said, "No, No, No..." to rehab on her latest album, recently said, "yes, yes, yes." 

Unnamed sources (mostly because I don't don't know where I read this) told WinoStuff that Amy went on a "three-day binge of Ecstasy, cocaine, Ketamine and heroin".  Ouch!  Recently, the party girl with the sultry voice found herself in the hospital having her stomach pumped and, shortly thereafter, checked in to a "retreat" for a little "R&R".  Oh, and she also canceled her upcoming tour...

This isn't the first time Amy has been...  uhhh...  "sobriety challenged".  She has a long history of 1) getting trashed on stage, 2) forgetting the words to her songs, 3) walking offstage in the middle of a concert, and 4) to top things off, she recently spit on the crowd at one of her shows.  (That should help sell some CDs...)

So to Amy Winehouse we say, wear the moniker proudly, girlfriend, you are truly a Wino!  Most winos simply 1) get trashed in the privacy of their own dumpster, 2) slur their words, 3) walk out into traffic and 4) drool on themselves.  You are an inspiration to us all...


Amy "Wino" Winehouse with an unnamed "enabler"
 on their way to rehab...

WinoJohn
August 16, 2007

Sex Sells Wine
and vice versa...

A New York adult store called Babeland has taken a new approach to selling their toys.  They are holding wine tastings in their stores!  And with a plethora of erotically-named wines available on the market (Seduction Cab, Foreplay Chardonnay, etc.) the results are...  well...  titillating...

Hollye Chanelle, event manager for Perfect Palate, the company which hosts the Erotic Wine Tastings, said, "It is a learning experience."  "The novice feels welcomed by the trendy atmosphere... and seasoned oenophiles are intrigued by the unique angles by which we analyse, decipher and present our wines."   Yeah...  I'm sure the oenophiles are there for the wine...

Babeland also hosts other wine tasting events including their Bachelorette Tastings (where, surprisingly, you don't actually get to taste any bachelorettes!  What's up with that???) and the popular ladies-only "kinky wine tasting" where participants learn how to perform a striptease, lap dance, and walk with a sexy strut just like the 'pros'... all while enjoying a nice selection of reds, whites and sparkling wines.


Crack WinoStuff reporter, WinoBob, is all smiles
at the Babeland Erotic Wine Tasting

Babeland is exclusively owned by women which somehow makes this whole story that much more titillating.  (If you are counting, that's two "titillatings" in one article.  Ooops.  Now it's three!)  They have stores in New York (2), LA, and Seattle.

WinoJohn
August 24, 2007

Winos of the Week!!!

I know Wino John usually finds the crazy wino stories, but this one got me.  It might be a bit hard to comprehend but check this out...

Harvey Miller, 43, and Edwin Marzinske, 55, earn the honors as this week's whacky winos.  If I understand the story correctly, the two men were arrested for drunken driving…  the same vehicle.  OK, my mind was racing also, but it’s not that crazy.  It seems that old drinking buddies, Harvey and Edwin, realized they were drunk and figured better to be safe than sorry.  So Edwin asked the paraplegic (read that as a drunk dude with no use of his legs) Harvey to sit on his lap and steer their pick up truck.  Edwin felt not drunk enough to work the gas and brake pedal, but figured the limp-legged Harvey would do a better job steering.  And honking the horn...

It happened in Wisconsin and we all know why the goat cheese from Wisconsin has a special flavor.  But now it appears these two whacky party hounds figured the double vision and ocular spins would counter-balance and together they would drive home safely.  You your own jokes here...   It could be the obvious Harvey to Edwin, "hey that’s not the stick shift you are grabbing."  Or the standard, "bend over Harvey and I’ll drive you home."  But this was just straight up stupidity. 

Fortunately, the Wisconsin police have revoked both their driving privileges .  How they came to the police’s attention, besides their Ray Milland –Rosey Grier impression, was that the were clocked doing 35 mph in a 55 mph zone.  Hey Edwin, how about a little more gas? No, Harvey, you have gas enough for both of us. 

We are proud to nominate Harvey Miller and Edwin Marzinske into the whacky wino hall of fame.

WinoBob
September 7, 2007

Martha Stewart Wines?
Is that a good thing?

Rumor has it that domestic goddess and ex-con, Martha Stewart, is jumping into the wine game.  That's right, Martha Stewart (or "the Shank" as she's known in the Big House) has teamed up with uber wine company E&J Gallo Winery to launch a new line of wines bearing Martha's name.   Martha Stewart Vintage wines will appear in stores in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, N.C., Denver, Phoenix, and Portland, Ore. starting in January.

Martha's initial lineup will include a Sonoma Chard, a Sonoma Cab and a Sonoma Merlot.  Commenting on why all the new wines are from Sonoma County, an unnamed spokesperson for Martha said that Sonoma wines remind Ms. Stewart of her favorite "prison hootch" and that we should mind our own business "if we know what's good for us." 

Martha Stewart, who can throw together a lavish dinner party for 12 using only an artichoke and some roadkill, personally worked with the Gallos to do this deal.  "Ernie Gallo was looking forward to partnering with Martha to take these wines to market", said the unnamed spokesperson.  "Furthermore, there is no truth to the rumors that Ernest Gallo was opposed to partnering with Martha's company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, or that Martha personally played any role in Earnest's untimely death a few months ago."


Ernie Gallo and Martha the Shank are all smiles as they negotiate
the Martha Stewart Vintage wine deal.  Ernie is a little blurry in the photo,
mostly because he's dead.

You know once Martha's wines hit the stores, we'll be all over them.  Stay tuned!

WinoJohn
September 15, 2007

Dweebs In The Vineyard!

It seems like everyone wants to get into the wine business these days.  In addition to the long list of actors, athletes and musicians that have recently taken a stab at winemaking, there are now a host of techno-dweebs that are getting into the biz, even if it is only peripherally.  Take for example the ultimate dweeb organization, Microsoft.  Microsoft is now working with a winery called Stormhoek to make a wine just for Microsoft employees.  In what can only be described as Microsoft marketing genius, the wine is called Blue Monster Reserve.  They are still working on the final details of how they are going to deliver the wine to the dweebs who want it.  (I'm guessing that they are trying to figure out how you can download it using Internet Explorer...) 

In an unrelated case, the brain trust at Nintendo are also jumping into the wine game.  Literally.  They are releasing a wine game which can be played on the Nintendo hand-held dual screen game console.  In another example of product-naming brilliance, the Nintendo dweebs decided to name the game Beginners Wine.  How do they come up with these names???

OK, so these dweeb companies aren't exactly making wine.  Microsoft is just making wine available to their employees.  Probably not a bad thing.  The Mr. Softee dweebs could probably use some 'good' wine.  And Nintendo is simply aiming to educate the dweeb populace.  Again, not a bad thing.  Arm a dweeb with a little wine knowledge and who knows what you'll get?   Uh oh...  Wait.  We know what you'll get.  You'll get an abundance of dweeb-authored wine-related web sites.  Probably sites overrun with Photoshopped images of half-naked women and drunken stick figures...  Who would want to see more of that??? 


Future Wino/Techno-Dweebs in an early file photo...

WinoJohn
September 30, 2007

Drink Globally (and Locally)!

You know, you can always learn something new from a (former) WinoBabe of the Month.  I was reading some wine-related stuff recently when I came across an article by world-famous wine taster and former WinoBabe of the Month, Jancis Robinson.  In the article, Jancis advised her readers to "Drink Globally" to avoid developing what she calls "cellar palate".  I'm not sure exactly what she was talking about because, while I was reading the article, I started to think about WinoBabes and I got a little uhhh...  sidetracked.  I mean...  I started to think about all the research that was needed to come up with the next WinoBabe so whatever Jancis was rambling on about wasn't fully registering in my cerebral cortex.  Anyway, I think she was saying that if you continue to taste wines of a particular style, you become sort of acclimated to that style and you might not notice some of the flaws in those wines over time.  Or something like that.  

Wait, let me go plagiarize a few lines from her article...   Blah, blah, blah... Let's see...  OK, here we go...  "the palate adjusts to the special characteristics of the local wines."   She goes on to talk about having spent some time in New Zealand and, after a few days, her palate had turned green from all of the local wines.  So much so that when she tasted a Guigal Northern Rhone Syrah side by side with the NZs, she thought that it tasted flabby and overripe.  The problem was that her palate had fallen out of calibration.  She now says that she mixes it up (globally and vintage-aly) when making tasting trips.

Well, if what she says is true, I should probably drink a lot less California Cabs.  (That's not going to happen...)  BigBob should probably drink a lot less red Burgundy (doubtful) and WinoBob should drink a lot less...  well he should just drink a lot less.  That boy is a menace to society...

Click here to read exactly what Jancis had to say...

WinoJohn
October 28, 2007 

Naked in the Vineyard...

A group of Napa Valley winery owners, ranchers and winegrowers are running naked through their vineyards.  No, they are not drunk (unlike that ugly WinoBob incident a few years back!).  No, these dedicated farmers are raising money to protect the agricultural industry in the area.  They are donning their duds and getting photographed for a wall calendar that is being sold by the Napa County Farm Bureau.  And, unlike the WinoBob incident, these gentlemen are actually covering up their nether regions...


Al Wagner, vineyard manager at Clos Du Val winery,
raises a glass and drops his drawers for a good cause.
 

The idea for a wall calendar was conceived by Al Wagner of Clos Du Val.  Al convinced a bunch of his buddies that this would be a good idea.  Apparently Al's buddies were more than happy to help.  The list of "volunteers" includes many notable names in Napa winemaking.

However, as I peruse the list of Napa Valley movers and shakers that have agreed to appear on the calendar, I don't see anyone that I would really like to see move and shake... in the buff.  That is,  there are no Napa Wino Babes on the calendar.  Yo, Al, what's up with that???  You have no female friends???

Rumor has it that this will become an annual fund raiser.  If so, I expect to see some winemakers of the female persuasion in next year's version!

To order your $18 calendar of half-naked dudes, visit www.napauncovered.com.  Keep in mind, they are all DUDES! 

WinoJohn
November 10, 2007 

Bloated Dork Spouts Off...
again...

World-famous bloated wine writer, Limey Dork Hugh Johnson recently opened his mouth and the hole in the ozone layer got a little bit bigger.  This time, the dorkmeister is telling the wine world that "vintages don't matter any more."   According to a recent blurb on Decanter.com, Hugh was preaching to some UK lemmings when he declared that numerous techniques have been developed by wine growers to ensure that their crops are no longer ruined by bad weather or diseases. He claims that any year is now a good one for drinkers.

Personally, I wish that was the case.  However, I'm afraid that the former WinoBabe's speedo is a little too tight and it has cut off the blood flow to his brain(s).


Bloated Dork Hugh Johnson enjoys the weather
even though weather is now meaningless 

In fact, if Hugh's hypothesis was correct, I could grow world-class cabernet sauvignon in the side yard of the WinoJohn estate in northern New Jersey.  I could then sell this world class cab and make enough money to pay for The Wife's shoe addiction or put the kids through college.  (One or the other.)  But I don't see that happening, Hugh.  So shut the f*@% up!

Whew...  Where did all that anger come from?  Sorry about that.  (To the readers, not to the King of all Dorks.)

I think I'm just upset that Hugh is spouting off this craziness in an attempt to sell yet another Pocket Wine Guide, this time the 2008 version.  Like the world needs another Hugh Johnson Pocket Wine Guide.  Although, here's a thought...  If vintages no longer matter, then every vintage from any given producer would taste the same...   Then the world wouldn't need bloated wine writers much less their updated 2008 wine guide...  Maybe there is some merit to this insanity...

If you want to read Johnson's full explanation of his proclamation, pick up the January issue of Decanter magazine.

WinoJohn
November 17, 2007 

Wino of the Week

Yes, friends, once again we need to recognize the efforts of a true wino.  (If you recall, we only occasionally name a Wino of the Week.  His/her efforts, while monumental, may not necessarily involve wine but they certainly involve alcohol.)  This week, the honor goes to an unnamed German airline passenger.  Because he is unnamed, we'll just call him WinoWilhelm.  This is his story...

Wilhelm was on his way home to Dresden, Germany from somewhere in Egypt.  He had a layover in Nuremburg.  Apparently, for some unknown reason, he felt compelled to exit the security area to go buy a bottle of vodka.  Now this may seem hardcore, leaving the security area of an airport in search of some libation, but that's certainly not enough to earn you WotW honors.  No, my friends, you have to go the extra mile to get recognized on this dopey site...

On his way back to the gate, WinoWilhelm had to go back through the security check and, as luck would have it, the security guard told him that he could not bring more than a few ounces of liquid on to the plane.  Any idiot who has traveled in the last few years knows that...  Well, apparently not this idiot.  The guard told the guy that he could either throw the bottle in the trash or put it in his checked baggage. 

I guess you don't just tell a German dude what to do, at least not this German dude...  Unhappy with the choices presented to him,  WinoWilhelm decided to drink the vodka.  An entire liter of vodka.  Right there in security line...  Nice move, Willy!!!

While this may not seem like a lot of alcohol to a professional wino like WinoBob (whom I have seen down a quart of Vodka as a chaser after a few cold brewskies...), it may just be a little too much for your average consumer.

When Wilhelm came to, he was in a Nuremburg hospital being treated for possible alcohol poisoning. 

Our hats are off to you, Wilhelm.  You are our Wino of the Week!

WinoJohn
December 20, 2007 
 

Women Drinking More!

According to an article in the Daily Mail, women are now unwittingly drinking more alcohol (as if that's a bad thing...?).  Yes, according to the DM, "Millions of middle-class women are drinking far more alcohol than they thought" due in part to "the trend towards larger wine glasses."  This means that, "up to a third of women are drinking beyond safe limits every week - much higher than previous estimates."

 Apparently, there is also some correlation between income and alcohol consumption but we reported on that years ago.  (Missed that article?  Click here...)  Let's stay focused, people, chicks are drinking more and the Daily Mail is blabbing this fact to the whole world.

Let's take a look at some facts:

  1. Guys have been trying to get women to drink more for centuries.  In that pursuit, we invented White Zinfandel, appletinis, low carb/low calorie wine and Pinot Noir.  We also invented oversize wine glasses.  We wouldn't go to all this trouble for ourselves...

  2. Official "Man Law" has established a whole list of reasons why larger glasses are better than small glasses (just in case women or nosey reporters start asking questions...):

    1. Size doesn't matter

    2. Large glasses are more of a convenience.  You don't have to get up as often to refill your glass. 

    3. Large glasses provide better aeration of the beverage

    4. Large glasses facilitate better enjoyment of the aroma of the wine

    5. Size doesn't matter  (I know that I repeated reason a.) above but this is an important point!)

  3. Our plan seems to be working and now the Daily Mail is spilling the beans.  (Keep in mind that the Daily Mail appears to be some kind of UK-based cyber publication.  The UK is the homeland of bloated Limey dork, Hugh Johnson...)

So, ladies, let's not focus on the size of the vessel.  Let's get back to the consumption.  It's all good...


WinoStuff Senior Wine Instructor, WinoBob,
teaches a wine class for women...

WinoJohn
January 21, 2008

Watch out, British Women...

In a move that can only be described as "groundbreaking" (or "visionary" or maybe even "revolutionary"), a French wine merchant has developed a new lineup of wines that will be marketed to..., get this..., they will market these wines to WOMEN!  According to Decanter.com, France is not marketing these wines to just any women, they are targeting British women!!!  What!!!???  What are they doing over there in France???  Who's crazy idea was this???  Somebody is going to get fired over this!  Heads will roll, damn it, heads will roll!

Wait...  It seems that someone else already thought it would be a good idea to market wine to women.  Who was this other visionary?  Oh yeah, every other respectable wine producing nation in the world.  Heck, even WinoStuff reported on the trend to market wine to women and we're rarely sober!  We get all our breaking news by plagiarizing other people's breaking news and we "broke" this story years ago.  (Don't believe me?  Click here...)

So it would appear that once again, France is setting a new trend in the wine world, even if it's only in their own minds.  They are breaking new ground, blazing new trails.  In fact, rumor has it that France will begin allowing wine producers to use modern wine making techniques!!  That's right, winos, France is entering a new era in winemaking.  It just happens to be an era the rest of the world entered about 40 years ago.  Wood chips in the fermentation tank, chaptalization in weak vintages, grape varietal on the label...  any of these banned practices are possible if they venture too far down this slippery slope.  

So stay tuned to WinoStuff for the latest breaking news in Frances changing wine production laws.  As soon as some real wine site or some respectable wine journalist writes an article on it, we'll "break" it here!

WinoJohn
January 27, 2008

Stunning Victory on Super Sunday!

The critics said it couldn't happen.  No one gave him a chance.  But sometimes miracles do happen.  And so it was this past weekend.  The underdog came out victorious.  And no, I'm not talking about the New York Giants' Super Bowl victory.  No, I'm talking about the Super Bowl Inflatable Chair raffle at the local A&P Liquor Warehouse store.  Here's the story...

I, WinoJohn (otherwise known as a "professional loser"), was shopping for a little vino for the Annual WinoJohn Super Bowl Extravaganza and Beer/Wine Fest.  (Note: I'm not supposed to use the words "Super Bowl" or the NFL could slap me with a big fine and take away my license to hold future Extravaganzii.  Maybe they could take away my children, too.  I'm not sure.)  Anyway, I was preparing for the Annual Super Bowl Extravaganza so I stopped in to the A&P Liquor Warehouse when who should I run into except Brian "The Badman" Badlowski.  The B-man was working with a hot little A&P WinoChick putting the finishing touches on some kind of A&P Super Bowl Stuff Giveaway.  There were only seconds left for me to fill out an entry form and get in on the big giveaway.  The top prize was, can you believe it, an official Miller Lite Super Party inflatable chair.  God, was she beautiful...  The chair wasn't bad, either.


The Grand Prize...

So I filled out my entry form, grabbed a couple bottles of red and headed back to the modest WinoJohn estate to continue the preparations for the Extravaganza.  About two hours later, the phone rings and it's The Badman.  He informs me that, against all odds and against his better judgment, the hot little A&P WinoChick picked my name out of the hat.  Can you believe it?  I won the grand prize!!!  I am NOT a loser!!  I am now the proud owner of one fine piece of heirloom-quality inflatable furniture.  Future Super Bowl Extravaganzas will never be the same...


WinoJohn asleep in The Grand Prize
during halftime of The Big Game...

Thanks to A&P, Miller Brewing Co., Brian B. and especially to the hot little A&P WinoChick!

WinoJohn
February 4, 2008 

A little nip of vino...

Here's something you don't see every  day...

The whacky internet retailer, Firebox.com, has announced a new breakthrough in sports bra technology (and who doesn't love a good sports bra?).  Yes, my wino friends, Firebox has come up with an ingenious sports bra with a polyurethane bladder which can hold, get this..., an entire bottle of wine.  These guys are geniuses.  Seriously...

 

They call this thing The Wine Rack.  Again, total genius.  Now you (well "you" if you're a chick.  Or one of "those" dudes...) can smuggle a little vino into the big game without fear of getting caught.  Of course, it has an attached drinking tube so that you can discreetly take a little nip from the rack, if you know what I mean...

Our hats are off to you, Firebox.  This is truly a breakthrough product! 


Ewww...  You had to see this one coming...
WinoBob takes The Wine Rack for a test drive...

WinoJohn
February 23, 2008

Le Nez d'Or

From the "Was That Really Necessary?" department comes this news blurb...

Lloyd's of London, the famous British insurance conglomerate, has insured the nose of a French wine maker for 5 million euros (that's about $7.9 million).  The policy covers the Bordeaux producer against the loss of his nose and sense of smell (but apparently, not against the loss of his mind...). 

Ilja Gort, the owner of Chateau de la Garde in Bordeaux and producer of Tulipe Wines, said his nose could distinguish millions of different scents and was essential to guarantee the quality of his wines.

This whole issue raises several important questions (besides the obvious, "What the hell was he thinking?")

  1. How does one place a value on a French guy's nose?

  2. What happens if he gets in a fight and surrenders just after getting punched in his well-insured proboscis?

  3. I Googled "Chateau de la Garde" and "Tulipe Wine" and all I could find was articles about this guy insuring his honker.  What does that tell you about the importance or quality of his wines???

On an unrelated note, several other wine industry notables have taken out insurance policies on some of their body parts.


Massive alcohol consumption could compromise WinoBob's liver.  He has insured it for $50 gazillion


Massive Pinot Noir consumption could compromise BigBob's testicles.  He has them insured for $1.75.

 

WinoJohn
March 23, 2008 
 

Shenanigans in Montalcino? 
Say it ain't so!!!

Last week, reports of fraud, yes FRAUD, began to surface in one of my favorite wine making regions. Get this, people, several big name winemakers in Montalcino including Antinori, Frescobaldi, Argiano and Castello Banfi are being investigated for allegedly adding as much as 1% cabernet or merlot to their precious sangiovese in direct violation of local law.  1%!!!  Yes, one friggin' percent!!!  What are those vintners thinking???

By law, Brunello di Montalcino must be made 100% from the Brunello clone of Sangiovese. Furthermore, aging requirements dictate that Brunellos are to be aged in wood for 2 years and at least 4 months in a bottle before release.

Vintners are particularly worried that this scandal could tarnish the reputation of Brunello di Montalcino during this, the Year of the Sangiovese (as declared by the staff of WinoStuff.com).  Unnamed sources (god, I love 'unnamed sources') told WinoStuff's Director of Big Red Wines that "...the quality of Brunello...is still very much intact. The promise...to the consumer remains valid and unquestioned, but {producers} have been caught in crossfire between warring factions in what amounts to a political disgrace." 

I'm not sure exactly what he meant by that but I assume that by "political disgrace", he meant that  Hillary Clinton is somehow involved.  I don't know...

News reports indicate that hundreds of thousands of bottles of top Brunello have been impounded and the sale of the 2003 vintage has been suspended pending an investigation. 

In response to this critical threat to the very foundation of Italian winemaking, WinoStuff.com has magnanimously opened their labs for analysis of any and all high end Brunellos.  Brunello winemakers are encouraged to send a few cases (hey, one bottle is no proof of purity.  It takes several cases...!) of their best Brunellos to:

WinoStuff Red Wine Purity Tasting Testing Labs
PO Box 64
Caldwell, NJ 07006

Do it now before your reputation is irreparably harmed!!!

WinoJohn
April 19, 2008 

Wino of the Week

Everyone has a dream, something you want to do with your life.  Sometimes, that dream is just slightly out of your reach for whatever reason.  In the case of Charles Ray Fuller of Crowley, Texas, that dream was to start a record business.  The problem was Charlie had no scratch...

So, being an enterprising young 21-year-old, Charlie decided to "borrow" the money from his girlfriend's mother, Paula Prettyman.  According to reports, the Chuckmeister got his hands on a check, forged Prettyman's signature and it was off to the bank to cash the check.

The plans was foolproof.  You go to the bank, hand them the check, collect the cash, and voila, you're in the record business.  Now Charlie realized he might only get one shot at this little check forging scheme and he wanted to make sure he got enough money on his first attempt so he filled out the check for...  the tidy little sum of...  Three hundred and sixty BILLION dollars!!!  That's $360,000,000,000.00.!!!  I can't imagine how he got caught... ???

 

The alert bank teller sensed something was amiss.  Unnamed sources quote the teller as saying, "I was pretty sure that the only living person who could afford to write a $360 billion check is WinoWally but I called Ms. Prettyman anyway.  She said that she did not write that check!" 

Seriously, do you really have to make that call?

It should be noted that Mr. Fuller was not reported to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of his arrest.  (He did have some marijuana and a handgun.)  So why did the crack staff of 'Stuff award Charles this honor?  Well obviously, you have to have killed many, many brain cells over a long period of time to even think you can go into a bank and walk out with $360 extra large.  Therefore, Charlie Fuller, you are WinoStuff's Wino of the Week!

WinoJohn
May 4, 2008 

Robert Mondavi Dead at 94

California winemaking pioneer, Robert Mondavi, died yesterday at the age of 94.  He was a true giant in the wine world, leaving an established family business and starting his own winery in 1966.  He ultimately grew the Robert Mondavi Winery into a multi-billion dollar conglomerate.  He, perhaps more than anyone else, put California on the map in the wine world.

 
Robert Mondavi

May he rest in peace.

WinoJohn
May 17, 2008

Drink American

This weekend, we once again remember those brave Americans who sacrificed so much so that we can enjoy the freedoms of the greatest country in the world.  As you think about what to drink at your Memorial Day barbeque, think American.  From Napa to Washington to New York, there are some fabulous American wines being produced in the US today.  Take pride in drinking American.

 
Arlington National Cemetery

And if you happen to see a member of our military forces, say "Thank You".

WinoJohn
May 17, 2008

The Times They Are a Changin'

With apologies to Bob Dylan, France has declared that "The Times They Are A Changin'".  So to speak...

According to Decanter.com, last week the French government announced a five year plan to modernize the wine industry in France.  (They obviously read WinoStuff.com and they recognize that things need to change over there in Frogtown if they want to compete in the world wine market.)  You're welcome, Frenchies.

Among other "sweeping" changes, France announced that their wines will now fall into one of three categories:

  • Vignobles de France, or Wines of France replacing "vin de table" wines

  • Indication Géographique Protégée, or Protected Geographical Region which will replace "vin de pays", and

  • AOP or Appellation d'Origine Protégée which corresponds to the existing AOC category

Damn, now there's some "out of the box" thinking!  Set up some "Categories" for your wines.  That will help sell more!  The first new category is so generic that every French wine falls into it.  And correct me if I'm wrong here but it would seem that all three new categories are simply new names for old categories!  And the French wonder why they are falling behind...

In their defense, the French government will now allow Wines of France to be made with some of the "cheaper winemaking techniques already adopted by the New World, including the use of oak chips, the addition of tannins and sorbic acid as a preservative, and sweetening using concentrated grape juice must."  Yeah...  Cut some corners.  That should help your position in the world markets!

Apparently, the French government really isn't listening to the crack team of Marketing Geniuses at WinoStuff.com.  They still do not allow advertising or selling of wine on the INTERNET!!!  Hell, without the Internet, there would be no WinoStuff!!!  I believe that the French government has authorized a study to see if sales of wine on the internet is viable and if it will help France to sell more wine.  Jeez...  They need a study to determine what the rest of the world has known since Al Gore invented the Internet? 

C'mon, France.  Let's get with the program...

WinoJohn
June 2, 2008 
  

Prince Charles Goes Green (or Red?)

According to a recent report on CNN.com, the Prince of Wales has converted many of his personal vehicles to run on biofuels in order to reduce the royal family's carbon foot print.  According to the report, Prince Charles converted his Aston Martin to run on biofuel made from surplus wine. The juice for the princely bioethanol comes from wine that remains after English wine producers reach the EU limit for annual wine production.  The wine is from a winery close to Chuck's Highgrove Estate.

In addition to PC's green Aston Martin, the future King of the Brits has converted several Jaguars, an Audi and a Range rover to run on biofuel made from used cooking oil.  Oh yeah, the "royal train" has also been converted to run on biofuel.  Here's a hint, your highness, lose the train.  Maybe a couple of the cars, too.  Then you can portray yourself as going green...

There appears to be no truth to the rumor that the royal jet has been converted to run on the enormous bioexhaust emanating from Limey Dork Hugh Johnson.  But it's an interesting concept.

We applaud your efforts, Charles, but it would appear that there are miles to go before you sleep...  (whatever that means...).


Prince Charles enjoys some "biofuel" with close friends...

WinoJohn
July 3, 2008 
  

French Maid is French Made...

In an ongoing effort to market wines with catchy names to a new generation of wine drinkers, the California company called White Rocket has partnered with the Bonfils family of Languedoc, France to bring a new "hip" wine to the Millenial Generation.  The wines are called French Maid and are crafted by Melissa Bates who says that the wines "seductively marry Old World winemaking traditions with the New World style of lush fruit, smooth tannins and savory oak."

The French Maid lineup will include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.   White Rocket also markets other tasty catchy brands such as Geode, Horse Play, AutoMoto, Pepi, Silver Palm, Camelot, Dog House, Rays Station, Tiz Red and Tin Roof Cellars. 

Now I'm no marketing genius (unlike those brainoids at White Rocket) and so I would be very curious as to what might appear on the labels of the new French Maid wines.  I certainly hope it's not something like this...


Ewww...  You knew this was coming.
This won't sell much wine...

 

WinoJohn
July 12, 2008 
   

Winos of the Week!

As you may recall, every once in a while, I come across a news blurb which involves some kind of deviant behavior on the part of an intoxicated individual.  When that happens, WinoStuff recognizes that individual with the "honor" of being named Wino of the Week.  The winner does not have to have performed his or her feat after consuming wine per se.  You can qualify with any alcohol-induced abberrant behavior.  Also, I don't do this every week because, frankly, WinoBob would earn Wino of the Week honors 9 out of 10 weeks.  

This week, I stumbled on a headline that caught my attention.  The headline screamed, "Men sentenced for setting friend's crotch ablaze."  OK, that was enough to pique my curiosity.  I was pretty sure alcohol was involved.   Check this out...

According to the article, two men are now behind bars for setting their passed-out buddy's crotch on fire after a night of drinking in Grover Beach, CA.  It seems that the buddy, Elliot Tuleja, was passed out when the two men poured cologne on the man's groin and set him on fire.  AAAHHHHH!!!!!  According to the news report, Tuleja suffered second-degree burns on his testicles.

Elliot's friends, Matthew Pillers and Jack Keiffer, pleaded no contest to a felony great bodily injury charge. Pillers was sentenced to two years in prison and Keiffer got 45 days in the slammer.

Now, to me, these guys got off easy.  The poor victim here was heinously violated.  The dude had second degree burns!  On his testicles!!!    How do you get over that?  What about the scarring???  What about the itch during healing???  What about the stench of singed pubic hair???  That's something you don't just "get over"...


Police artist's rendering of the crime scene...

Here's a special warning to all my drinking buddies:  If I ever wake up after a night of extreme festing and I find that someone has doused my nether regions with an accelerant and torched my boys, I'm going to be upset...   VERY upset...   Prison will be the least of your concerns...  You have been forewarned!!!

WinoJohn
July 26, 2008 
  

Bigfoot Evidence!

Two men from Georgia had their lives changed last week when they stumbled upon...  you guessed it...  a BIGFOOT!  Now, we have all heard stories of Bigfoot sightings.  There are multitudes of fuzzy videos that purport to document the evidence but these two guys from Georgia have proof.  They have a BODY!!!

Matt Whitton and Rick Dyer have gone public with their discovery (after connecting with professional Bigfoot tracker, Tom Biscardi).  This dynamic duo held a press conference during which they shared pictures of their dead Yehti with hordes of interested media.  They have even gone so far as to allow DNA testing (which, by the way, proved that the body was either human, possum or something unknown).  What they didn't share with the media was the actual body.  This fact raises several important questions:

  1. Exactly how much moonshine do you have to consume before you stumble upon a Bigfoot?

  2. Exactly how much paint do you have to inhale before you attend a press conference by someone who found a Bigfoot?

  3. If you stumble upon something that resembles Bigfoot, is your first reaction to take it home and throw it in your meat freezer?

  4. What wine do you pair with a Bigfoot?

To answer this last question, we turn to noted wine/food pairing expert (and owner of a couple big feet of his own), Dreyfus Ashby's own BigBob Ferdon.

"Pinot Noir pairs well with young Sasquatch which tastes a bit like chicken.  But if the beast is more than 10 or 12 years old, the meat can become a bit 'gamey' and you need to move up to a nice Argentinean Malbec."


BigBob relaxes with a nice Bigfoot steak...

So there you have it, winos.  Malbec and Bigfoot.  A taste sensation made in heaven.  Or Jethroville. 

WinoJohn
August 18, 2008

Washington Gold?

Decanter.com reports that huge chunks of vineyard land are being bought up and converted to marijuana farms by organized crime-types and other ne'er-do-wells.  According to Decanter, police in the Yakima Valley, Washington's oldest wine region and one of the state's largest vineyard areas, have raided seven vineyards so far this year. All had been converted to marijuana production – a significantly more profitable crop than the Chardonnay for which the region is better known.  Around 110,000 cannabis plants worth around US$100M have been seized this year alone.  

According to the Associated Press, the vineyards are bought by organized crime members living in Mexico. The vineyards are then registered under fictitious names, or those of relatives, to avoid suspicion or investigation.


Two Washington "winemakers" look over their crop...

On an unrelated note, WinoBob has been on "leave of absence" while he tours the wine regions of the Pacific Northwest...

WinoJohn
September 7, 2008 
 

Celebrity Train Wreck of the Week

Often times, celebrities will remind us that it's tough to be rich.  And famous.  And beautiful. All those things that the rest of America works hard for every day can be the cause of real depression to some of this country's elite. This week, we recognize the efforts of one of Hollywood's most beautiful stars to remind us that we are better off being poor.  And unknown.  And ugly.

Having been in and out of rehab (like that narrows it down), this Hollywood star has battled depression and substance abuse (again, could be anyone...).  This week, our Celebrity Train Wreck of the Week finally had enough.  She decided to stop driving while intoxicated once and for all.  Unfortunately, she decided this while driving.  And intoxicated.  So she parked her car, right there on the highway, and exited the vehicle.  Do we applaud her for recognizing the dangers of DUI or do we chastise her for adding to LA's traffic woes.  We report, you decide...

 This Week's CTWotW has been a fixture in our living rooms.  She starred in such classics as T.J. Hooker,  Dynasty, The Return of the Swamp Thing, Melrose Place and Spin City.  She now appears to be spinning out of control.  Yes this week we honor one of our favorite boob-tube babes, the former Mrs. Ritchie Sambora, Heather Locklear!


The lovely and talented Heather Locklear
doesn't look too bad in her mug shot...

So hang in there, Heather.  Previous WinoStuff Celebrity Train Wrecks of the Week have nothing on you.

WinoJohn
September 29, 2008

Golf and Vino

What is it about golf that makes people think that they can make wine?  There are dozens of well known professional golfers that have ventured into the wine game.  Greg Norman, Arnold Palmer, Ernie Els, and Nick Faldo have all taken the plunge.  I'm not sure any of them are making a lot of money much less great wine.

Enter Annika Sorenstam.  The most dominant player in the history of women's golf recently announced that she is partnering with Wente Vineyards to create an "Annika" namesake wine brand.  Annika (the wine) will be an ultra-premium Central Coast syrah.  Annika (the wine) is scheduled for release in May of 2009.  Annika (the wine) is not cheap.  She will have a suggested retail price of $75.

So what's so special about this latest announcement you may ask?  (Go ahead.  Ask me...)  Well, I'll tell you.  It's like this.  The idea of Annika Sorenstam making big red wines makes me all tingly.  You see,  Swedish women, golf and big red wines are 3 out of the 4 ingredients in the elusive WinoJohn Grand Slam hedonism fantasy.  Throw in some aged sirloin and, voila, nirvana! 

Uhhh...  Sorry.  (Note to self:  You don't have to write everything that rattles around in your empty head...) 


Annika gets a little wine (and putting) advice from WinoBob

So we wish Annika (the golfer) and Wente the best of luck in their new venture.  And, Wente people, if you would like us to taste Annika (the wine), tell Annika (the golfer) to bring a few bottles by the corporate offices of WinoStuff.com.  And bring a couple sirloins...

WinoJohn
October 24, 2008 
 

Wine and Taxes

Suppose that every day, ten winos go out for a few glasses of wine and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

 

The first four winos (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.

The sixth would pay $3.

The seventh would pay $7.

The eighth would pay $12.

The ninth would pay $18.

The tenth and richest wino (probably WinoWally) would pay $59.

 

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten winos drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily wine by $20."  Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

 

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four winos were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six winos - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share'?

 

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from each wino's share, then the fifth wino and the sixth wino would each end up being paid to drink wine. So, the bar owner suggested a fair method to reduce each wino's bill and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

 

And so:

The fifth wino, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).

The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).

And the tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (17% savings).

 

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the winos began to compare their savings.  "I only saved a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth wino. He pointed to the tenth wino," but he saved $10!"

 

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth wino. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he saved ten times more than I!"

 

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh wino. "Why should he save $10 when  I saved only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

 

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four winos in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

 

The nine winos surrounded the tenth wino and beat him up.

 

The next night, the tenth wino didn't show up for wine, so the nine sat down and had wine without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

 

And that, my wino friends, is how our  tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.

 

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.

For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

WinoJohn
November 1, 2008 
   

Wine and Heavy Metal (not Music)...

Here’s a little disturbing news for those of us that consume the “occasional” glass of wine…

According to an article published in the Chemistry Central Journal, most wines contain high levels of metal ions which can lead to serious medical problems such as Parkinson’s Disease, neurological problems and cancer.  What the...?  Where did this come from?  Correct me if I’m wrong here, WinoBob, but this is NOT good news…

The two authors of the article, Professor Declan Naughton and Doctor Andrea Petróczi from Kingston University, South West London, carried out the study, using information developed by the United States' Environmental Protection Agency for the estimation of potential health risks associated with long-term exposure to environmental pollutants. This Target Hazard Quotient (THQ) supposedly gives an indication of the health risk based on published upper safe limits for various chemicals. A THQ below 1.0 is considered to be non-hazardous. According to Professor Naughton, "The THQ … incorporates several assumptions, such as maximum absorption of ingested metal ions and lifetime exposures."

Naughton and Petróczi found that THQ values for most wines are well above the value of 1.0 and thus are of concern.  Typical potential maximum THQ values ranged from 50 to 200, with Hungarian and Slovakian wines reaching 300.  Interestingly, the THQ values for both red and white wines were found to be high.  Only wines from Argentina, Brazil and Italy did not pose a potential health risk owing to metals.

I was so upset by this news that I shared the article with the brain trust in the WinoStuff Heavy Metals Testing Lab and they informed me of some interesting facts.  Most importantly, the article in question is titled Heavy Metal Ions in Wines: Meta-analysis of Target Hazard Quotients Reveal Health Risks.  "Yeah, so what?" you might say.  Well, if you were an uber scientist like the boys in the lab, you would know that "meta-analysis" isn't like real science.  According to Answers.com, 'meta-analysis' is “the process or technique of synthesizing research results by using various statistical methods to retrieve, select, and combine results from previous separate but related studies."  Blah, blah, blah.  The important take away is that the research is synthesized.  As in "fabricated".  The two authors of the article didn’t do any actual research!!!  They just collected some data from other scientific sources and drew some conclusions!  Shit, I could do that!!  In fact, I do that all the time.   It’s what I like to call “making stuff up’. 

I feel much better now.  Could you imagine if this heavy metal thing was true what the impact could be on WinoBob’s health? 

(Note to self:  Cut out the Hungarian and Slovakian wines, just in case…)

WinoJohn
November 9, 2008

Celebrity Politician Train Wreck of the Week!

When we first launched our news feature, Wino of the Week, we had not anticipated the inevitable.  Yes, celebrities love to over-imbibe and make fools of themselves.  Thus, Celebrity Train Wreck of the Week was born.  Back then, no one would have guessed that politicians may also go that extra mile and become a total train wreck in public.  Well, apparently it happens.  So we are proud to offer a special POLITICIAN version of Celebrity Train Wreck of the Week which we have so cleverly named Politician Train Wreck of the Week.  (WinoBob, seriously, who thinks this shit up?) 

Like our two other world-famous "... of the Week" features, Politician Train Wreck of the Week will not necessarily appear every week.  Let's hope, for the sake of our government (and our country), that we don't have weekly nominees...

And our inaugural PTWotW?  Well it's none other than Jersey City, New Jersey Councilman, Steven Lipski.  Woo hoo!!  Yipee!!  Way to represent, Steve!!!  Bringin' honor back to the Garden State!!!

So, just what did this fine representative of New Jersey's Democratic party do in order to earn this less-than-prestigious honor?  Well, check this out...  Councilman Lipski allegedly got hammered at a rock concert and urinated off the balcony on to a crowd of fellow concert goers down below.  (I use the term allegedly because Mr. Lipski could be a lawyer and we used all the money in our legal budget to get the 'drunk and disorderly' charges against WinoBob dropped.  Again.)   While Mr. Lipski denies actually pissing on anyone, he was arrested for simple assault.  Mr. Lipski claims that he simply "spilled his drink".  He also vowed to stop drinking...


Politician Train Wreck of the Week
Jersey City Councilman, Steven Lipski

So, Mr. Lipski, congratulations on being named our first ever Politician Train Wreck of the Week.  The big money in Vegas was betting on Ted Kennedy but you stunned them all.  Let's just hope that there were no members of your constituency in the audience below...

WinoJohn
November 14, 2008 
 

Wino of the Week!

Here’s one for the Wino Hall of Fame…

A 21-year-old wino named Roy Travis Aguilar was arrested by the New Mexico State Police for “aggravated” DWI, evading arrest, careless driving and a host of other traffic violations after police spotted him swerving all over the highway and nearly colliding with several vehicles.  While DWI is intolerable, it’s not enough to earn you Wino of the Week honors.  No, Mr. Aguilar took it up a notch.  Or three…

It’s bad enough that Roy was driving drunk, but the story doesn’t end there.  No, Roy has the dubious honor of having his police chase recorded on the police cruiser’s dashboard camera.  The whole thing is now posted on various internet sites which probably includes YouTube.  Way to go, Roy!!!

What?  You still don’t think Roy deserves Wino of the Week honors?  Well, how about this…?  When police finally arrested him, they found a half gallon bottle of vodka in his truck and the driver’s seat was soaked in urine.  He peed all over himself!!  Now that’s funny! 

Oh…  you want more?  OK…  Here’s the kicker.  When Roy finally stopped his truck after a 10 minute chase, he threw the truck in PARK and fell out of the vehicle.  The problem is that the truck was not actually in PARK.  Roy fell out of the truck and onto the ground…  and the truck proceeded to run him over.  Roy Travis Aguilar could be the first drunk to actually run himself over while driving under the influence.  Now that’s worthy of WotW honors!

So congratulations, Roy.  You are a friggin’ idiot.  Allow me to recap:

  • You get caught Driving While Intoxicated

  • You are so drunk, you piss all over yourself

  • You run yourself over

  • And your entire excellent adventure is caught on camera (and posted on the internet for all of us to enjoy)

Your mother must be very proud…

Want to see Roy in action?  Check this out...
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=37c_1227678310

WinoJohn
November 27, 2008 

Celebrity Train Wreck of the Week!

This is just so ridiculous, I don't even know what to say...

You go into a bar.  You are escorted into the VIP section.  You are enjoying the music and a little alcoholic beverage.  Then, oops...   Your handgun starts to slip out of the waistband of your sweatpants.  You grab for it and accidentally pull the trigger.  It discharges into your thigh.  OUCH!!!  That's gonna leave a mark...

This little brain fart costs you your career, millions of dollars and possibly 3½ years of your life.

Good call...


NY Giants star receiver, Plaxico Burress, redefines stupidity...

WinoJohn
December 7, 2008

Claudia Schiffer's Boob Bowl

Here's some interesting boob-related wine-related news...

Famous German designer, Karl Lagerfeld, has designed a crystal bowl for the noted Champagne house, Moët & Chandon.  The bowl is designed to pay homage to... get this... Claudia Schiffer's breasts!  Yeah, that's right, one of Claudia Schiffer's boobs has been immortalized in crystal and is available for sale.  You can't make this shit up...

The breast-inspired bowl is supposed to be a modern interpretation of a bowl that was made for Marie Antoinette back in 1787. Legend has it that it was the exact size of one of her breasts and was the model for the well-known cup-shaped Champagne glass. Lagerfeld's design places the Schiffer breast on top of three porcelain Dom Pérignon bottles.  This entire creation is sold along with a bottle of 1995 Dom Pérignon Oenothèque for the nominal sum of $3,150 each.  That's more than three grand for one boob.  Two breasts will cost you approximately twice as much...


The Lagerfeld Schiffer-Boob Memorial Bowl

You know, if I had designed a bowl to resemble some famous celebrity's boob, I would get sued and probably thrown in jail.  There would certainly be a restraining order.  This Lagerfeld dude does it and he's a genius.  It's just not fair...

And, WinoBob, before you ask, the answer is NO.  You cannot buy Claudia Schiffer's boobs and call it a "business expense".  

WinoJohn
December 14, 2008

Santa Gets Sleigh-jacked!

There are unconfirmed reports that Santa may not have been able to complete his round-the-world gift-giving mission this year.  News reports indicate that children from Australia to northern New Jersey all received their gifts but sources tell the WinoStuff news team that Santa may actually have been sleigh-jacked somewhere in the area of Caldwell, New Jersey. 

Norad, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, has been tracking the sleigh and fighter jets have been scrambled to bring down the perpetrator of this heinous crime.  Stay tuned to WinoStuff.com for the latest on this breaking story...


Norad jets have spotted Santa's sleigh.  Let's hope this perpetrator can be brought to a swift (and unnecessarily violent) justice!

Merry Christmas to you and yours from the geeks at 'Stuff!

WinoJohn
December 25, 2008 
 

US Overtakes France in the UK

According to those wine geniuses over at decanter.com, US wine sales topped French wine sales in the UK retail market this year.  Here are a few actual facts (as opposed to the crap that I usually just make up...):

  • Sales of American wine in British retail stores grew 5% to £781m through November 2008, while French wine sales fell 3% to £780m.

  • US unit volumes also increased. America sold 15.6m cases versus France's 14.5m - an increase of 3% compared with a drop of 7%.

  • Ninety-five per cent of the American wines are produced in California.

  • One hundred per cent of the French wines are produced in France.  (OK.  I made that one up.)

  • France is now third in wine sales in the UK.  Australia has ranked first for the last five years, with 23% of the market. Italy is fourth, having been overtaken by California back in 2003.

  • Crucial to the success of US wines is California rosé, which has become a hit with women in Britain. Sales of Cali rosé went up by 17% in the year through October.  French rosé, on the other hand, slipped by 9% in volume and 5% in value.

Predictably, French wine industry spokespeople have responded with excuses.  "Wine sales volumes are not an indication of quality", is the most common response by the Frog elite.  (I can almost hear BigBob mutter those very words right now...)  "US wines are more successful because US companies spend more on advertising" or "WTF do a bunch of British women know, anyway?" are also common responses. 

Well, I for one salute the US wine industry.  We damn Yanks seem to know what the consumer wants and how to make it.  Viva la Yanks!

WinoJohn
December 30, 2008 
    


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