$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ALL THE RUMOURS, MYTHS, & WEIRD WINE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ AND FOOD STORIES YOU CAN HANDLE.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$SS "NO MATTER HOW CYNICAL I GET, I CAN NEVER KEEP UP" (Lily Tomlin)

******************************* WINNER OF THREE MAJOR SPIFFY AWARDS FOR WINE SATIRE !!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Access to Ontario Restaurants Needed by Non-VQA Ontario Wineries



RELEASE # 4, August 2008


Please forward this to anyone you think may be interested or contact your choice of news provider.




Significant and increasing acreage of 100% Ontario grown wines are not Vintners Quality Alliance certified.  A VQA wine sold to a restaurant receives preferential financial treatment which results in a significantly higher return to the winery.    Non-VQA wines delivered to a restaurant by a winery are treated as a sale to the LCBO.  The difference in the two treatments can amount to more than a third of the total retail value – perhaps $340 on the sale of $1,000 to a restaurant.  This is money "earned" by LCBO even though they do not make the wine, make the sale, deliver the wine or pay any of the costs involved.  Small wineries making 100% Ontario non-VQA wine cannot afford this disadvantage. 


VQA in Ontario will not sanction any wine made from anything but grapes or any of the increasingly large acreages of hybrid vines that are now growing in many portions of southern and Central Ontario.  In British Columbia 100% BC grown wines sold directly to a restaurant – VQA or not – are taxed the same.  Are we really that far behind BC?


This is obviously discriminatory.  Consumers are asking small wineries why they cannot find their wines in local restaurants.  Ontario wineries need equal tax treatment.  OVA calls upon the Ontario government to allow all 100% Ontario wines and ciders to be sold to licensees under the same rules. 


The Ontario Viniculture Association welcomes all interested parties to join with us. 

Ontario Viniculture Association

Jim Warren


Larry Paterson



Vice President





OVA is an organization which has 45 Winery members as of this information release. 

A minimum of 80% of this membership voted in favour of providing this information.


Please communicate your thoughts by emailing any of the following:


Liberal Party – Dalton McGuinty dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Conservative Party – John Tory john.tory@pc.ola.org

New Democratic Party – Howard Hampton hhampton-co@ndp.on.ca

Green Party admin@gpo.ca


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Woman charged with giving wine to baby


Woman charged with giving wine to baby

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- A Missouri woman at the Kentucky State Fair has been arrested after allegedly giving wine to her infant child.

Kathryn Bowen, 40, was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a minor Wednesday after a police officer said he saw the woman's actions. The report alleged Bowen was seen buying wine in Freedom Hall, pouring it into a baby bottle and then giving it to her 11-month-old, WKLY-TV, Louisville, reported Thursday.

Police reports say when confronted Bowen admitted she was feeding wine to the child to help her sleep. The child has been placed in protective custody..

Dean Tudor, Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus
Look it up and you'll remember it; screw it up and you'll never forget it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Wine & Spirits Daily: Wine Spectator: Unfairly Duped?

Wine Spectator: Unfairly Duped?

Earlier this week it was revealed that a fake restaurant was awarded Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Since then, forums, blogs and industry publications have been blowing up with opinions over the issue.

Dr. Vino's wine blog first covered the story on Tuesday with the opening words: "If you decided to get a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for you restaurant wine list, what would you need? The answer according to Robin Goldstein is $250 and Microsoft Word. Restaurant not actually required."

Goldstein, the author of The Wine Trials, stated on his website that he created a fake restaurant and submitted an application for the award as research for an academic paper. He named the restaurant "Osteria L'Intrepido," which means "Fearless Critic," submitted the application fee ($250), a cover letter, a copy of the restaurant's menu, which he deems "a fun amalgamation of somewhat bumbling nouvelle-Italian recipes," and a wine list. The so-called restaurant claimed to be in Milan.
More at

Thursday, August 21, 2008


This just in from WNS (Weird News Service) --
TORONTO -- (WNS) --  The Liquor Control Board of Ontario has today announced that
it will begin licensing alcohol beverage writers in Ontario. A spokesman for the LCBO,
who asked to be nameless, said that this would be yet another source of revenue for the
coffers of the Ontario government. "We like to grab a lot of money from the alcohol
beverage industry. It makes us feel good, and it pads our bottom line."
Exemptions would be made, of course, for those writers who contribute to the LCBO's
"Food and Drink" magazine. But other publications such as "Toronto Life", "Tidings",
"Vines" , "TAPS" and "Wine Access" would be forced to hire only licensed Ontario
writers or writers from other provinces.  Newspapers and broadcasters will also have to
apply for licensed writer status.
Accreditation would be essential, according to the LCBO. There will be no
grandfathering. Each writer would have to pay to take an LCBO online course, which is
several weeks in duration, followed by a comprehensive fault and flaw analysis tasting,
followed by a tasting of Ontario wines (not necessarily VQA and not necessarily grapes).
Beer and spirit writers will have their own nosing programs.
Those who succeed in these endeavours will be invited to take the test which is a
necessary prelude to the licensing process.  There will be testing fees and annual levies
assessed for membership. It is also anticipated that the LCBO will receive a 15% royalty
on all alcohol beverage writing fees, but it is unclear whether these funds will come from
the publication or from the writer or, as in the case of wine auctions, from both.
All writing about alcohol in Ontario must be submitted to the LCBO's Quality Assurance
Laboratory for controls over the expressions in writing and the actual tasting notes, for a
fee. Any re-submissions, extra proofreading, and heavy copyediting will be assessed a
separate fee, which must be paid by the writer and not the publication.
When asked about photographs, the LCBO spokesperson denied their existence. "We get
all our shots from stock libraries". When asked about blogging, the LCBO said that
"Everybody blogs. Nobody has any time to read any of them…we really don't care."
SheeLa Pure-Swirling Dervish, currently President of the Wine Writers Circle, has
admitted that the group could be defunct within a year. "All of our full-time members are
in the GTA, with a group in Niagara. We've only a handful of writer-members from
outside the province. If the LCBO is to license writers through accreditation, then that
takes away from us any measure of self-policing and any rationale for continuing
membership of the Ontario writers."  Ms. Dervish left immediately on a wine tour of the
Okanagan Valley in BC.
The LCBO has also announced that the licensing program will be administered by Sage
Darby, the head cheese responsible for many such food and wine administrative bodies.
She has refused to comment, saying only "I have my methods".

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Offensive Wine Labels

Hey, check out these offensive wine labels from the great province of Ontario...
http://littlefatwino.com/offensivelabels.html    is now online, linked to Lardy's front page. 

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wine Competitions are One Big Racket from Vinography: A Wine Blog


Wine Competitions are One Big Racket

If I ever wanted to make a lot of money in the wine industry, I know just
what I'd do. It wouldn't be starting a vineyard, or publishing a book, or
making my own wine, or marketing someone else's. No if I wanted to make a
pile of money, I'd simply organize a big wine competition.

Such competitions and their gold medals are good for one thing and one thing
only: making a pile of money for the people who organize them. I don't
believe the do a bit of good for the wine industry as a whole, no matter how
excited all those gold-medal-winning wineries are.
Now I'm a die-hard capitalist at heart. The folks that run these wine
competitions are doing their best to get along in the world just like
everyone else. I've got nothing against them personally. But I see the
endless parade (more and more are started every year) of wine competitions
as no better than those talent scouting scams you see in the paper, where
overly hopeful parents of young actresses and models-to-be get sucked into
paying "talent fees" for the chance to have their offspring "considered" for
representation by a talent agent that may not even exist, let alone have the
connections needed to turn someone into a star.
In other words: one big racket. Here's an excerpt from one such
competition's literature:

"NEW Competition! Look at the Super Star Pro Wine Buyers Lined Up to Judge
Your Greatest Wines! Get your wines tasted by top U.S. Professional Wine
Buyers from Andronico's Market, Dean and Deluca, IL Forniao Restaurant
Group, Playboy Mansion West.
$75 per entry Early Bird until August 16. SO DON'T WAIT. Enter Now.

More at


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Vincor takes yet another hit: On the Road with the Grape Guy: Report from ... Fiesta Buckhorn - July 19, 2008

Vincor (A Constellation Company) seems to me to be having trouble with its labels. Eagle-eyed Michael Pinkus (Ontario Wine Review's Grape Guy) found a major label swap on the JT lines...According to my records, the score is now Grape Guy 4, Vincor 0... Here's what he said:
" … a BIG FAT boo-hiss-hiss boo (that's the jeer folks) to Jackson-Triggs, who pulled off a double shame-on-them. First, at an Ontario wine event that focuses and showcases Ontario products (wine, food, beer, ingredients, etc) they had the audacity to pour their blends: Esprit and Naked Grape concoctions; but that's only the beginning of their faux pas. The biggest travesty was the bottle of Black Label Jackson-Triggs 2005 Merlot … as many of you are hopefully aware, Jackson-Triggs had always distinguished their off-shore and VQA products with a White Label (blend) and Black Label (VQA – 100% Ontario) … seems they are pulling a fast one to fool the public; the 2005 Merlot Black Label is a non-VQA made from "a higher level and quality New Zealand grapes," according to my server, as if that makes this ruse more palatable. Does this company have no shame, or pride, left?"

Catch more from my man Michael at: