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

Saturday, September 27, 2008

GOSH: If re-elected, the Prime Minister promises to rescind the 1928 Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act

OKANAGAN - (GOSH News Services) -- In a prepared speech before many tourists and wine drinkers in the heart of BC wine country, Prime Minister Bubble Boy Harper today promised that if re-elected, he would rescind the 1928 Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA).T he IILA prevents the importation into a province of any "intoxicating" liquor that has not been purchased on behalf of and consigned to the government liquor body of the province. Among other things this means that if, say, a Quebecer visits an Okanagan winery website and wants to order a bottle of wine direct from the winery – he can't. It contradicts the act.

But that will all change once the Conservative government is re-elected. Harpy has promised that there will be ease of access to all Canadian wines from whichever province makes it. The same will happen with beer and spirits and ciders.

With this action, Harpy has won the votes of every citizen in the Okanagan, and every citizen living on both sides of the Quebec-Ontario border (sometimes called the "frontier"). His plan calls for every HOV lane on the frontier to be rebranded as ABC lanes (Alcohol Beverage Carrier) and dedicated to cars travelling betwen Quebec and Ontario in the pursuit of wines (in the case of Quebecers) and beers (in the case of Ontarians). He is now assured of winning the election

But not everybody is happy: winery owners like Harleigh Crank of Erehwon Winery in Niagara fears that he might lose sales because his micro-terroir wines are vine specific and come at a high price."As a micro-terroir winery, we don't stand a chance against the ripe, round, rich, ruby fruitiness of the Okanagan reds. The 1928 Act is the only thing keeping these wines out of Ontario...we're gonna lose our shirts!.Why these BC wines clean up every year in the All Canadian and Canadian Wine Awards competitions."

Harleigh's second cousin (once removed) Harley Crusted, of Pandemic Winery, agrees and goes on to say that "We've just won a hard earned access to The Beer Store, and now we have to be competing with the Post Office. It was bad enough when the LCBO shut us out of Farmers' Markets...It just isn't fair, and if Harpy gets in, I'm gonna have to sell my pooch's diamond necklace."

The Conservative spin doctors acknowledge that votes will be lost in Western Ontario, but they are counting on the high roller wine drinkers to step up and vote for the Harpy team, and vote often. The LCBO is in a quandary over the loss of potential income via the markups they will no longer have. A tight-lipped senior spokesman at the LCBO, when asked about impending layoffs, just shrugged his shoulders, and walked away, saying "No comment" -- or something like that -- out of the side of his mouth.

More on this election promise as it develops...

Chimo!  www.deantudor.com


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

GOSHerald: Ontario wine at The Beer Store

TORONTO – (GOSH News Services) – Today, the Province of Ontario has introduced a Bill to consolidate the have-not portions of the Ontario wine industry.


A secret study was done a year ago to resolve access issues unique to the Wine Council of Ontario, the Wine Producers Association, Vintners Quality Alliance, Fruit Wines Ontario, and the newly formed Ontario Viniculture Association. An unnamed American wine business consultant was retained and his recommendations included easier availability to wine beverages.


The Province of Ontario has now acted on this. Beginning in December, just in time for the Christmas party period, all the non-listed (at the LCBO) 100% Ontario grape and fruit wines will be available at The Beer Store. Each winery will be allowed one product at each of the hundreds of stores, and the winery can change the product from beer store to beer store to better reflect its inventory position and local community drinking patterns.


"What better place to offer consumers a choice of Ontario wines than through The Beer Store?" said Premier Grate McGinty. "We already have a deposit system in place where consumers must bring back their empties to The Beer Store, so they know their way quite well. They'll be able to return bottles and buy new ones at the same outlet."


It is anticipated that revenue sharing and mark-ups with The Beer Store will actually lower costs and thus reduce overall retail prices. Harley Crusted, owner-winemaker of Pandemic Estates Winery, said "Wonderful..now I can buy that diamond necklace for my little dog, Princess". Small Chubby Wino of the OVA gleefully rubbed his hands at the news. "Now we got 'em"! he exclaimed. A tight-lipped senior official at the LCBO said, "No comment".
More as this topic develops...Your own comments, please?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

GOSHerald Advisory

GRAIN OF SALT ADVISORY: On the advice of my lawyers, the LCBO, the SAQ, the Canadian Library Association, the Canadian Committee to Protect Journalists, the Freedom of Information Act, the Electronic Frontier, Project Censored, Dr. Deacon Fresh, the Wine Writers Circle of Canada, Magazines Canada, Culinary Historians of Ontario, Book and Periodical Council of Canada, and Snopes –


I must add a "take it with a grain of salt" note to each and every spoof and lampoon I post about food, wines, beers and spirits in Canada. I regret this action, but obviously my postings cut too close to the bone; they have a ring of truth about them. They are NOT truths; they are lies, fabrications, rumours, fake news, pseudo news, heinous myths with a faux voix. Hence, http://fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.com.


But apparently they are believable enough that some writers have been deceived. For that, I apologize. Herewith are ashes and sackcloths, grovelings, and all that.


As always, I do what I can to produce articles which are pleasing in every way. Life, however, mocks my efforts. Sometimes I live to regret the clever turns of phrase that seemed so very right at the time. I apologize for errors, ill-conceived metaphors, mistakes of spelling or pronunciation, opinions that will come back to haunt me in years to come, and solecisms of every description. Like you, I try my damnedest, but it doesn't always work. Still, perhaps next time.


Just so you know what is true and what is not, I'm preceding my lampoons with a GOSHerald – "Grain of Salt Herald". E & OE.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Email Wine Fraud?

Well, it turns out that somebody in the GTA is sending a templated email to all the wine importers, complaining about a bottle of wine he had (off taste? corked?) and wondering if the agency would make good his purchase, such as a free bottle or something. The same sort of email has been circulating to a series of restaurants, complaining about wine or service or food. I hear that free certificates for future visits have been issued.
Nice scam..But  it is now in the hands of the Toronto fraud squad..
Anybody know what's happening?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Archaic LCBO upholds the Equally Archaic 1928 Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act « END THE LCBO

From End the LCBO blog:

"I recently stumbled upon a gem of a Canadian law called the 1928 Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA). This is one of those truly silly pieces of legislation enacted in the prohibition era to "save" Canadians from the evil of drink. Somehow it has survived till now.

Basically the IILA prevents the importation into a province of any "intoxicating" liquor that has not been purchased on behalf of and consigned to the government liquor body of the province. Among other things this means that if, say, a Quebecer visits an Ontarian winery website and wants to order a bottle of wine direct from the winery – they can't. It contradicts the good old 1928 Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act."

More at:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wine to be sold at Farmers Markets in Toronto

This just in from Wine News Service...
TORONTO - (WNS) - In a stunning victory for the Farmers Market movement in Ontario, the provincial government has decided to allow wine to be sold at Farmers Markets. There are restrictions, of course, all applied by the LCBO which had apparently fought the issue tooth and nail.
First, the wines can only be sold in a closed-off tent no more than three metres by three metres by three metres in size. It has to be located in the northeast corner of every market, for the sake of consistency. Portable potties must also be provided. Only LCBO personnel will be allowed to sell, and there will be no sampling.
Second, purchasers are restricted to a maximum of two bottles only, one red and one white.
Third, the wines have to be tied-in to the ethnic character of the region. Hence, the wines at Withrow Park on the Danforth must only be Greek wines. The wines at Dufferin Grove park must only be Portuguese wines. The wines at Riverdale Organic Market must only be organic wines.
As part of the pilot project, the wines will only be in the city of Toronto, and, in typical LCBO fashion, will only be available this year starting in October, just before the markets shut down for the winter. The Dufferin Grove Market, open all year, is expected to be under heavy pressure for winter sales of Port and Madeira from Portugal.
Little Fat Wino, commenting from his home in rainy Eastern Ontario, said: "Once again the fruit wineries in Ontario have been shut out. This business of selling at Farmers Markets was originally OUR idea -- it was stolen from us by the government looking for additional revenue streams."  It was pointed out to him that all Ontario wines, no matter what their origin, were shut out. An unnamed source in the LCBO Research Department responded: "We don't consider Ontario wines and fruit wines to be real wines exhibiting terroir. These Ontario wines can be made anywhere and do not reflect the regional character."
More as the story develops...

Friday, September 12, 2008

OntarioWineReview.com - Newsletter 0091 - The LCBO . We're Stuck With Them (by Michael Pinkus)

Nobody dislikes the LCBO more than a wine writer, it's not being boastful, it's just a fact.  I feel that those who shop only at the LiCk-BO and don't go to trade events are the lucky ones.  They don't know what they are missing.  They don't get to try some mouth-watering wines that make you covet them immediately.  They know not of the insanely cheap prices our friends south of the border get, the discounts, mail in rebates, 3-for-$10 specials, or heaven forbid, a $2 bottle of wine.  They'll never know that some of the wines you try at these events are only sold through an agent by the case, but many people don't buy by the case, they want 3 or 4 at the most.  "Get in with a friend," you'll be told, "our hands are tied."  And tied they are, by, you guessed it, the protective liquor board, saving our cities and towns from the wilds of alcohol.

It's those who travel outside the country that get the biggest shock of all.  They find out that Mondavi makes a true Bordeaux blend called Vinetta, or that Rosenblum makes about 800 kinds of Zinfandel … and yet their Ontario agent can't get it, never heard of it or won't bring it in.  If you try on your own, well you'll pay close to, if not more than, double what you paid for it outside the country, thus taking all the fun and value out of your little finds and giving you a headache bigger than if you drank the whole bottle yourself in half-an-hour on an empty stomach.  Sure this system we have might work for a case of 2-Buck-Chuck, but "I-can't-believe-it's-only-12-bucks" a wine find gets close to $30 once you get it home where the LCBO puts it's grubby little duties and taxes on it … then it just doesn't seem like such a deal anymore, does it?
More at

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wine Writer Vilifies VQA wines, causes much concern among colleagues...

A wine writer has inadvertently produced a Freudian slip, says another wine writer colleague who pointed out to me the following paragraph from an article:
 VQA stands for vintners' quality alliance. It also stands for wine that was grown in Ontario (BC as well) to very high standards. Vinification is also held to high standards. These wines pass both the "buy local" test and the terroir test. When I buy a VQA wine, I know what I'm getting. It won't be "Cellared in" or "Cellared by" or "Blended and bottled by". Were it allowed on the label, VQA wines might say "Made from grapes we planted ourselves; grew, tended and harvested ourselves; vilified, aged and bottled ourselves at our own winery." The back label might say "This wine expresses the unique qualities found only when these grapes are allowed to grow right here, in this soil."
Yes, said another wine colleague, "some should be vilified for sure!"
When asked to comment, the original writer blamed it all on spellcheck. Yeah, right.
He said: "Where would we be without spell checkers that take our odd, sometimes misspelled words and replaces them with more interesting ones? I think that to be technically correct, the vilification would take place after bottling rather than before."

I like "vilified" better, since sometimes VQA can stand for Very Questionable Assessment....
More on this story as it develops.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fruit wines of Ontario want a Fair Deal (from Jim Warren)

Sent on the letterhead of the Fruit Wines of Ontario

The Honourable Harinder Takhar,
Minister of Small Business and Consumer Services,
Suite 1306 Whitney Block,
Queen's Park,
99 Wellesley St. W.,
TORONTO, Ontario.
M7A 1W2

Dear Minister Takhar:

The following story is true to life:

A man owned a small winery in Ontario. The Provincial Wage and Hour Ministry
claimed he was not paying proper wages to his help and sent out an agent to
interview him.
"1 need a list of your employees and how much you pay them." demanded the
"Well," replied the winery owner, "there's my winery hand who's been with me
for 3 years. I pay him $400 a week plus free room and board. He continued:
"The Chef has been here for 18 months, and I pay her $300 a week plus

Then there's the half-wit. He works about 18 hours every day and does about
90% of all the work around here. He makes about $10 per week, pays his own
room and board, and I buy him a bottle of scotch every Saturday night. He
also sleeps with my wife occasionally."

"That's the guy I want to talk to...the half-wit," says the agent. "That
would be me," replied the winemaker.

Though they may not enjoy being called 'half-wits" many small Ontario winery
owners to-day are feeling like the winemaker in the story. They have come
into the industry over the last 15 years, driven by their passion to make
Ontario wine, only to discover that the playing field for wineries in this
province is not level and to face a system that often puts them at a
competitive disadvantage when selling their wines.

Everyone understands that the purpose of policies and
laws relating to Ontario wine since the early 1990's has been both to
encourage the production of quality wine and to address in some measure the
losses faced by the wine industry after the Free Trade and GATT agreements.
Most winery owners thus accept the reality of 'grand-fathered privileges'
enjoyed by established businesses and it is easy to understand and
appreciate government's on-going financial and other support for our VQA

I am writing to you to-day on behalf of the 15 members of Fruit Wines of
Ontario (FWO) and the 45 members of the Ontario Vinicultural Association
(OVA) who do not understand the inappropriate discrimination that other
wineries are facing in this province and who are now contemplating another
harvest of their 1OO% Ontario grown grapes and fruit with serious concerns.

In particular we have been advocating for some time that a change be made in
the policy (described by the AGCO as 'section 3 of the Terms and Conditions
for the on-site fruit winery retail store) that restricts a fruit winery to
making only 20% of its wine from grapes. I have met with Luisa Tomej, Maria
DiFabrizio, and Kathy Clarke to discuss the matter in depth and have written
to the Honourable Ted MeMeekin, but have yet to receive any response. This
will be a serious problem for a small Ontario winery again this Fall - -
already threatened by the AGCO with having their licence revoked - - which
is growing its own grapes that it cannot use to make into wine. There are
many problems related to this 'policy' and I would caution that ignoring a
problem like this is not a solution. It is urgent that a solution be found
before the matter becomes one of embarrassment to all concerned this

There are 3 other issues or concerns that I would like to bring to your

1. Some 3 years ago financial support was offered to VQA wines being sold
in the LCBO by your Ministry. Other producers of quality, 100% Ontario
wines, both fruit and grape, were excluded from this consideration.

2. VQA wines that are direct delivered to a licencee receive a different
financial treatment than other wines, whether 'Cellared in Canada' or
non-VQA fruit and grape wines. The return to the winery for VQA sales is
considerably higher.

No one is questionning the support being given to VQA wines but from the
point of view of many other wineries this is providing an unfair competitive
edge to VQA. All wineries in Ontario pay the same taxes and fees otherwise
and abide by the same regulations. Surely all lOO% Ontario produced wines
should be sold to the LCBO and to licencees under the same rules! In this
way all Ontario quality wine could benefit from an equality of opportunity
which is now lacking and serving as a deterrent to the growth and survival
of many small Ontario businesses.

3. It is also unfortunate that these same wineries are prohibited by the VQA
ACT from even using the word "Ontario" or any form of it as in "Ontario
grown" or "Product of Ontario" on their wine labels even though by law they
must use lOO% Ontario fruit in making their wines. To 'protect' the
credibility of the VQA appellation "VQA Ontario VQA" it is suggested that
other wineries producing fruit wines or non-VQA grape wines might somehow
confuse consumers by using the word 'Ontario' and destroy consumer
confidence in Ontario wines. The VQA has the authority to enforce this
feeling and does send 'inspectors' around to check on the wine labels of
fruit wineries and grape wine producers outside our DVAs.
I believe we are creating an unfortunate situation by denying the logical
use of the word "Ontario" by every winery and it would be better for all
concerned if some serious thought was given to making a change somewhere
along the line.

Our member wineries are asking, through your Ministry, that your government
consider the issues that are making life difficult for them and to implement
significant change that would go a long way to ensuring more equality of
opportunity among our wineries. We believe that for one Ontario winery to
have a financial competitive advantage over another as result of government
initiatives is simply wrong...and I would appreciate having the opportunity
to discuss these concerns with you at your earliest convenience.


Jim Warren

Executive Director, FWO
President, OVA

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"LCBO and the Beer Store ... arcane ..." -- Derek Forward (Netnewsledger)

Monday, 01 September 2008 via Netnewsledger

Thunder Bay, ON -- Are you a beer drinker? Derek Forward might be fighting a
fight that you might want to join. Eight weeks ago, Forward started an
online petition to end the Beer Store monopoly in Ontario. "The LCBO and the
Beer Store, both founded 1927, are arcane institutions that have no place in
today's world. Originally founded out of a puritan belief that all alcohol
consumption was wicked, these two monopolies have controlled the
warehousing, distribution, and retail of alcohol in Ontario ever since,"
according to Forward.

"We believe that in today's world, individuals do not need their consumption
habits to be dictated by government institutions. People should be free to
buy the sorts of alcohol they want, from the outlets they choose, when they
desire. Producers of alcohol including small wineries and craft breweries,
many of whom have been hurt by the policies of the Beer Store and LCBO
monopolies, should be free to sell their product through whatever
distribution system they choose, or to set up outlets of their own. As for
retailing alcohol, this should no longer be the domain of the 2 monopolies
but be a product option for businesses like grocery stores, gas stations,
and convenience stores".

Forward's contention is that The Beer Store, which many people believe is
run by the Ontario Government is actually run by the Molson Coors Brewing
Co. (48%), Belgium-based beer giant InBev (48%), and Japan-based Sapporo.

The problem outlined by Forward in his campaign is that both The Beer Store
and the LCBO in Ontario eliminate choice and are out of touch with today's

The cause has been picked up online at Free Our Beer, a website dedicated to
"reforming Ontario's beer retail system, from a craft point of view".

One of the goals of this campaign is to assist local craft breweries in
getting their products in front of consumers.

If you are interested in finding out more visit www.endthelcbo.com.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Wine lovers told: don't spend more than £6.99 a bottle - Telegraph UK (by John Bingham)

A group of leading connoisseurs from around the world agreed that £6.99 should be enough to buy what they would consider a "decent" bottle in a British shop.

Above that figure, the differences were more about "individual taste" than quality, they said.

Judges taking part in Decanter magazine's World Wine Awards came up with the price amid fears that customers are regularly paying over the odds in an effort to satisfy the wine snobs.

Their guidance will come as a welcome relief to the nervous dinner party guest eager to impress and will make the task of selecting wine a slightly less

More at --