$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ALL THE RUMOURS, MYTHS, & WEIRD WINE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ 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 !!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

GOSH: Ontario Wine Council to merge with Ontario Vinous Associates.

REAL NEWS: "It's in the interest of all Conservatives – Progressive Conservatives and the latter-day group – to come together in support of common principles," Mr. Mulroney said in an interview – Globe and Mail, Aug 27, 2009.





TRAWNA – (GOSH Wine News Service) – In a dramatic attempt to save the failing Ontario wine economy, GOSH Wine News Service has learned that the Ontario Wine Council and the Ontario Vinous Associates groups have come together in support of common principles.


Top investigative wine reporter Brett Grimsby has been following this story for weeks now, and he files his report based on several interviews with Miffed Mole, the collective name for our sources who are familiar with the situation, and who spoke to him on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge details while they were very close to the centre of discussions and while the matter under consideration had not yet been finalized nor announced to the public. While the decisions may or may not have been finalized internally, and while an announcement on the matter may or may not be imminent, possibly within the next week or two, that specific timeline is not really known.


While the Ontario Wine Council negotiates with the Ontario Grape Producers to come up with the best possible settlement of grape prices, the OVA prefers to be known as a latter-day group, a collection of revolutionaries determined to break into the Ontario wine market by specializing in non-grape wines, such as apple, pear, black currant, even Freggie™, the recently launched fruit-vegetable "Cellared in Canada" combo.


"We simply have to put aside our differences: more people are drinking spirits and beers," says Jim Warren, who currently runs the Ontario Vinous Associates and who is the man most likely to be in charge of any restructured OWC. "We have to create a buzz about wine, whether from grapes or any other fruit-veggie source. We should stop sniping at each other – there is plenty of room for all of us, even the Cellared in Canada program, which will soon be 51% Ontario fruit and proudly labelled on the container in 16 point type."


Earlier, the Ontario Vinous Associates had issued a statement expressing embarrassment that VANOC 2010 losses would be covered by the IOC, the first time this has happened in IOC history. "The shame of it, that Canadians could not drink more Cellared in Canada product which donated $1.25 from each bottle to the Canadian Olympics. We need to get with the program and consume, consume, consume. If more non-grape wines were allowed into the Olympic program, we could have put VANOC 2010 over the top."


When asked to comment, the VQA (the Very Quaffable Alcohol group), replied: "NMP and DEGT".


More on this merger as it happens…



Monday, August 24, 2009

GOSH: Iceland seeks entry to EU, claims name "Icewine"

TRAWNA - (GOSH Wine News Services) - In a dramatic announcement today,
Iceland is laying claim to the term Icewine. As a condition of entry in to
the European Union, Iceland has asked the EU to control the word. All wines
from Iceland are to be named Icewine.

Apparently, the country of Iceland wants into the wine action. With global
warming, their vines should propagate quite nicely, and they want name
protection. Bjork has agreed to be the national spokesperson; she will be
prominently featured on billboards and TV videos, touting the wonders of an
elixir Icewine.

The country is claiming PDO status: Protected Designation of Origin. The
protection of geographical indications was extended to foodstuffs and other
agricultural products in 1992. Given the widely different national
provisions, power has been given to the European Commission to ensure a
harmonized protection across the European Union. It is currently governed by
the Regulation on the protection of geographical indications and
designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs (No

In Canada, a 2003 agreement made with the EU provides for protection of the
names of wine and spirits. The new classification of names will be done in
phases. By the end of 2013, all of the affected names will be protected,
including Chablis, Champagne, Port, and Sherry. Now, with the projected
entry of Iceland into the EU, the name Icewine has been added to that list.

Both the Wine Council of Ontario and the Vintner's Quality Alliance are
furious; many individual wineries and grape growers are terrified, dazed and

"This could not have happened at a worse time," says Jim Warren, currently
president of the majority of Ontario wineries. "We know that there is an
oversupply of Icewine in this country and we are doing our level best to
move the product. The 200 mL bottle should help, especially if Icewine is
displayed on the perfume counters. We're even playing with atomizers.

"We know that we've got to move by 2013. We're spending a lot of time and
money on marketing, such as cross-promoting icewine martinis, icewine
chocolates, icewine yogurt, and double-double ices (wine and cream). We'll
just have to do better."

It had been proposed that all interested parties in Canada brainstorm to
come up with a new name for Icewine post-2013, such as "Frostwine",
"Frostbite", "Frostbyte", "Permawine", Permafrostwine", "Hoarfrost Wine",
and others.

Focus groups have apparently liked the shortened "Hoarwine", finding it more
appropriate (Hoar is the Norse God of Revenge), and even naughty. One wine
blogger commented, "Can you just imagine the label "Strut Hoarwine"? Or
"Girls Night Out Hoarwine"? It'll revolutionize marketing in Canada."

Key protagonists in this issue are pointing fingers, playing the blame game:
it is all the fault of the LCBO for not listing more Icewine; wine writers
should given more copy space to Icewine; the Conservative government has too
many enemies in the EU; and the tree huggers didn't believe in Icewine
anyway since the climate will be too warm after 2013.

The European Union's new wine regulations came into force as of August 1,
2009, ushering in a new era for the European wine industry. The hotly
debated plans - agreed by agriculture ministers in December 2007 - aim to
modernise the European wine trade and improve its competitiveness in the
face of a growing challenge from the New World.

The reform will also bring in new simpler labelling laws. All wine labels
are now allowed to mention grape variety and vintage on the label. The
French AOC becomes AOP (Appellation d'Origin Protegée) and the equivalent of
vin de pays wines will now be known as IGPs (Indication Geographique
Protegée). Iceland would have control of "Icewine" as an AOP, IGP, and

But Mariann Fischer Boel, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural
Development, said: "Member States and producers have a great opportunity to
make the best use of the new wine regime to build on Europe's international
reputation for excellence. I truly believe this marks a turning point in our
wine sector's history."

The money that used to fund distillation subsidies will now be redirected to
wine promotion and the modernisation of vineyards and cellars. Iceland has
applied for a larger "newest member" share of these funds, claiming that its
vineyards are an emerging agribusiness.

The New World has seen its share of global wine sales rise from 3% in 1990
to 30% in 2008, according to the OIV.

More from Brett Grimsby, our top investigative wine reporter, as this
dramatic story unfolds over the NEXT FOUR YEARS.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, August 16, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: Hesitating at the Cask


HESITATING AT THE CASK: reflections on spotting the differences between "Cellared in Canada" wines and "Vintners' Quality Alliance" wines. By Ann Tudor. Toronto: Molten Gold (a division of Gothic Epicures), 2009. 96p. pa. illus. ISBN 13-978-0-92000307-7. $15.00 plus $3.00 shipping & handling.

TO ORDER: Order through www.anntudor.ca (using PayPal) or email the author at atudor@pathcom.com.



                    * * *


In this collection of wry essays, Ann Tudor says things about aging wine that no one else is saying. She offers insights, though no solutions. What she gives us, in her unique voice, is not inspirational writing about growing vines. Instead, the word "subversive" comes to mind. You might laugh or you might cry, but you will certainly have a different view of buying Canadian wines after reading this little book.


You might try to read it in small bites, one essay at a time, but you'll find it hard to stop reading once you've started. The second time around you can read it more slowly and savour each clever, pithy phrase.


Perhaps the prospect of the Land of Wine scares you. Well, it won't be nearly as lonely and frightening when you approach it in the company of this unorthodox author, whose frank response to the wine aging process will make you grin (and then grimace) with recognition.


Anyone who has ever grown vines, who is currently growing vines, or who suspects that growing vines is in his/her future will want to read this book—and then buy additional copies to share with friends.


Visit www.anntudor.ca, where you will be able to read one of the essays and learn about Ann Tudor's other work.



Monday, August 10, 2009

BAG - BOTTLE Trade Exchange to open in Toronto.

TRAWNA – (GOSH Wine News Services) – GOSH has just learned that the "ladies who lunch" in Rosedale and Forest Hill have banded together for a BAG-BOTTLE exchange.


As their recessionary money runs out, the matrons need to do something: can they pull their kids out of private institutions? Can they pawn their furnishings? Stop buying at McEwan's? Fire the staff? Cut back on gardening? Renege on club memberships? Default on the mortgaged cottage?


No, but they can do something that will make them pin money and make the city clean at the same time. Their operation will be open to all of the residents of Trawna.


The whole thing began when the so-called "Bag" Ladies of Rosedale merged with the so-called "Bottle" Blonds of Forest Hill to form a profitable alliance. The Bottle Blonds were fed up with having to slink into a beer store to return their wine bottle empties for a 20 cent deposit. "It's so demeaning," said one blond. On the other hand, the Bag Ladies, not bothered by the clientele in beer stores, were embarrassed to have to pay a nickel for plastic bags to be reused for garbage. "It's so demeaning", said one bag lady.


So an exchange began between the two groups.


And now, Trawna residents will be able to help out the ladies who lunch by trading value for value: four clean plastic bags for one clean empty wine bottle, or vice versa.


This brilliant conception of an exchange should reward the ladies who lunch as they can spend more of their time on profit-making projects.


Sources say that the Moore Park and Lawrence Park ladies are furious, and are considering opening their own trading posts. Word on the street is that the Old Mill ladies have set up an uber-exchange for after-hours trading between the Park ladies and the Hill and 'Dale ladies.


The exchanges are open to all consumers in the City of Toronto with proof of residency. Locations are being firmed up, to be staffed by the ladies who lunch. Consequently, these businesses will only be open from 10 AM to 11, and 4 PM to 6.


More on this story as the locations emerge…