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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

GOSH: Ontario reverses Cellared in Canada wine policy, buys out the VQA.

[inspired by the NBC-Leno-Conan brouhaha]


TRAWNA – (GOSH Wine News Services) – In a stunning announcement to be made later tomorrow, the Government of Ontario (A Have-Not Province) will unleash its latest policy position on the "Cellared in Canada" wine program, the Vintners Quality Alliance program, and the Fruit Wines of Ontario program.


GOSH Wine News Services has learned that the Government of Ontario (A Have-Not Province) is moving the "Cellared in Canada" wines to the more prominent location that they once had in the LCBO stores.


Top investigative wine reporter Brett Grimsby has been following this story for days 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.


Sources say that the Government of Ontario (A Have-Not Province) has been unhappy with the performances of both the Cellared in Canada and VQA wine sales. "Our affiliate consumers demanded a better lead-in, a better entry level wine, and current CICs were simply not doing it. So we're moving them back to a more prominent position and getting rid of the stretch water component, replacing that with natural flavours such as MSG. Since we don't have rubber walls, we've asked the VQA to step back and relinquish their shelf space.


"Understandably, the VQA is very unhappy about this loss of sales positions, so we've topped up their budget and paid them $45 million to walk away from the LCBO. That money will be also comfort their members and serve as a sort-of severance allowance. As a result of the deal, the VQA wines, though, will not be available for sale anywhere in Ontario until September."


Fruit Wines of Ontario are poised to be the beneficiaries of this sudden change of policy. They are gearing up for more production, and they have formed an affiliation with the Association for Cellared in Canada Wines, who are ecstatic about all the new changes. Apparently, studies have shown that this fruit wine category of alcohol beverage appeals mostly to the male demographic of 19 - 49. The LCBO, though, is still uncertain about Freggie™, the 70 percent fruit, 30 per cent vegetable wine.


More on this development as it implodes…


Thursday, January 21, 2010

GOSH: Ontario's new "Cellared in Canada" wine program

[based on a comparable story in the Globe and Mail}


TRAWNA – (GOSH Wine News Services) -- Ontario's new "Cellared in Canada" wine program could run off the rails, researchers say, if wineries and policy makers don't heed lessons learned at a Toronto-based pilot project on a fruit-vegetable blended wine combination.


In a report to be released Friday, beverage experts conclude that the Ministry of Finance's earliest plans for the provincial program contain "design flaws" including insufficient allocations for wages.


"This could be a huge barrier to the success of the program," said Brett Grimsby, top wine investigative reporter for GOSH Wine New Services.


The report notes that the province's current allocations for wages mean that many experienced winery employees would make about $30,000 a year and would have to take a pay cut in order to start producing stretch water. This could lead to a diminished drinking environment and reduced consumer engagement.


"These are core issues because the quality of the program depends on the quality of the staff."


The authors of the report have been following the Toronto Freggie™ program, a pilot project that was initiated nine years ago. Its prototype, which is based on a blend of fruit and vegetable wines, integrates locally produced Ontario fruits with locally produced Ontario vegetables in a 70-30 fruit-vegetable wine ratio. It has the full support of Fruit Wines of Ontario and the Ontario Viniculture Association. It does not have the support of the Association for Cellared in Canada Wines.


The report also notes the need for year-round extended consumption so that wine drinkers aren't shuffled around during the weekends or holidays, and forced to drink superior VQA wines. Officials at the LCBO, A Crown Corporation, were not available for comment.


"Offering extended consumption only during the work week will create enormous challenges particularly for the 77 per cent of Ontario families with both spouses in the paid work force," the report states.


As Noam Chomsky said, "Alternatives will shrink and transitions will intensify."


More on this drama as it unfolds stage right...




Thursday, January 14, 2010

GOSH: Hockey players refuse to pay for "Cellared in Canada" wines


TRAWNA – (GOSH Wine News Services) – In a stunning display of crass attitude that has not kept up with their salaries, players for the Toronto Maple Leaves hockey club refused to pay their bar bill at Freggie™ Frank`s restaurant.


Brett Grimsby of GOSH Wine News Services has learned that the players consumed gallons of Cellared in Canada wine and local Freggie™ after winning a decisive hockey game in overtime. It was their first win in two years. They celebrated by downing wine straight from the TetraPaks.


When presented with the bar bill, the players refused to pay, saying that their presence at the restaurant should have ensured an enormous crowd of fans more than willing to eat and drink there. But at one point, the goalie was passing around a Tip Jar to help pay for the food portion of the bill.


Mr. Frank, the owner, said that he could not re-sell the opened containers of Cellared in Canada wines for health reasons that go beyond normal safety. "Would you want to swallow stretch water that was really close to a loser's mouth? Eeeeeeew, no."


The players' sense of entitlement has flared dramatically ever since the NHL lockout.


More on this development as it is revealed…



Tuesday, January 5, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Ontario quickly declares Prorogue Festivals, GOSH Wine News Services forced back to action early...



TRAWNA – (GOSH Wine News Services) – In yet another stunning political development by the Liberal Government of Ontario (A Have-Not Province), the Grate McGinty, pseudo-premier of the province, has suddenly decided to emulate his fan base, the Conservative Party of Canada.


McGinty has immediately declared a new "sport" in Ontario: a province-wide "Prorogue" festival, which will continue until after the Winter Olympics in Vancouver-Whistler are over. In some parts of Ontario (A Have-Not Province), this festival may also be locally known as pierogi, perogi, perogy, pirohi, piroghi, pirogi, pirogen, pierogy, pirohy, or pyrohy.


Brett Grimsby files this report from the Legislative Assembly:


"According to my breaking news sources, the new annual Winter Prorogue Festival will embrace a variety of food dumplings coupled with a variety of Cellared in Canada wines. Foremost, of course, is Freggie™ the 70/30 fruit and vegetable wine mixture that is all the rage north of Bloor Street in Toronto. Freggie™ has the blessing of Fruit Wines of Ontario. Its leading competitor is VeggieFru™, the 70/30 vegetable and fruit wine blend that appears to be taking over south of Bloor Street in Toronto. Either wine appears to be fine with fruit (such as plum) or veggie-inspired (such as cabbage or potato) Prorogues.


"But for that meat dumpling, nothing beats a solid Cellared in Canada red wine manufactured from syrah/shiraz grapes and stretch water. Poultry would suggest a merlot Cellared in Canada wine with its advanced complexity. Cheese Prorogues may best be served with Cellared in Canada white wines, although purists encourage staying away from Cellared in Canada white wines. Allegedly, recent tastings show that too much stretch water has been added. Indeed, tests are now being conducted by the Quality Labs at the LCBO to determine just how much water has been added, and where that water is from. We expect that soon the matter will be in front of the courts, according to Miffed Mole."


More on this story as it dissolves…