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Sunday, September 26, 2010

GOSH: LCBO to match lowest prices in Canada

TORONTO – (GOSH Wine News Services) – The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) will announce Monday that new legislation from the Ontario Liberal government will enable the Crown Corporation to match the lowest prices on alcoholic beverages offered anywhere in Canada.


In doing so, the provincial government will be enabling a most-favoured nation (MFN) clause. MFN clauses require that a province be given the lowest price that is provided to another province or private payers. This means that when a producer such as a winery reduces its price to win a listing in one province it must also reduce its price in the province with MFN clauses.


These MFN clauses may be structured or enforced to minimize their potential anti-competitive effects.


Said a spokesperson for the LCBO, "We wanted to offer a Good Deal for the Good People of Ontario, A Have-Not Province. We've crunched the numbers and we believe that we can still offer value and retain market share and profits. Why should Ontarians pay the current $18.95 for Gray Monk Gewurztraminer when the B.C. customer gets it for $16.99? Starting next month, Ontario will offer it for $16.99. And why should Quebecois get Mondavi Fume Blanc for $16.50 (it's $22.95 in Ontario)? We too will offer it for $16.50. And beers too. Why shouldn't we be offered the same floor price for wines, beers, and spirits that are sold for less money in other provinces? There'll be more to come. Just watch us."


Top investigative wine reporter Brett Grimsby has been following this story for days now, and he files this 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 hour or two, that specific timeline is not really known.


Grimsby said, "The MFN's purpose is to ensure that the Ontario province implements the policy benefits from low prices provided to other provinces such as B.C., Quebec, or Alberta.


"The LCBO, as you probably know, has been mandated by McGuinty's people to come up with a soft approach for the impending 2011 election. They're going to bear the brunt of whether McGuinty gets re-elected or not. Certainly, they will be blamed if the Liberal party is not re-elected to power. The threat is an open one: either come up with a way for the LCBO (and thus McGuinty) to be popular with the people or be sold off to private hands. McGuinty will have his way with this one."


"Sources, though," admited Grimsby, "should not be held responsible for the speculative and/or playful treatment of their research and/or disclosures."


More on this interesting turn of events as it develops…



Sunday, September 19, 2010

GOSH: Ontario couple found guilty of honey laundering

U.S. federal grand jury indicts 11 German and Chinese executives for conspiring to illegally import US$40-million of honey from China – News item, Sept 2, 2010.




TRAWNA – (GOSH Wine News Services) – Sam and Ella Miele have been found guilty of "honey laundering" by importing unregulated honey from China.


Brett Grimsby has been covering this story for GOSH Wine News Services ever since he dug up information that the Mieles were using the honey to add botrytis to their white wines.


Said Grimsby: "Honey is a tightly controlled substance in Ontario, A Have-Not Province  – it is a necessary product for mead wines. Every speck of honey must be accounted for."


The Mieles claim that they were only trying to use the honey to add complexity to their wines. "We meant no harm", said Sam.


But false labelling practices coupled with use of unregulated honey loaded with bacteria and antibiotics led to their downfall.


"It is good to see law enforcement take seriously the problem of illegal honey imports," said a spokesperson from Agriculture Canada. "Now we also need the FDA to weigh in with a national honey standard to make sure this crackdown on Chinese imports sticks."


There was no immediate reaction from the Apple Growers Association of Canada.


An angry Ella said, "Our botrytis-affected whites have all been award winners – the All Canadians, the Ontario Wine Awards, and the Canadian Wine Awards. We got Double Gold each time. We made damn good wine with the honey and grapes. We'd still be in this business if we could've used Ontario honey. But there wasn't any! It was all bought up by the big guys, leaving nothing for small businesses like us. We were forced to import from China! They made us do it!!"


When asked how he found the story, Grimsby said he just followed the money, er, honey. There was a rumour that the botrytis was not natural, and Grimsby checked it out. One thing led to another, and he scanned manifests for provincial honey allocations and then for imported honey allocations. The road led to Sam and Ella Miele.


More on this story after sentencing next Thursday…


Monday, September 13, 2010

GOSH and Foxy Wine News Network co-operate

TRAWNA – (GOSH Wine News Services – GOSH has now expanded!! In an attempt to be even more relevant than ever before, GOSH has allowed the new Foxy Wine News Network to buy 49% of the GOSH corporation.

This will permit both companies to offer cross-platforms of expertise. The Foxy Wine News Network will have Brett Grimsby as their top investigative wine reporter, digging out the dirt on all things vinous. He'll host the W5 segment (Wine, Wine, Wine, Wine, and more Wine).

The Grape Guy and The Edge will debate serious wine issues of the day. Both are well-known for their voices – but just wait until you see them on the new show, Wine Radio With Pictures.

Another new show: Six of One, Half-a-Dozen of Another – the CellaredinCanada™ game show, with prizes to include a year's supply of wine. Freggie™, the all-fruit, all-vegetable wine, has already been signed up as a major sponsor.

The Wine Guy and Little Fat Wino will be hosting a weekly series of Bordeaux versus Ontario wine competitions. They promise that this will be a reality show to end all reality shows. It's been tentatively titled B.O.

Politicians will be guests on The Whine and BBQ Show – where our top reporters will grill them and fry them. First up will be The Grate McGinty as he begins the long segue to a 2011 election and oblivion. He'll try to explain government alcohol monopolies -- without snickering.

Fruit wines will finally have their say as James Warren, QC, takes us on a tour of all of the fruit wineries in Canada. There'll be a new fun tour each week. Jim, as we all know, is Canada's answer to Anthony Bourdain.

Also new: The Transparency Show, in which economic and management experts try to break down the secret codes and taxes that are applied to alcohol products across Canada, pointing out variations and why certain wines cost more in Ontario and/or Quebec and/or British Columbia. The CellaredinCanada™ wines will be first up to bat.

More details to be released when the Fall Vintage Television season appears….


Friday, September 10, 2010

BREAKING NEWS FLASH...Freggie(TM) t'launch noo blends...

BREAKING NEWS: This hyar jest in, as enny fool kin plainly see... Freggie(TM) has announced thet it will be sellin' a special cuvee jest in time fo' th' Rosh Hashanah period, cuss it all t' tarnation. GOSH Likker Noos Services has cornfirmed thet one of th' two blends t'be made available will be 70% Conco'd grapes wif 30% Jersusalem artichokes (an', of course, due t'VQA legislashun, it is not eligible fo' th' "Made in Ontario, A Have-Not Province" designashun - thet w'dn't be kosher). Howevah, th' makers of Freggie(TM) annicipate greater sales of t'other blend, 70% Jersusalem artichokes wif 30% Conco'd grapes on account o' it is eligible t'state on th' label, "100% Ontario, A Have-Not Province, vegitable an' fruit a six packs". Neifer blend will include th' dreaded an' secretive stretch water component. This hyar launch is specked t'be at th' Bell Lightbox next Thursday, in time fo' th' TIF(TMF's Midnight Madness event...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

EAKINGBRAY EWSNAY ASHFLAY...Eggiefray(tMay) otay aunchlay ewnay endsblay...

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

BREAKING NEWS FLASH...Freggie(TM) to launch new blends...

BREAKING NEWS:  This just in...
Freggie(TM) has announced that it will be  selling a special cuvee just in time for the Rosh Hashanah period. GOSH Wine News Services has confirmed that one of the two blends to be made available will be 70% Concord grapes with 30% Jersusalem artichokes (and, of course, due to VQA legislation, it is not eligible for the "Made in Ontario, A Have-Not Province" designation - that wouldn't be kosher).
However, the makers of Freggie(TM) anticipate greater sales of the other blend, 70% Jersusalem artichokes with 30% Concord grapes because it is eligible to state on the label, "100% Ontario, A Have-Not Province, vegetable and fruit juices".
Neither blend will include the dreaded and secretive stretch water component.
This launch is expected to be at the Bell Lightbox next Thursday, in time for the TIF(TMF's Midnight Madness event...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Freggie Come Home


TIF™F is coming to town!! Media invite for Sept 9, 2010, 6 PM Bell Lightbox

TRAWNA – (GOSH Wine News Services) – Hey, TIF™F is coming to town!!


That's right, the Toronto International Freggie™ Festival is set to begin action next week.


For those who don't know, Freggie™ is the world's largest selling fruit-vegetable blended wine, just about as big as CellaredInCanada™ grape wines.


Freggie™ was developed as an alternative to the international blends. It was deemed commercially viable by Agriculture Canada and is currently sponsored by the government of Ontario, A Have-Not Province -- it uses up Ontario surplus fruit wines and vegetable wines.


Freggie™ comes in three blends: 70% fruit wine with 30% vegetable wine added, or 70% vegetable wine with 30% fruit wine added, and (new this season): a top-rated 50-50 blend for those who cannot decide on a fave.


The art of blending is a deep secret, so the Freggie™ people will not reveal which fruits and which vegetables are used, except to say that there are different ones in all three cuvees. In no way shape or form is there any of that nasty stretch water component that you'll find in the CellaredInCanada™ international blend series. It's guaranteed chlorine-free. And, all their wines are triple-filtered to remove any hints of bedbugs and their eggs.


Professionally-paid tasters have commented on these wines. One said "Throws out spruce, some attractive mint, forward onion tones." Another said, "Dainty kalamata olives, shows opium, hoppy Doritos, and traces of smoked oysters." A third beckoned with: "Drops taco sauce, buttermilk pancakes, and forward pungent green beans." Another opinion, but from a dissenter, went: "Grossly overweight veggies and unripe fruit, kicks you with tobacco." We believe in balanced reports and chacun a son gout.


Our fave review, from the Wine Journal, goes: "Plump frosted pop-tart, modest and spiney, whispers of spice, overcooked currants, strong-willed black cherries, astounding marmalade complexity bound with a carrot-beet-turnip combo. 88 points."


In conjunction with the Toronto International Freggie™ Festival, the major suppliers are planning to launch the 50-50 blend (called Freggie™ 50-50) to the media and elite stars. The official release date is September 9, the opening day of TIF™F. Expected to attend the eleven day festival are Stony Cement, S. "Doris" Day, PM Sharpy, The Grate McGinty, Ford Pinto, Joey Pants, and other clowns from politics. From the reality world of entertainment, you can expect Clint Eastwood, Natalie Portman, Catherine Deneuve, and Bruce Springsteen.


All the entertainers will endorse Freggie™ under the launch tent, for which they will collect a swag bag that contains coupons entitling them to a six-pack of Freggie™ a week for life!


They want you to join them for sampling at the Bell Lightbox, Thursday, September 9, at 6 PM sharp, one hour earlier for the trade/media presentation.


Consider this YOUR personal invitation – be there or be square! And celebrate the new Freggie™ 50-50!!