Wine Follies and Cheap Wine Hall of Fame

Who thinks these things up? Elin McCoy of Bloomberg News reports on an Oregon winery
that recruited an elephant to stomp grapes as part of a fund raiser for
a wildlife park. Talk about ‚€œnatural wine‚€! Winery owner Stephen
Reustle of Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards
was not worried that the pachyderm would crush the grape seeds and
exude harsh tannins once he saw the beast‚€™s ‚€œsoft, fleshy pads,‚€
McCoy reports.

In her roundup of wild and wacky wine stories from 2010, McCoy notes a
British Columbia cattle rancher who gives her cows a liter of red wine a
day for the last 60 days  before slaughter. At least they die
happy, and supposedly more tender and flavorful. The steaks are high on
that venture, to say the least.

‚€œIt really has this umami thing,‚€ says Janice Rayndahl of Sezmu Meats. Isn‚€™t umami Japanese for ‚€œje ne sais quoi‚€? You know, that flavor you can‚€™t really pinpoint or put a name to?

McCoy also highlights sales of the ‚€œWine Rack‚€
bra, for the woman whose cup runneth over. It conceals an entire bottle
of wine to be sipped inconspicuously through a tube. I can see this
catching on with guys, too – we no longer need be ashamed of our

Jeff Siegel, my co-conspirator at has posted his annual ‚€œ$10 Wine Hall of Fame‚€ on his Wine Curmudgeon
blog. Jeff revels in cheap wine, and has since even before the
recession, so he can spot the extreme values. I don‚€™t share his
fondness for Barefoot Merlot, which almost made the cut this year, but
Jeff has a keen eye for everyday wines – the type of wines most people
actually drink.




For the past few years, the cork industry has
fought back against screwcaps by playing the global warming card –
buying cork-stoppered wines helps preserve the Mediterranean cork
forests and their natural wildlife habitats. Now cork producers are
playing the sex card, too – their latest ad campaigns (primarily on the
Internet and savaged by wine bloggers such as Alder Yarrow at Vinography)
show a guy striking out with a hot babe when he pulls a flaccid plastic
‚€œcork‚€ from a wine bottle. Another video has a woman scorned as a
‚€œbrown noser‚€ when she twists open a screwcapped wine at an office
party. I guess they think we wine lovers are really shallow.

 This post appeared in similar form on The Washington Post’s All We Can Eat blog on Jan. 6.

This entry was posted in Bargain Wines, Cheap Wine, Cork Taint,, Oregon, Weblogs, Wine, writers. Bookmark the permalink.

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