Murray Berrill Constructions in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia created this wonderful "easy access wine cellar" in the dead space under a stairway. With a few modifications to the design, it could be entirely secret storage!
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Last week, red wine flowed from the household faucets in the northern Italy town of Castelvetro di Modena. A broken valve at a local winery caused 1,000 liters of wine to flow through the water supply to around 20 homes. Unfortunately the malfunction was resolved in a few hours. From CNN:
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The incident provided a moment of levity to the town that's in the midst of the coronavirus crisis -- which has hit northern Italy the hardest.
"At a time where we have very little to smile about, I'm glad we brought some levity to others," (deputy mayor Giorgia) Mezzacqui told CNN. "Hopefully some day they'll remember us and will want to come visit us..."
Fabrizio Amorotti, commercial manager at Cantina Settecani, said the malfunction "was appreciated by many. Some clients in the areas called us to warn us about it, and to share they were bottling the wine!"
There's a new wine-and-cheese pairing in town. But it's not real cheese, it's one with Cheez-It snack crackers. Yep, for a limited time, Cheez-It and red-blended House Wine are being sold together in the same packaging, a box.
Summer is full of moments to grab a glass of wine and your favorite cheesy snack. Beginning July 25, you can purchase a limited-edition House Wine & Cheez-It box at OriginalHouseWine.com for $25, while supplies last. If you miss the chance to purchase a box, you can still enjoy mixing and matching Cheez-It and House Wine pairings on your own all summer long.
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Below is New Year's Eve video of Michael Minnillo, general manager of Yountville, California's legendary French Laundry restaurant attempting a dramatic saber opening of a $2,000 bottle of Billecart-Salmon brut.
French Laundry disinfecting their kitchen floors for the new year with some questionable technique from r/wine
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I don't drink wine, but living in Northern California I still end up visiting wineries in Napa and Sonoma with friends and visitors. Next time we're headed on a wine tasting trip, I'm going to suggest we hit the spooky spots described in this Mysterious Universe guide to haunted California wineries, starting with this one:
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Sitting within the wine country of Sonoma, California is a winery called Bartholomew Park Winery, and it is imbued with quite a colorful past that perhaps makes it unsurprising that it should be haunted. In its days before putting out fine wines, Bartholomew Park Winery underwent several metamorphoses, being used at one time or another as a women’s prison, a hospital, and a morgue, before becoming a vineyard and winery in the 1830s, after which it was acquired by European immigrant Agoston Haraszthy, who also happens to have been the owner of the equally haunted Buena Vista Winery, which we’ll get to later. It then became the Hacienda Cellars winery, with the wine cellars being right there in the old hospital, going on to become the Sonoma Valley Wine Museum and then the Bartholomew Park Winery in 1992...
This rather grim past came back to haunt the winery in the 1970s, perhaps literally, when the body of a former prisoner at the old prison was supposedly found buried within one of the walls of the establishment, and the main building and its basement are situated right atop what was once the morgue. Since the beginnings of the winery there have been tales of employees hearing disembodied voices singing or whispering, as well as moving objects, roving cold spots, footsteps when no one else is around, and the eerie sound of a piano playing.
"Red Coke," aka Riunite on Ice, was largely inspired by the 1940s "Man, Oh Manischewitz" ads. Here, voiceover genius Bob Crane does several impressions for that Robitussin-adjacent wine beloved by middle-class boomers both Jewish and gentile. Read the rest
Josh Jones at Open Culture looks at the Speyer wine bottle, the oldest (and possibly grossest) unopened bottle of wine. Read the rest
The recent deadly outbreak of nacho botulism reminded me of another big botulism outbreak caused by pruno, aka prison wine. Brian and Jason from Modern Rogue show how to make pruno, showing why it could easily contain botulism. Read the rest
Enjoy this vertical video of a dog insisting that its master not have another glass of wine. Read the rest
And she says I'm hard to shop for.
Guzzle Buddy is a wine glass with a cork-sized stopper instead of a stem. You put it directly into the bottle, so as to enjoy the contents directly without sacrificing one's elegance and dignity. It's been featured on Live With Kelly and "several British talk shows", so you know it's good. [via]
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We know you can't wait to Plug It and Chug It, but Guzzle Buddy works best if you Simply remove the cork and gently SCREW it into your favorite bottle of wine using our unique self tapping design. Guzzle Buddy gently aerates the wine enhancing the aroma and flavor! Aerate, Pour and Drink in one Easy Step! Now you can drink from the bottle without those looks of judgement, because we make drinking from the bottle CLASSY! Tell your jealous friends to go get their own Guzzle Buddy!
After a rash of UFO sightings across France in 1954, Lucien Jeune, mayor of the small southeastern village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, issued the following law:
Article 1. — The overflight, the landing and the takeoff of aircraft known as flying saucers or flying cigars, whatever their nationality is, are prohibited on the territory of the community.
Article 2. — Any aircraft, known as flying saucer or flying cigar, which should land on the territory of the community will be immediately held in custody.
Article 3. — The forest officer and the city policeman are in charge, each one in what relates to him, of the execution of this decree.
Jeune's son Elie says the law was mostly a publicity stunt. Still, 62 years later, current mayor Claude Avri told news outlet France Bleu that he is "not going to touch the ban."
When the first wave arrives, I'll be on the next flight to Châteauneuf-du-Pape where I can watch the invasion while sipping a rich red.
"French Town Upholds 62-Year-Old Ban on UFOs" (Mysterious Universe) Read the rest
This lever operated cork screw is super simple.
I hated ripping corks in half, or finding floating bits of cork detritus in my wine. This Oxo opener pretty much removes me from the equation.
Bottles are also opened far faster, getting you to the drinking.
OXO SteeL Vertical Lever Corkscrew with Removable Foil Cutter via Amazon Read the rest
We all know that expiration dates on food are as mostly worse than useless. Whether any given stuff is still tasty, though, can be found at the aptly-named stilltasty.com.
How long will your favorite food or beverage stay safe and tasty? What's the best way to store it? Get the answers for thousands of items!
Some interesting listicles, all somewhat lacking in sourcing: 9 Foods That Last Forever; Yes, Spices Go Bad; and 7 Vegetables That Last A Long Time.
Wine is good for 6 months after you open it if you freeze it into ice cubes. For more on frozen wine trickery, read Singly Scruptious's article about it. Read the rest
We Will Sell No Wine Before Its Time! Previously: Orson Welles hates the advertising copy he's been asked to read.
If you enjoyed this video, Publio Delgado's weirdly harmonized guitar backing is an essential accompaniment.
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Last month, Frances Dinkelspiel's new book, Tangled Vines, cracked the New York Times' Best Seller list. It's a great read, since it mostly follows the events leading up to an arson-caused wine-warehouse fire in 2005, in which 4.5 million bottles of wine worth at least a quarter-billion dollars were lost.
Dinkelspiel's account of that inferno, as well as the man who sits in jail for causing it, is riveting, but I found myself even more interested in the author's numerous references to an organization called the California Wine Association, which controlled as much as 84 percent of the state's wine business from 1894 until 1920. That means the C.W.A., as it was called, was in charge of millions of gallons of California wine that were stored in almost two dozen San Francisco warehouses, most of which were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and the fires that followed.
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Another two million [gallons of wine] were salvaged from the C.W.A.’s main headquarters, at Third and Bryant Streets, but not before “the wooden tanks and casks came apart in the fire storm,” as [wine historian Charles] Sullivan describes it. The spilled wine might have washed into the streets as it had at other warehouses, but a “plugged sewer line” and the building’s solid concrete walls and floor kept the sloshing wine within the structure. Suddenly, the building itself had become a wine cellar, which enabled the C.W.A. to pump the precious liquid through fire hoses to a small fleet of barges, which were towed to Stockton in the San Joaquin Valley, where the wine was distilled into brandy.
The U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority has banned winemaker Premier Estates' "Taste the Bush" advertisement, created by agency Saatchi Masius. According to the government agency, the phrase is understood "to be a reference to oral sex, particularly given that it was accompanied with the image of the wine glass positioned directly in front of the woman's crotch" and that the "ad presented the woman in a degrading manner."
Of course, the value of the ad's earned media, aka free publicity, has far exceeded anything Premier Estates could have paid for.
ASA Ruling on Budge Brands Ltd t/a Premier Estates Wine (via Huffington Post)
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