SIPPED: Stalinist architecture in St. Emilion!
A bottle of wine allegedly in Hitler’s cellar at the Berghof sold for $900 at Alexander Autographs recently. The label might have raised some questions since has only St. Emilion, Frankreich (German for France) emblazoned on the front with no producer name, a vintage of 1934, and what a blog at the NY Times describes as a “Stalinist-style structure towering over the church.” Donald and Petie Kladstrup, co-authors of Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure, told the NYT blog that Hitler “occasionally drank wine, though he preferred beer.” What ever happened to his being a teetotaler?
A lot of wine descriptors could be interpreted as bedroom talk. But Jim Boyce writes about a case worthy of Engrish.com, a Chinese back label that cuts to the chase: “Yellow flowers and a beautiful apricot color with a strong musk. Rich texture with sweet f*ck in sweet orange peel and apricot flavor at the end of a clean. Drink now.”
SPIT: Champagne corks
Champagne, perhaps the last regional holdout (ex-Portugal) from the assault of screwcaps, now has The Maestro. Although we mentioned it previously, details are now out: The new closure, which hides a crown cap (think: beer) under a plastic cover and lever, will soon adorn select bottles of Duval-Leroy champagne. TIME says that it is “far easier to use than a conventional stopper— no struggling to hold the heavy bottle as you twist, no worrying that you’ll take someone’s eye out with the cork.” But, really, a lever doesn’t add to the bottle’s aesthetics–get a grip! [see video of the Maestro in action]
In France, consumption continues to fall. So do exports. “French households drank almost 10 percent less wine last year than in 2007, and exports by French vintners sank 15 percent by volume and almost 30 percent by value in the first quarter of 2009, the agriculture ministry reported.” [AP]
Equifax, a credit rating agency, is developing a service to strengthen online identities, which could be particularly useful to verifying the age of someone who wants to buy wine on the web. [Bits blog]
Photo: Alexander Autographs