Bluff the reader – wine news edition

It’s time for bluff the reader! To those at Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, all we can say is that a pale imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. One of these wine news items is true, the others are false. Hit the comments with the right answer!

A) The partying in the Olympic village is almost as legendary as the events on the field; US goalkeeper Hope Solo spilled the beans that “There’s a lot of sex going on,” guesstimating that about three quarters of the athletes at the Beijing Olympics passed more than the baton. Even though some athletes didn’t need any extra stimulation, one athlete told ESPN that he kept his performances entirely for the pool last time around out of shyness but his attitude changed for carnal encounters in London: “But now I’m a big man. So I can try. I will try.” Although the the media were not officially allowed in to the village, where over 10,000 athletes spent the Games packed into 3,000 apartments, word leaked out about the organizers’ extraordinary hospitality: In order to boost the goodwill at the Games, organizers distributed 150,000 condoms as well as 10,000 corkscrews. A mixed case of wine was in each apartment with a ribbon and a card saying “good luck” in 25 languages. The Games received much praise from the participants and the organizers underscored Team GB’s outstanding performance with 29 gold medals; Sebastian Coe highlighted the Britons’ spirit of generosity.

B) Hugh Johnson, OBE, horticulturist and dean of Britain’s wine writing, recently joined Twitter. The format may be ideally suited to the long-time writer, author of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book, an annual volume that contains brief wine reviews, sometimes even short enough to fit within Twitter’s 140 character limit. In a discussion of his reviews, Johnson let slip that he includes about a dozen reviews of totally fake wines in each volume. He invents a few winery names every year, appends bogus tasting notes, and waits for readers to contact him about where to find the wine. However, to date, nobody has ever done so.

C) There’s a famous scene in Real Housewives of New Jersey where a table gets overturned in anger, spilling the contents on the floor. Rather than cry over this spilled meal, the table’s flipper, Teresa Giudice, has decided to turn the TV lemons into a lemonade of her own: a product that removes red wine stains. Finding the celebrity wine market to be too crowded, a press release boasts that she now has the celerity wine stain removal market all to herself. Based on generations of accumulated housewife knowledge that pouring white wine on top of spilled red wine is the best stain remover, Giudice worked with wine entrepreneur Cameron Hughes to find some bulk white wine. They have labled the product “Lot 86,” a term Giudice says she chose to honor her restaurant days. “God knows we all spill a little f–king Merlot from time to time!” she said in an demonstration on The Ellen Degeneres Show. “Pay attention! Just pour on a bottle of this Lot 86 and the stains are gone. 86 red wine stains!”

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11 Responses to “Bluff the reader – wine news edition”


  1. Actually I heard masturbation is the sincerest form of flattery. Anyway I think ‘A’ is true.


  2. Olympic Question of the Year: of the 150,000 condoms provided, how many were left at the end of the Games?

    I haven’t personally made up any wineries but my blog, pouredwithpleasure./com, has given house room to DAYGLO RED, a former favorite of the hippie era, much-loved and said to have been highly acidic, and Mötley Crü, a cheap, deadly “Reddish” California Table Wine made “from any grapes from anywhere”; also known as “One-Buck Chuck.” Similarly dubious people have appeared therein, among them Kay Carino and her wine-loving pals Moe Linara and Ron di Nella; Barrique Obama, a failed herald of change whose Chardonnays are still so woody they could be used to kill vampires; Bernie Médoc, the multpily jailed negociant; Caska, ignoble Roman and Shakespearean drunk; Toots Wheat, French brewer and baguette queen, party girl, toast of the Boul’Mich; and Puncheon Judy, the gravel-voiced karaoke singer and knockabout barfly. In short, I run with a bad crowd.


  3. a) is spot-on about the sex, not so much the wine: anyone following the official British line on alcohol consumption will feel comfortable dismissing this one;

    b) likewise anyone who knows anything about Mr. Johnson will find both the unprofessional allegations *and* the prospect of him joining the digital age extremely hard to believe;

    c)which leads me to choose c), since, while I know nothing about the lady in question, I know enough about our beloved nation to place nothing beneath my countrymen.


  4. I think Mr Dias has nailed it above, couldn’t have said it any better myself. A and B are extremely hard to believe, whereas C actually wouldn’t be too strange.


  5. I’ll go along with Dias and Antti for basically the same reasons.


  6. I would guess A, although C is so boring it might be true.


  7. I think it’s A. I heard (on NPR) that the housewife was launching a wine line, not a wine stain remover.


  8. B)Not how the average consumer uses the book, they look up wines that are already in front of them

    C)One of the only things my wife and I miss no longer paying for cable (we have babies therefore no time and they can’t watch until 2 anyway) are those trashy reality shows. Real Housewives seem to love their wine, even the wine club started by the couple of California housewives (I am guessing I would be envious of their marketing budget)


  9. I missed the most important part….that leaves my guess as A!


  10. Hey all, Thanks for playing. Unfortunately, this bluffin got the better of you all. B is the correct answer: Hugh Johnson told Eric Arnold that he makes up a few reviews in each copy of the book. Here’s Eric’s blog post over at Lot 18 about it.

    Bill – You should send that material over for a guest post at the HoseMaster!


  11. Lot 18. Hmmmmm.


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