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Posted at 2:25 PM ET, 01/ 6/2011

Wine: Drunken steak and other abuses from 2010

By Dave McIntyre

Who thinks these things up?

Talk about natural wine: Elin McCoy of Bloomberg News reports on an Oregon winery that recruited an elephant to stomp grapes as part of a fundraiser for a wildlife park. 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 “soft, fleshy pads,” McCoy reports.

In her roundup of the nuttiest wine stories from 2010, McCoy also notes a British Columbia cattle rancher who serves her cows a liter of red wine daily for the last 60 days before slaughter, a finishing method that apparently turns the meat deeply red and makes the fat taste sweet. I'm not sold on those benefits, but at least the cows die happy,

“It really has this umami thing,” says Janice Ravndahl, of Sezmu Meats. Isn’t umami Japanese for je ne sais quoi?

McCoy also highlights sales of the Wine Rack, a bra for the woman whose cup runneth over. The device conceals an entire bottle of wine, which the wearer can sip inconspicuously through a tube. I can see this catching on with guys, too. We no longer need be ashamed of our man-boobs!

Jeff Siegel
, my co-conspirator at has posted his annual “$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 agree with his fondness for Barefoot Merlot, which almost made the cut this year, but he has a keen eye for everyday wines.

For the past few years, the cork industry has fought back against screw caps by playing the global warming card -- buying cork-stoppered wines helps preserve the Mediterranean cork forests and their natural habitats. Now cork producers are playing the sex card, too -- their latest ad campaigns (primarily on the Internet, where the wine blogs are savaging them) show a guy striking out with a hot babe when he pulls a plastic “cork” from a wine bottle. Another vid has a woman scorned as a “brown noser” when she twists open a screw capped wine at an office party. I guess they think we wine drinkers really are shallow..

By Dave McIntyre  | January 6, 2011; 2:25 PM ET
Categories:  Wine  | Tags:  Dave McIntyre  
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Next: The Food Resolution: Julian Mayor and Dennis Marron


Thanks for sharing one of our videos. It's intended to provide information about the very real benefits of natural cork in a lighthearted way. Of course, we don't think wine drinkers are shallow. We were just having a little fun. For a more serious-minded look at natural cork, please watch the video we produced featuring such respected wine makers as Ed Sbragia, Richard Arrowood and Jim Bernau -- some of the many, many wine makers who trust natural cork to enhance their wine.

You can find the video at

Posted by: 100PercentCork | January 6, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

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