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Wednesday round-up


It’s been a slow news day here in Lake Woe– err, I mean blogville. No wineries changing hands, no major scandals, no fisticuffs in the blogosphere. But the daily post must be honored, if for no other reason than that taking one day off leads to taking two days off which leads to, well, you get the idea. So here’s a roundup from the ridiculous to the sublime. Hopefully, there’s a point.

Decanter is reporting that Claudia Schiffer’s boobs will be the models for a new wine glass for Dom Perignon, to be designed by the famous French couturier, Karl Lagerfeld. No word on who will be doing the actual measurements. If you wish to volunteer, you might be able to reach Ms. Schiffer through this website.

That glass is gonna hold a whole lot of bubbly!

Then there’s this news that TransFair USA, a group that promotes fair trade practices, and which is headquartered right here in my home town of Oakland, will be putting the seal of approval on fair trade wines, just like they do with coffee, tea and bananas. “A Fair Trade Certified product means TransFair has determined that farmers got fair prices, workers got decent wages and the product was produced in an environmentally responsible manner,” the Associated Press reports. Three wines are said to have been approved so far: Live-a-Little (South Africa), Wandering Grape (Argentina and South Africa) and New Direction (Argentina). The wines are sold at Whole Foods Markets, among other retail shops.

The Family, Love, Wine Blog has a neat post on some new winery PR and marketing books, including one called Spinning the Bottle, by Harvey Posert and Paul Franson. Paul is a fine wine writer who’s written for Wine Enthusiast, my employer. Harvey is a longtime PR guy who worked for a long time for Robert Mondavi, back when the winery was owned and run by the Mondavi family. Harvey was always a great help to deadline-pressed reporters. He later went on to work for Fred Franzia.

Any book from Harvey Posert about winery PR is worth reading. I hope it has all kinds of juicy behind-the-scenes gossip, of which Harvey knows a lot — if he lets himself tell all.

Finally, “Falling sales across all price levels is a major problem that…wine producers and importers are facing due to the global economic slowdown. Restaurant wine lists have been revised, and the restaurant buyers are now placing orders only for the best selling bottles. Corporate spending on Christmas gifts and parties has been severely cut or even cancelled this year. Expensive labels are not selling as well as they used to. Regional sales are 40-50% down. The trade is keeping the level of stocks to the minimum.”

Here in America? No, Russia, according to Meininger’s Wine Business International.

  1. I could be mistaken, but I think that’s Elizabeth Hurley. I’ll gladly volunteer my measuring services for either her or Claudia though. Happy Holidays!

  2. Thank you for the mention of my post. Regarding “Spinning the Bottle,” well, there may not be juicy behind-the-scenes gossip (perhaps he will write another book on that “subject”?) but there are short, first-person accounts of wine PR stories that I found fun to read as well as educational. Happy Holidays!!

  3. If the cup size is much more than an A-, count on losing effervescence rapidly. However, I will gladly serve a bourbon sour in such a lovely vessel. So glad my girlfriend doesn’t read you, Steve.

  4. Ahh, Lee, we’re gonna have to do something about your girlfriend… ; >

  5. That’s definitely Elizabeth Hurley, not Claudia Schiffer. Claudia is blonde and much less endowed…

  6. Thanks, Steve, for mentioning Fair Trade Certified wine. TransFair USA has been hard at work to make this happen in the United States (it has been available in Europe for a few years).

    I encourage everyone to try this wine (available at Whole Foods, Target, Sam’s Club and other retailers). Not only does it taste great, but the proceeds are truly helping the workers involved and their communities in developing countries like South Africa, Chile and Argentina.

  7. Katie, thanks. I can’t say I fully understand all the Fair Trade issues. But I’m willing to learn. Happy new year.

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