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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

We Will Sell No Wine

Two Wine Notes of interest:

RIP Ernesto Gallo, at the grand ole age of 97. A pioneer of the American wine trade if ever there was one.

This reminds me of my great-grandmother (who ushered in the century in 1900): she had a glass of hock every day of her life until she died at the ripened vintage of 94, God rest her bubbly soul. In Vino Longevity...

Also, to those of you who are interested in the grape, on 29 March 2007, from 7-9 PM, there will be a wine-tasting event on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, proceeds going to the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami.

Tickets are a "mere" $40, but $100 if you plump down for the VIP reception at 5:30 PM.

Just head on over to the 100 block of Giralda Avenue, and rev up your tastebuds...tastebuds, wine, rosebuds, hmm.

I have suddenly thought of an infamous commercial tied to our topic.

Do you recall this gem of yesteryear?





Sure, it's "only" Paul Masson, a joke!, ein Witz!, un blague! of a wine. But who cares. It's Orson Welles.

Look at that eyebrow going up, just as he intones with that splendid, unforgettable baritone, "We will sell no wine, before its time".

God, I'd have drunk Bartles & Jaymes if he had flogged it.

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13 Comments:

  • Ah, but those Welles outtakes!

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=K3qg4i22x9M

    He made a film for the Shah of Iran...people say it's unfinished, but rumors persist that it's done and hidden in Iran somewhere...

    By Blogger Ron, at Wed Mar 07, 01:53:00 am GMT-5  

  • A huge chunk of the Gallo fortune was made off of Night Train, and Thunderbird, seems as if there's a killing to be made off of selling flavored rubbing alcohol to addicts.

    By Blogger XWL, at Wed Mar 07, 02:56:00 am GMT-5  

  • In Vino Longevity...
    Yup. My grandmother died at about 98, IIRC, and she had a glass of rakiya (grappa) at each meal, "for disinfection", she used to say. She didn't eschew wine, either. (Actually, she had had a vineyard before communism, but didn't make wine, rather sold the grapes and used the income to support the family, raising my dad and my uncle alone, after her husband - my granddad - had died).

    Cheers,
    Elkitch (you guessed this one right, but you'd never be able to guess my other nicknames ;)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Mar 07, 03:15:00 am GMT-5  

  • Ah, but those Welles outtakes!

    I saw that on Youtube when I looked up "Orson Welles wine", but didn't dare click. It's like seeing Fred Astaire in his skivvies.

    Orson -- such a character.

    He made a film for the Shah of Iran...people say it's unfinished, but rumors persist that it's done and hidden in Iran somewhere...

    Did he! About what, I wonder?

    The Shah of Iran had a lot of friends, all over. He hosted so many royal get-togethers, and if memory serves, the Crown Prince of Italy was even married in Tehran under his aegis -- but none came to his aid when he fell...

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 07, 01:07:00 pm GMT-5  

  • A huge chunk of the Gallo fortune was made off of Night Train, and Thunderbird,

    I had no idea to what you referred, as Night Train and Thunderbird have either jazz or kiddie show connotations for me -- then I clicked. Bum wine! LOL.

    What about this Mad Dog, I hear about today?

    seems as if there's a killing to be made off of selling flavored rubbing alcohol to addicts.

    Ahh.

    You know, it's funny. Because it's the grape and not crack cocaine, meth or heroin, I don't hold the Gallo Bros in quite the same disregard as I would, say Pablo Escobar.

    But I suppose in a philosophical sense, it's the same, isn't it?

    Especially since I always blame the supplier first, and not the supplicants.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 07, 01:11:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Yup. My grandmother died at about 98, IIRC, and she had a glass of rakiya (grappa)

    Rakiya! Remember the Romanian Zlata on RSS, Elko -- she had a very very long thread on the whole topic of rakija?

    Of course, she had the Serbian version, but it still put hair on her chest.

    (Zlata's time on RSS might be before your time, so perhaps you don't remember)

    at each meal, "for disinfection", she used to say. She didn't eschew wine, either.

    Nice. Both the disinfection and the eschewing bit.

    (Actually, she had had a vineyard before communism, but didn't make wine, rather sold the grapes and used the income to support the family, raising my dad and my uncle alone, after her husband - my granddad - had died).

    How sad, and yet how valiant of her.

    Sorry to hear about your granddad, Elko, but your grandmother seems to have been quite a lady.

    Elkitch (you guessed this one right, but you'd never be able to guess my other nicknames ;)

    Tell! :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 07, 01:14:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Rakiya! Remember the Romanian Zlata on RSS, Elko -- she had a very very long thread on the whole topic of rakija?

    Yes, of course I know Zlata - she reappears on RSS from time to time. We even had a discussion with her and you about languages and middle names at some point last year, I think. Her rakia thread is older, though - I just googled it up. At that time I was not reading RSS regularly, and missed it.

    Of course, she had the Serbian version, but it still put hair on her chest.

    Rakia has this undeserved reputation of tasting like paint thinner. (Well, it can taste that way, if some bozo is making it, but that's not the point). Good rakia is a heavenly drink - smooth, with a delicate fruity flavor, and is the best drink to have with a salad.

    How sad, and yet how valiant of her.

    Yeah, Baba Meri (Grandma Mary) was quite a character. She purposely did not marry after my granddad's death, because she did not want to risk dying in childbirth (a very real possibility at that time) and leave her boys to be raised without her. I have very fond memories of her, as she was my last remaining grandparent (presumably because the others didn't drink :-).

    Cheers,
    Elko

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Mar 07, 09:20:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Hehe, just read a joke in one Bulgarian sports rag online, and thought I'd share - it seems relevant to this entry :-)))

    - Before, I thought ugly women do not exist. Now I can see I was wrong.
    - Why? What happened to change your mind?
    - I stopped drinking.

    Cheers,
    Elko

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Mar 07, 09:49:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Yes, of course I know Zlata - she reappears on RSS from time to time. We even had a discussion with her and you about languages and middle names at some point last year, I think.

    Dude! Of course, how could I forget?

    That was another of my all-time fave threads, which you participated and provided her with facts which she didn't even know about (and she knows a LOT about East Europe, as you have seen).

    Her rakia thread is older, though - I just googled it up. At that time I was not reading RSS regularly, and missed it.

    Zlata's posts draw out the best of me -- I was becoming too dry and touchy on RSS, and then she showed up, immediately lightening my mood into a playful, gossipy one which is closer (I hope) to my real nature.


    Rakia has this undeserved reputation of tasting like paint thinner. (Well, it can taste that way, if some bozo is making it, but that's not the point). Good rakia is a heavenly drink - smooth, with a delicate fruity flavor, and is the best drink to have with a salad.


    Mmm. But I have to admit, I have tasted retsina, which is a rakija-a-like -- and I just didn't like it.

    I suspend judgement though, until I have Bulgarian rakia!

    Yeah, Baba Meri (Grandma Mary) was quite a character.

    Baba Meri! I love the name. It sounds like an heroine from a novel.

    She purposely did not marry after my granddad's death, because she did not want to risk dying in childbirth (a very real possibility at that time) and leave her boys to be raised without her.

    Wow. Truly they don't make women like that anymore...

    Have you ever thought of writing a book about her? I am SERIOUS, Elko.

    I have very fond memories of her, as she was my last remaining grandparent (presumably because the others didn't drink :-).

    How much she must be missed. As much as my mother misses her grannie, and I miss my mother's mother...

    A drink to them, in memory!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 07, 11:52:00 pm GMT-5  

  • - Before, I thought ugly women do not exist. Now I can see I was wrong.
    - Why? What happened to change your mind?
    - I stopped drinking.


    An oldie, but a goodie, as they say. :)

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 07, 11:53:00 pm GMT-5  

  • But I have to admit, I have tasted retsina, which is a rakija-a-like -- and I just didn't like it.

    No-no-no, retsina is Greek resin-flavored wine. Acquired taste, hard to like on first try, but has nothing to do with rakia. Are you perhaps thinking of ouzo?

    In any event, rakija has nothing to do with either.


    I suspend judgment though, until I have Bulgarian rakia!

    You can, if you want to. I think I had posted here a link to sofiausa.com, and they can ship to Florida. On that site, they call all rakia brandy, but the only real brandies (cognac-like) are SLANCHEV BRIAG, Preslav and Pliska, everything else is rakia.
    If you decide to buy something, keep in mind:
    1. Mastika is the anise-flavored stuff, like ouzo
    2. The products of Karnobat / SIS Industries are better left alone - they are produced from alcohol, water and flavors, not by fruit distillation
    3. I would recommend Muscat Pomorie, Slivenska Perla, Grozden, and the two plum brandies.

    If for some reason you decide not to trust that site, you can still buy something similar to everyday, ordinary rakia - your local Total Wine store in North Miami Beach carries the so-called "white brandy" by Christian Brothers. It is very similar to ordinary, ho-hum grape rakia - not bad, but nothing to write home about either.

    Cheers,
    Elko

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Mar 08, 02:08:00 am GMT-5  

  • I remember that commercial very well! LOL

    As for me, I shop for cheaper wines, with odd vinter names, and I stay away from the drier varieties.

    Otherwise, it's a brewski for me-ski!

    By Blogger benning, at Thu Mar 08, 11:53:00 am GMT-5  

  • The dean of American wine writers, Matt Kramer, had a full obit of Gallo on Thursday.

    It's interesting.

    By Blogger JSU, at Fri Mar 09, 05:55:00 am GMT-5  

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