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Fun with Wine (September 5, 2002)

If there were a Humour Olympics, the gold medal in the winery division would go to Randall Grahm, winemaker and President-for-Life of Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz, California.

Grahm's wine labels are a delight, full of puns and gentle satire. His Châteauneuf-style blend called Le Cigare Volante (French for "flying saucer") pays homage to a council resolution of a small Rhône village prohibiting the landing of UFOs in the vineyards. The by-law seems to be working because, since its passage, none has.

Grahm weighed into the screwcap debate after a decision to bottle a substantial proportion of the wines he produces under this metal closure. He gave the following ten reasons à la Dave Letterman for abandoning cork in favour of the less romantic Stelvin closure (screwcap).

10. Never pay corkage fees again
9. When celebrating significant occasions with one's colleagues (parole, commutation of sentence), often difficult to locate a corkscrew.
8 "Reverse" chic is just so in.
7. Can begin conversational gambit with waitress with line, "Would you, er, unscrew my bottle?"
6. Perfect beverage for clothing-optional events.
5. Will never fall for the old "left-handed" corkscrew gag again.
4. Hard to find corkscrews down by the railroad tracks.
3. Extremely humorous back-label can be pressed into service at occasional lulls in the conversation.
2. You can no longer be accused of being a cork sniffer.
1. You will never again experience the heartbreak of 2,4,6-TCAoriasis.
(TCA is the chemical compound, trichloroanisole, that is created by the interaction of wine with residual chlorine used to bleach cork. TCA smells like a damp, dirty basement and is the major reason why wines are sent back in restaurants.)

I have an invitation to join Randall Grahm for lunch in Toronto. The bottom of the invitation from Boony Doon's importing agents reads: "Meet Their Leader. Learn Their Ways. Resistance is Futile."

 

 

 

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