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The Man Who Brought Us Two Buck Chuck Is Dead
Founder of
Two Buck Chuck Dies
OBITUARY

Founder of Two Buck Chuck Dies

'At the end, we all have an expiration date,' said Fred Franzia, who died at 79

(Newser) - The man who turned "Two Buck Chuck" into an American phenomenon is dead. Fred Franzia, co-founder of Bronco Wine Company, died early Tuesday at his home in California with family by his side, according to a letter sent to Bronco employees, per Wine Spectator . A cause of death wasn'...

Arrests Made in Wine Heist Planned in 'Millimetric Detail'

Theft happened in Spain, the arrests came in Croatia

(Newser) - It's being called the "theft of the century," at least in the vinophile sphere. But authorities appear to have finally caught their suspects after a long-haul chase across Europe that involved both Interpol and Europol law enforcement agencies. Police say that a man and woman were arrested...

Cheers if You're Over 40. Not So Fast if You're Younger

New analysis finds there's no benefit and only increased health risks for young adults who drink

(Newser) - First scientists told us that young adults shouldn't drink alone ; now they're saying they shouldn't drink at all. At least, that's the conclusion of new research out of Seattle's University of Washington, which is part of the ongoing "Global Burden of Diseases" study carried...

If You Get a Call From 'Elliot Stewart,' Be Wary

$13M has been stolen from the elderly in a rare-wine scam

(Newser) - The world of fine wine and whiskey continues to be a magnet for thieves and frauds . The Washington Post reports on allegations that three England-based companies claiming huge returns on investments in rare booze actually stole more than $13 million from at least 150 Americans—many of them elderly. Representatives...

Girl, 7, Shows Off Her Communion Wine Chugging Skills

Watch the priest's face as Brynley Heidebrink goes to town on that chalice

(Newser) - You're not usually supposed to throw back Holy Communion wine like it's last call at the local watering hole, especially if you're only 7, but Brynley Heidebrink just broke the mold. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports that the little girl celebrated her first communion on April...

Wine Columnist's Lament: She's Priced Out of Napa

Lettie Teague of the 'Wall Street Journal' thinks California region's 'main crop is cash, not grapes'

(Newser) - As a wine columnist, Lettie Teague of the Wall Street Journal has long been a fan of California's Napa Valley region. But in a column that details sky-high prices on everything from lodging to tastings, Teague offers a damning assessment: "I can’t help feeling that the region’...

2 Men Indicted in $99M 'Wine-Based Ponzi Scheme'

They allegedly told investors fine wine would be used as collateral for loans

(Newser) - Two British men told investors that they brokered loans for wealthy wine collectors using fine wines as collateral—but the collectors didn't exist, and neither did most of the wine, prosecutors in New York say. Stephen Burton and James Wellesley are accused of scamming investors out of almost $100...

California Wildfires Ruined a Winery's Grapes. It Had a Plan

Napa Valley's Pine Ridge Vineyards is now producing vodka made from the smoke-tainted fruit

(Newser) - When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When it hands you ruined grapes, make ... vodka? That's what Napa Valley's Pine Ridge Vineyards opted to do when its grape crops were sullied by smoke from last year's California wildfires, thanks in part to a partnership with an Almeda...

Freak Winemaking Accident Kills 4 Family Members

A father, son, and pair of brothers were overcome by carbon dioxide in Italy

(Newser) - Four men from the same family all died in a freak winemaking accident in Paola, Italy, Saturday as one went in after another trying to save each other. The men had gathered to transfer vats of grape juice fermenting into oak barrels. The fermentation process produces a lot of carbon...

Paper Debunks 'Urban Myth' About Ordering Wine
Paper Debunks 'Urban Myth'
About Ordering Wine
new study

Paper Debunks 'Urban Myth' About Ordering Wine

Go ahead and get the second-cheapest bottle, or even the cheapest

(Newser) - Homer Simpson, in a celebratory mood, once asked a waiter to bring over a bottle "of your second-least expensive champagne." The same buying principle is a well-known one in the world of wine—see this skewering at College Humor . The idea is simple enough. A novice poring over...

Wine 'Matured in Unique Environment' Could Fetch $1M
This $10K Wine
Could Sell for $1M

This $10K Wine Could Sell for $1M

Because bottle of French wine spent 14 months on the International Space Station

(Newser) - The wine is out of this world. The price is appropriately stratospheric. Christie’s said Tuesday it is selling a bottle of French wine that spent more than a year in orbit aboard the International Space Station. The auction house thinks a wine connoisseur might pay as much as $1...

A Conclusion for Man Who Duped the Rich With Fake Wine

Rudy Kurniawan was deported to his native Indonesia after serving 7 years

(Newser) - A one-time California man who bilked wine collectors out of millions by selling cheaper booze he rebottled in his kitchen has been deported to his native Indonesia, US immigration officials said Tuesday, calling him a "a public safety threat because of his aggravated felony conviction." Rudy Kurniawan , 44,...

They Passed the Wine World's Most Brutal Test. Then It Fell Apart

Vice looks at the scandal that has followed the 2018 Master Sommelier test

(Newser) - For almost everyone on the planet, an email that simply read "PG" and "CndP" would be meaningless. For 24 sommeliers, it was devastating, and the start of a wine-world scandal that still has more questions that answers. Writing for Vice , Adam Elder has the story of the 2018...

After a Year in Space, Wine Returning to Bordeaux

The 12 bottles of vino will be studied—and sampled

(Newser) - The International Space Station bid adieu Tuesday to 12 bottles of French Bordeaux wine and hundreds of snippets of grapevines that spent a year orbiting the world in the name of science. SpaceX’s Dragon cargo capsule undocked with the wine and vines—and thousands of pounds of other gear...

Thieves Pelt Police With Bottles of Fine Wine

French hotel has been robbed of $700K worth of wine

(Newser) - The owner of the Relais Château hotel in France’s Burgundy region has plenty of reason to whine: The five-star hotel’s cellar has been raided twice in the last couple of days, the Guardian reports, with thieves making off with total of nearly $700,000 worth of fine...

Illegal Winery Discovered at Unlikely Spot

Cops busted it at a municipal sewage plant in Alabama

(Newser) - Sheriff's officials say they've busted an illegal winery that was operating at a municipal sewage plant in a small Alabama town. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that it received an anonymous tip about an alcohol operation at a municipal building in the town...

Oaky Wines Are Fine. Ashy, Not So Much

This year's crop could be a disaster

(Newser) - Smoke from the West Coast wildfires has tainted grapes in some of the nation's most celebrated wine regions with an ashy flavor that could spell disaster for the 2020 vintage, per the AP . Wineries in California, Oregon, and Washington have survived severe wildfires before, but the smoke from this...

Taco Bell's Newest Menu Item Is Simply Intoxicating

Chain's Canadian outpost to offer 'Jalapeno Noir' red wine for $20 a bottle

(Newser) - Starting five years ago, Taco Bell crossed over into boozy beverages, offering liquor-spiked Mountain Dews and punches , margaritas, and even its first branded lager , which seem to make sense with such fare. Now the fast-food chain has an alcohol addition that's slightly more upscale (and "democratizing," per...

Vineyards Race to Save Grapes From Fire, Smoke

Lack of tourists also causes problems in California's wine country

(Newser) - With an early harvest already underway, a wildfire a few miles west of John Bucher's ranch added new urgency to getting his pinot noir grapes off the vine. If flames didn't do any damage to the delicate fruit, ash and smoke certainly could. Bucher hired an extra crew,...

Americans Are Drinking More, and Here's Why

Seems there's a cultural change, and no 'policy response to match it'

(Newser) - Americans are drinking more now than when Prohibition was enacted. What's more, it's been rising for two decades, and it's not clear when it will fall again. That’s the picture painted by federal health statistics, which show a rise in per-person consumption and increases in emergency...

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