Archive for the ‘Food’ Category
A dozen French winemakers and traders have been found guilty of a massive scam to sell 18 million bottles of fake Pinot Noir to a leading US buyer.
The judge in Carcassonne, south-west France, said the producers and traders had severely damaged the reputation of the Languedoc region.
The 12 more than doubled profits passing off the wine to E and J Gallo under its Red Bicyclette brand.
In a statement on its website it said it was “deeply disappointed” to learn its supplier, Sieur d’Arques, had been found guilty of selling falsely labeled French Pinot Noir.
The court ruled the 12 had deliberately and repeatedly mislabeled the wine as one of the more expensive varieties of grape in order to get a better price from E and J Gallo.
The Red Bicyclette Pinot Noir single grape wine is hugely popular in the United States.
French Customs Officers spotted the swindle and called in investigators. They found the amount of Pinot Noir being sold to Gallo was far more than the region produced. Some of those in the scandal were not even Pinot Noir producers.
The judge handed out suspended jail sentences ranging from one month to six months for the most prominent wine trader and ordered all the defendants to pay fines.
The fines ranged from 1,500 euros ($2,050; £1,300) to the top figure of 180,000 euros ($247,050; £156,500) for Sieur d’Arques. The judge said that the accused together made seven million euros in profits from the scam.
The judge said: “The scale of the fraud caused severe damage for the wines of the Languedoc for which the United States is an important outlet.”
A lawyer for Sieur d’Arques, Jean-Marie Bourland, told Agence France-Presse: “There is no prejudice. Not a single American consumer complained.”
A lawyer for three other defendants argued his clients had delivered a wine that had Pinot Noir characteristics.
E and J Gallo said it was no longer selling any of the wine to its customers.
Not a bad scam – You double your profits and when caught get a slap on the wrist. Just a wild guess, but I’d say the odds are extremely good that false labeling continues.
I especially like the part where the lawyer said, “Not a single American consumer complained.”
French humor no doubt.
The US course of action and a just punishment for such a grand scheme is to no longer buy French wine.
That would be American humor.
Papa John’s founder John Schnatter was reunited with the muscle car he sold three decades ago for a future in the pizza business. After a nationwide search for the 1971 Z28 Chevrolet Camaro, Schnatter said that he found it in Kentucky.
Jeff Robinson, a resident of Flatwoods, Ky., bought the car a few years ago and agreed to return it to Schnatter who rewarded him with a $250,000 prize.
Schnatter said seeing the car “kind of hit me emotionally” and that it looks very much the same as it did when he sold it in 1983.
The car was sold by Schnatter to help rescue his father’s bar in Jeffersonville, Ind. Schnatter would later begin selling pizzas there.
The best part –
To celebrate the event, the Papa John’s pizza chain is offering a free large, one-topping pizza to Chevrolet Camaro owners on Wednesday.
Step aside Michael Jackson for some real talent. This is a sad week indeed, because Gidget the Chihuahua just retired to puppy heaven.
She was the star of the best Taco Bell commercials ever devised. Her bug-eyed stare and big-eared face were pure magic as she lit up the small screen from 1997 to 2000 with the catchy phrase, “Yo Quiero Taco Bell.”
Argentine actor Carlos Alazraqui dubbed the male voice. He is best known as Deputy James Garcia on Comedy Central’s “Reno 911!”
It was said that the Taco Bell ads provoked some criticism from activists who said they used Mexican stereotypes… stupid activists – you wouldn’t know talent if it came up and peed on your leg.
Gidget’s trainer, Sue Chipperton, in an interview earlier this year with the People Pets website, described the diminutive dog as a consummate professional on the set. But, she said, Gidget had been the victim of typecasting, which limited her career choices (or, rather, Chipperton’s choices on her behalf).
Gidget suffered a massive stroke late Tuesday at her trainer’s home in Santa Clarita and had to be euthanized. Gidget was 15.
The reduced oxygen in the Mile High City is taking it’s toll on Denver’s Mayor John Hickenlooper. It appears that the cheese has finally slid off his cracker judging from this latest attempt to appease the green gods.
Warning to Southern delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver this August: it will be a no-fry zone.
As part of the effort to make the August 25-28 convention the greenest ever, the Democrats’ guidelines for food catering include one that strikes at the heart of Southern cuisine: no fried food.
No fried chicken. No fried catfish. No fried green tomatoes. No fried okra. No fried anything.
In promoting healthy eating habits, the Democratic guidelines say every meal should be nutritious and include “at least three of the following colors: red, green, yellow, purple/blue and white.”
“It’s the new patriotism,” says Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, the driving force behind the greening of the Democratic convention.
However, if presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain starts gaining in the polls on Barack Obama, who will accept the Democratic nomination in Denver, the Democrats may find they’ve got bigger fish to fry? – uh, make that – bake
Talk about a place where all reason is tossed to the wind. If the people of Denver accept this type of government intrusion and madness, then they deserve the increased tyrannical control that is sure to follow.
You always hate to see it when people mistake the fantasy world of television with real life. It’s even worse when the people on TV use celebrity to force their personal politics onto the rest of us.
The latest in the long line of celebrities that wish to impose the green lifestyle is Chef Gordon Ramsay. You may be familiar with his TV restaurant show that mostly consist of scolding and berating those who have signed up for whatever comes. This is fine for TV and can be great fun, but when said celebrity begins calling for laws that affect the real world then it’s time to say, “Wait a minute!”
Gordon Ramsay says British restaurants should be “fined” if they serve fruit and vegetables, which are not in season. He told the BBC that fruit and vegetables should be locally sourced and only on menus when in season. Mr Ramsay said he had already spoken to Prime Minister Gordon Brown about “outlawing” out-of-season produce.
Wishing to set laws and pass out fines are we Mr. Ramsay? Gordon continued by saying, “It would cut carbon emissions, as less food would be imported and lead to improved standards of cooking.”
I can understand wanting to improve cooking standards, but how pretentious of you Mr. Ramsay in wanting to regulate when certain fruits and vegetables can be served depending on how best to reduce carbon emissions.
Perhaps the rest of us think that your London restaurants, which include Petrus, The Savoy Grill and Maze should close because of the high amounts of CO2 they emit. Let’s be honest, you are personally responsible for more CO2 in one day than most of us could manage in a year.
Why not step-up and show us how much you “really” care about global warming. That’s right Gordon, be a stand up guy and close your restaurants. You do that and you will earn the right to preach the evils of carbon emissions and when the rest of us can buy fruits and vegetables.
Yes Mr. Ramsay, short of a financial disaster we know this will never happen. Funny how it’s always the activities of others that need correcting and never those that rant for the green lifestyle.