Wednesday, December 31, 2008 

Sideways... Not lost in Translation to Japanese

Wain wa ikaga desu ka?
Remember the enormously successful and slapstick, funny movie, “Sideways” (which boosted sales of pinot noir and all but destroyed sales of merlot)? Well, anyway, a Japanese version of the film, featuring three of Japan’s most famous actors, has been shot in Calistoga. The plot involves a trip to California’s wine country by the principal actor to attend the wedding of a friend, just as in the plot of the original “Sideways.” .... The film is scheduled for release in Japan sometime in the fall of 2009. - St. Helena Star, Variety, DougWilder and Cinematical.
The Japanese are going gaga over the wine picks of their favorite national sommelier. Oh, did I mention he's a cartoon character?
Entire 20,000-bottle shipments of burgundy sell out within hours in Tokyo if he so much as looks at a glass, South Korea's biggest film star is lined-up to play him in a TV drama and he has converted thousands of Asian women into the most discerning oenophiles.

In the rarefied world of superstar sommeliers, there may be none greater than Shizuku Kanzaki.
The only snag is that he is a cartoon. - TimesOnLine

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Saturday, September 20, 2008 

As if there weren't enough cooking magazines...

FoodNetwork is jumping into the cooking mag fry pan.
Hearst Magazines and the Food Network are forging ahead with their new food title. Food Network Magazine, as they’re calling it, will represent the array of the network’s celeb chefs, from Paula Deen to Ina Garten to Bobby Flay. The first of two test issues is slated to come out in October, with a second to follow in January, said Michael Clinton, executive vp, chief marketing officer and publishing director for Hearst. - MediaWeek
And speaking of FoodNetwork, Tyler Florence, now that he is a citizen of the United State of California, has been picked to head up a department (or two) at Copia: The American Center For Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa.
According to a published report last week, Florence is being tapped as the center’s dean of culinary studies, responsible for all food education and culinary instruction as well as for the online food and wine content on copia.org. - The Press Democrat
I don't know if Tyler's presence will help the financially troubled Food/Wine Mecca, but I certainly hope so. Wonder if we'll be seeing him on Copia TV, too.
Creditors are taking control of the troubled insurer that guaranteed the $77 million in bonds issued by a California state bank for Napa's Copia: the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts.

...I-Bank, a tiny, state-owned institution, endorsed a $77 million bailout of Copia last year even as the museum was insolvent and facing IRS accusations of violating its nonprofit status with too many for-profit activities. I-Bank also had authorized the first bond offering for Copia in 1999, for $70 million, which allowed construction of the center's lavish buildings and grounds.

As a third party, I-Bank maintains it is not liable for the bonds, but its former chairman expressed concern about Copia's financial instability before the second round of bonds were approved. That approval hinged on ACA's insurance.- SacBee


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Sunday, September 14, 2008 

Amazon to sell wine online

Sounds interesting. Wonder if any of our local Santa Barbara County wineries will jump on the Amazon selling bandwagon.
Amazon.com, the largest global online retailer, plans to start selling U.S.-produced wine on its website within the United States by early October, wine industry insiders said on Wednesday.

Napa Valley Vintners, a nonprofit group representing 315 vintners in the famous
California wine-producing region, has already begun to set up workshops for wineries interested in selling through the retail giant, said Terry Hall, communications director for the group.

...Confusion over online wine sales have continued despite a 2005
U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled states could not discriminate against out-of-state wineries. A group called "Free the Grapes" has been working to streamline legislation and open new states to direct-to-consumer wine shipping. - Reuters
It's not just California wine. Amazon, which is based up in Washington, has contacted that state's wineries, too.
Amazon has approached the Washington Wine Commission to help tell 550-plus wineries about selling through the retail giant, said Ryan Pennington, a spokesman for the state agency. - Seattle Times

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