Archive for June, 2009
Barons Black Wattle is Australian Ale Brewed with Wattle Seed. The attractive graphics caught my eye at the beer store. And so, like Vic Cherikoff, I wanted to know: So What The Bloody Hell Is Wattleseed? It turns out that Cherikoff may well be the world’s foremost expert on this seed, and “world trends in Wattleseed use.” He explains:
For over 6000 years, Australian Aborigines in different clans around the country, parched and milled wattle seeds from around 100 of the 900 plus species of Acacia, then used the coarse flour in baked seed cakes. … Wattleseed is a great inclusion in anyone’s diet. It has an unusually low glycaemic index which means that the carbohydrates in it are slowly absorbed and therefore better for you than sugary, quick release alternatives.
Wikipedia explains that “Wattleseed is a term used to describe the edible seeds from around 120 species of Australian Acacia that were traditionally used as food by Australian Aborigines and they were eaten either green (and cooked) or dried (and milled to a flour) to make a type of bush bread.”
a flowering plant native to the subtropical rainforests of Queensland, Australia. … [It is] considered to have a “cleaner and sweeter” aroma than comparable sources of citral [such as lemongrass]. … Lemon myrtle is one of the well known bushfood flavours and is sometimes referred to as the “Queen of the lemon herbs”, with the new growth preferred for its sweetness.
It took a while, but one of us finally found a wine that hits the spot. It is G Spot wine. Turns out it’s been lurking in the Barossa Valley all this time. It is grenache wine imported by Joshua Tree Imports of Duarte, California.
Over in Washington’s Columbia Valley, the Naked Winery takes it one step further.
Twenty years ago, wine was wine and Disney was Disney and there didn’t seem to be much overlap. Things change a lot.
Now Disney is on wine labels, grown at Disney vineyard, and sold at Disney parks. Winesooth brought this to our attention in the form of the Ratatouille Chardonnay. It has the little cartoon rat on the front label, along with a reference to Disney and Pixar. Back in 2007, Dow Jones said:
Next up: Disney is launching a wine label via Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco Wholesale Corp. that is based on its upcoming animated film “Ratatouille,” the tale of a rat who wants to become a French chef. The chardonnay, from the Burgundy region in France and bearing the Ratatouille name and likeness, will sell for $12.99.
Five weeks later, Bizzia reported:
They’ve come to their senses and plan to back out of the wine market before their wine ever hits store shelves.
Disney, with the help of Costco … , planned to market a wine named after their latest animated film, Ratatouille, with a label featuring the film’s main character, Remy the rat. In my post earlier this month, I questioned why the number one family and children’s brand would even consider slapping their brand name and character’s image on an alcoholic beverage. I thought the strategy went beyond the realm of all common sense. Turns out, I’m not the only one who felt that way.
Disney has been getting backlash from California winemakers and opponents of underage drinking. It seems the use of a cartoon character that may be considered to target children violates the California Wine Institute’s advertising code. At the same time, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control opened a separate investigation into whether the Disney-Costco wine marketing program might have violated state liquor laws.
Alas, before a full-fledged PR nightmare began, Disney shelved its Ratatouille wine. Again, I ask, where was common sense during the development of this product? Didn’t anyone in any of the new product development meetings stand up and say, “Wait a minute. We’re Disney. Maybe promoting liquor isn’t the best way for us to go with our brand.” Maybe there were people who raised a red flag earlier in the process, but for some reason the plans went on full force until everyone else on the planet heard about it and said, “What the heck is Disney doing?”
What do you think? Do you think Disney made the right move by dumping Ratatouille wine? Do you think they were crazy for putting effort and money into Ratatouille wine in the first place?
This past winter Justin Timberlake was “spied” wandering the Mexican state of Jalisco scoping out tequilas. We soon learned he was launching a label called 901 (as in both the area code of JT’s home state and the evening hour when the Par-taaayyy gets rolling…well, in other parts of the country anyway).
DIAB is the importer, based in St. Louis, Missouri. TTB records show exactly zero other approvals for DIAB, run by Kevin Ruder.
Ruder spent 12 years with Anheuser Busch, overseeing that company’s initial forays into spirits as well as the company’s “entertainment sponsorships and celebrity relationships,” according to the press profile. A couple of years ago, Ruder founded Diab … and spent two years developing 901 with Timberlake. They visited 10 distilleries in the Mexican state of Jalisco before striking a deal with Tequilera Newton.
It is likely that all beer, wine and spirits labels will change dramatically in the near future. TTB has been working on new rules since CSPI and other groups submitted a petition in 2003. The new rules would require a “Serving Facts” panel on every container. This panel would include a lot more information, such as the typical serving size, number of servings per container, calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat. Because this is a big, controversial change, TTB has received more than 18,000 public comments during the past few years. There are far too many comments for most people to review, and so we will highlight and summarize the most noteworthy comments here. The most recent proposal and comments are here. This is comment 20 in a series; to see others, click on the “serving facts” tag below.
CSPI submitted a 10 page comment. It said:
- CSPI has been pushing TTB and ATF on this since 1972.
- Alcohol beverage labels offer few uniform disclosures to help consumers. Consumers deserve basic, uniform information that can help them “measure, monitor, and moderate their drinking.”
- Alcohol is “America’s most popular, legal drug.”
- TTB ignores more than 35 years of requests for ingredient labeling, and instead requires disclosure of rarely occurring nutrients such as fats and proteins. TTB should also require ingredient labeling.
- CSPI is concerned that marketers will exploit the nutritional information to “hawk alcoholic beverages as diet or health drinks.”
- CSPI strongly opposes the linear format except on 50 ml. containers.
Thirty five years into its marathon, and nearing the finish line, this article says CSPI is in dire financial circumstances.