Blame It On The Alcohol

This post is by WNYC Studios from On the Media

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This week, we devote an entire hour to what one important scholar deemed “the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.” From its earliest role as a source of nourishment to its depictions in ancient literature, we examine the roots of mankind’s everlasting drinking problems. Plus, how a bizarre 60 Minutes piece spread the idea that red wine has medicinal effects. Then, a look at how popular culture has incorrectly framed Alcoholics Anonymous as the best and only option for addiction recovery. And, a scientist cooks up a synthetic substitute for booze. 1. Iain Gately, author of Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol, on the ancient origins of our core beliefs about booze. Listen. 2. Robert Taylor, assistant managing editor at Wine Spectator, on red wine's constantly changing reputation as a healthy substance. Listen.
  1. Gabrielle Glaser [@GabrielleGlaser], author of Her Best-Kept Secret: Why Women Continue reading "Blame It On The Alcohol"

Samantha Bee Sent Larry Wilmore a Ton of Wine After The Nightly Show‘s Cancellation

This post is by Ken Meyer from Mediaite

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Larry Wilmore‘s Comedy Central gig is heading into its last days, and as he ponders The Nightly Show‘s cancellation, a fellow Daily Show alumnus sent Wilmore a little something to help numb the pain. Wilmore has been making the best of the news so far this week, joking at one point that his show must be getting cancelled because “racism is solved.” Wilmore discussed what the news meant for him in an interview with The Daily Beast, as well as the alcoholic consolation prizes that Samantha Bee and the Full Frontal crew sent to his show’s denizens to wish them well.

Thanks for the cases of wine Jo Miller, @iamsambee and everyone at Full Frontal. We love you too!

A photo posted by Larry Wilmore (@ldub61) on

During the interview, Wilmore discussed how the changes in business culture and comedy have affected Continue reading "Samantha Bee Sent Larry Wilmore a Ton of Wine After The Nightly Show‘s Cancellation"

Vivino makes it easier to shop for wine with Quick Compare

This post is by Nathaniel Mott from Gigaom Search » Property » Gigaom

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There’s nothing quite like being the asshole in the wine shop who keeps grabbing a bottle, holding it in front of his phone for a few seconds, and then repeating the process down the aisle to find the best option to bring to a holiday get-together. That feeling’s only exacerbated by the fact that comparing wines this way often takes much longer than it should because of the apps used to gather information. Vivino is changing that with a new feature that makes it easy to compare a few bottles of wine without having to jump back and forth between various screens. The feature, which is aptly named Quick Compare, displays at the bottom of the screen community ratings for each bottle scanned. People interested in learning more can also tap a button to get more details about the fermented grape juice. Heini Zachariassen, the company’s chief executive, says Quick
Continue reading "Vivino makes it easier to shop for wine with Quick Compare"

The Sideways offensive: Will Merlot sales ever recover?

This post is by » Bloggasm from » Bloggasm

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The scene lasts no longer than a few moments. Thomas Haden Church’s character, frustrated and looking to get laid, tells Paul Giamatti’s character that if the two women they’re about to meet want to drink Merlot, they’re all drinking Merlot. “No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving,” Giamatti responds. “I am not drinking any fucking Merlot!” The scene is humorous but fleeting, yet after the movie Sideways was met with …

Wine Snobs Aghast over Obama’s ‘Cheap’ Choices for Hollande’s State Dinner

This post is by Tina Nguyen from Mediaite

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Tonight, the White House will showcase French-inspired American wines at its state dinner honoring Francois Hollande, the President of France. Normally, state dinners can be very, very expensive (this one alone costs an estimated half a million dollaz), but apparently, according to the Washington Examiner, the three wines at this dinner are “Costco cheap,” costing a grand total of $125. “The president might get off with a bar tab of just $4,000,” the paper speculated.

While this move should fend off the budget hawks looking for reasons to make Marie Antoinette comparisons — the Administration’s caught flak for purchasing bottles listed at $399 at previous state dinners — the wine choice has angered at least one group: wine bloggers.

“Given the White House policy of only serving American wines, they really should showcase the best of what America is making, irrespective of price,” writes wine snob/actual NYU professor Dr. Vino. “Sure, State Dinners are expensive, but has anyone taken a look at the Department of Defense budget and procurement lately? Fine wine at a state dinner is the equivalent of a few toilet seats and wrenches at the DoD.”

In the White House’s defense, the wines are apparently well-rated. The Examiner writes:

All come with highly favorable reviews. The Morlet “La Proportion Doree” 2011, $45, gets 95 of 100 points. The Washington state Chester – Kidder Red Blend 2009, $49.99, won 92 points. And the go-to dessert wine from Monticello, Va., Washington Thibaut-Janisson “Blanc de Chardonnay,” is $30 and rates well.

“But typically,” they added, “the main red comes in at a bigger price, especially when the French are in town.”

Laugh all you want, but wine choices are apparently a huge deal when it comes to Franco-US diplomatic relations. Dylan Byers, who is not a wine blogger, notes that the French “still hold their wine in far higher regard than that of the New World, [and] Tuesday night’s selection is an effort to demonstrate to the French president, once again, that American wines can hold their own.”

Le cheap wines may make that le impossible. Oh well, at least they’re not serving their meal in pretentious terrariums.

[The Washington Examiner]

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Twitter Ads Are Tricky! Watch Five Big Booze Brands Try to Figure Them Out, in Real Time.

This post is by Peter Kafka from AllThingsD » Peter Kafka

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Twitter would love to get ad money from big booze brands. So it has improved the way that it digitally cards its users, which is supposed to ensure that you don’t see a Bud Light ad on Twitter unless you’re 21 or over.

This looks like an incremental change from the age-ID system Twitter rolled out back in 2012, and I wouldn’t normally write about it. But, since Twitter’s blog announcing the news reminds us that the company is already working with people who sell beer and liquor, I thought I’d check out the kind of work they’re doing.

Here’s a quick survey from the five brands Twitter called out in its post, sampling the most recent output from each brand’s account. Conclusion: Even people who are really good at marketing are still trying to figure out Twitter. Remember: These are all messages that go out automatically to people who follow the brand on Twitter, and could theoretically be turned into ads that other Twitter users would see, too.

Bud Light (14,823 followers):

Jim Beam (33,938 followers):

Knob Creek (33 followers):

Heineken (67,987 followers)


Bacardi (45,477 followers):

As you can see above, lots of brands are still trying to figure out the best way to use Twitter: Should you treat it the same as you treat any conventional advertising real estate, and slap up a big picture of your product and a slogan? Should you try to engage Twitter users by getting them to play along with a hashtag game? How about using it to distribute a video you’re proud of?

Put it another way: We’ve all heard about that great Oreos ad that went viral on Twitter during the Super Bowl this year. But what do you do if you just want to sell more Bud Light, without the aid of a freak, nationally televised blackout?

Everyone gets that advertisers need time to adapt to new formats. And everyone gets that inserting ads into social networks that didn’t use to have ads is even trickier.

Twitter is a bit of special case, though, because it is now asking investors to believe that advertisers are going to figure this stuff out very quickly. Twitter was barely selling any ads at all in 2010, and now it looks set to do more than $600 million this year, so it seems like things are going well.

But a lot of that spending is experimental, as advertisers figure out the best way to use a format that isn’t really a search engine, and isn’t a purely social hub, and doesn’t offer a lot of space to run big banner ads.

The Twitter ad team has been very smart about slowly onboarding advertisers over the past few years, which helps keep that curve moving up and to the right. But that doesn’t ensure that it will keep going that way — the ads have to work.

Jon Stewart Consoles Liberals Over Their No Good, Very Bad Day

This post is by Frances Martel from Mediaite

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Let’s face it– liberals are going through a bit of a rough patch. With President Obama resuming military trials in Guantánamo and NPR in complete disarray, Jon Stewart wanted to “pour one out” for the “liberal homies” down on themselves for the bad day. And by “one,” he means a handcrafted pot of homemade gourmet salad dressing– right onto his lap.

After promising during his campaign that he would shut down the Guantánamo Bay facility within a year, President Obama has now ordered trials to resume, and some detainees are being kept without evidence, by virtue of being dangerous (much of the evidence is in the wasteland of Afghanistan, making a trial somewhat difficult). Stewart noted his lack of academic background (“I’m not a lawyer. I’m neither Jacoby nor Meyers”) but found the decision strange. “I always thought the point of evidence was if you didn’t have enough, you’re not allowed to keep them in prison. That’s one of the many differences we have in this country between prisons and zoos.”

Then he turned to mocking the NPR mess created by James O’Keefe, “the Ashton Kutcher of the conservative movement” known for “the least plausible pimp costume ever. Why would a pimp wear ski goggles?” Most of his derision, however, was reserved for Ron Schiller, the NPR executive caught on camera. And no, Stewart wasn’t particularly upset by the Tea Party comments so much as with the five-minute conversation on “the pleasures of madeira wine”– with people he believed to be Muslims. “But enough about madeira, let me show you my prize-winning bacon and porn collection!” Stewart joked.

Stewart concluded his coverage in true form after airing a fake NPR “report” on the scandal (and prosciutto)– by calling NPR “pussies” and falling asleep.

The segment via Comedy Central below: