A couple of tidbits of wine-related news to get you through a snowy weekend...
* I've long found most Italian Pinot Grigio to be a tad underwhelming, but one winery has taken it to a whole new level. The LCBO (Ontario's government-run liquor board) is recalling 1500ml bottles of 2007 D'Aquino Pinot Grigio after finding some of the bottles contained nothing more than water. While the contents of these bottles aren't dangerous, customers may be left feeling a little underwhelmed by the light colour, neutral aromas and extremely short, slightly chlorinated finish.
* According to recent reports, Italy is set to overtake France as the world's biggest wine producer for the first time in a decade. An Italian farmers' report states that country will produce some 4.7 billion litres of wine (versus France's projected 4.4 billion). This piece by The Guardian has details.
* In memory of Debby, the Assiniboine Park Zoo's late, well-loved polar bear, local winery D.D. Leobard will donate 50 cents from every bottle sold during the month of December to The Polar Bear Conservation Fund in Memory of Debby.
* 'Tis the season for add-ons on bottles of wine and spirits - you know, those little gift-with-purchase type things. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your favourite/funniest/strangest add-on you see on a bottle, and I'll throw some of them up on the blog at my earliest convenience.
My last dead-tree column for the year is supposed to be on December 20, but I'm working on adding a column somewhere before New Year's Eve about bubbly - I'll keep you posted. I may even try and pop some bubbly for a new installment of GrapeNutTV if I have time.