Oh, it’s so early in the new year, and oh, the horror! I turned on my computer today and hit up WineBusiness.com to catch up on all the varied events going on in the wine world. Two stories caught my attention immediately and I had to just dive in with a little regurgitation of the facts with my own two cents.
And those two cents may go further if, say, you are buying your wine at the 99 Cents Only store. Move over Two Buck Chuck, the Arizona Daily Star reports three of Tucson’s finest discount retail outlets have applied for beer and wine licenses, hoping to lure customers from the area’s lucrative high end wine shops and into their low end Mecca, where carefully selected wines will be on offer for, well, close to 99 cents. Before we start the “One Buck Chuck” chant, 99 Cent Store CEO Eric Shiffer notes that through what he calls “special opportunity buys,” “a typical 10 to 20 dollar retail bottle of wine will sell for approximately $1.79.”
I guess that pricing might come off as a little misleading, since it’s a 99 Cent Only store, but to clear up the “special opportunity buys,” he points to a blend of winery over-production, possible label changes or grocery store poor performers that will make up the stable of 99 Cents Only’s wine offerings.
“These wines will be a great treat for our customers because they are getting a good quality table wine at an exceptional price,” he adds.
The stock will be limited to the quantity of the single buy that the discount store makes, and when that wine is gone, another wine will be introduced. That’s it: One wine on sale at a time, for $1.79. No gimmicks, no frills. I don’t always make it to Tucson, but next time I do, I’m getting in on this deal.
For a mere $33.21 more, you can have your very own Vaportini. No lie. The U.K.’s Mail Online News reports Chicago restaurateur Julie Palmer is now introducing the online world to a nifty device she has been using at her Red Kiva restaurant. No more “Blech!” from bad whiskey, sugary rum or poorly crafted vodka. In fact, the Vaportini renders taste buds unnecessary. In a glass apparatus similar to the type of (now legal) piece we huff ganja or rip hash oil from, the alcohol is heated (to 140 degrees with a candle flame) and inhaled in vapor form. The best part, I guess, is that the stomach no longer dictates that alcohol is inherently evil, and we can seemingly sniff away the night. However, as discerning as the stomach can be, besides alerting us of the impending doom of the doubles we keep hocking down, it also, along with the walls of the small intestines, s-l-o-w-l-y absorbs the alcohol, in combination with the food (I hope) we have been eating and digesting.
Never mind those bollocks, the Vaportini (coming to a underage party near you, I hope not) shoots the happy vapor of distilled spirits straight to your blood, straight to your dome piece, with nary a delay. You simply pour a dose of tequila, absinthe, gin or whatever else you have around in the glass bowl, light the little candle wick underneath, and cook away, while gently inhaling through a glass straw-neatly and efficiently.
Never mind also that studies have shown the massive disaffect of alcohol on adolescent mental development, and you can see where this one is going. The rapid onset of the intoxicant through this delivery system could greatly increase the potential for acute abuse, poisoning or even overdosing. Again, I say, “Oh the horror.” The only thing worse is the article’s stock photo of a bunch of blokes sitting around a similar device at what appears to be a tradeshow, tube-sucking vaporized alcohol. Dorks.
Cheers! Remember, wine reveals truth.
Drew Stofflet lives in Carbondale. Correspond with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.