• From “L'eggo my Eggo!” to “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” to whatever the Hamburglar is supposed to be about, popular food mythology has long equated deliciousness with larceny in the Western world. The association turned tragic in Provence recently, however, with the fatal shooting of a truffle farm trespasser in the region. According to the Associated Press, the shooter, a farmer who owned the plot, was taken into police custody after shooting the victim in the legs and head, believing the trespasser to be a thief. Other farmers have come to the shooter’s defense, complaining of the rise in truffle crime in recent years. "In the past month, everyone around here has been robbed," said a former head of the local growers’ syndicate. "We went to the local officials and the police, but nothing was done."
• Like most American presidents President Barack Obama only serves American wine at White House functions. And, as with all other Americans, he grapples with the question of what to serve with that tricky Christmas Eve lasagne dinner (Texas Sangiovese, again?). This year, however, it seems that First Lady Michelle is in charge of what's being poured and, according to her press secretary, Landmark Vineyards and Pride Mountain are both on the list because "both offer great stories of women who developed a passion for the industry," Mary Colhoun and Carolyn Pride, respectively, being a driving force behind each. "It is the most tremendous honor to be part of something so meaningful and special. We couldn't be more thrilled," Colhoun told Unfiltered.
• With the prospects looking grim for many wineries right now, it’s a breath of fresh air to come across not only one that is flourishing, but one willing to share the wealth with its employees. That’s exactly what John Jordan, owner of Jordan Winery, wanted to do this year. Said Jordan, “We’ve had two terrific years in one of the most difficult markets since Prohibition. I wanted to reward everyone.” So Jordan went out and ordered 97 iPads, one for each of the winery’s employees, including the full-time vineyard workers. Jordan director of facilities, Tim Spence, picked the iPads up at the Santa Rosa Apple retail store, making three runs to get them, with the mall’s security guard riding shotgun. Spence’s wife, Jill, then hand-wrapped all 97 of them. Employees got a big Christmas surprise at the office party last Friday. Said Jordan, “As a former Naval officer, ‘your men and your mission’ still rings in my ears. If it wasn’t for the efforts of everybody that works here, we wouldn’t have had the success we’ve had.” In addition to the hardware, Jordan also paid for everyone’s 3G service for a year. Though the iPads are personal gifts to the employees, Jordan said the winery is working to become an industry leader in developing iPad and smart phone content. The winery has begun video blogging and may be the only winery to date with its own in-house studio.
Jose M Flores-gomez — Chicago, IL — December 24, 2010 9:52am ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions