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Florida's governor gets wine from the Gators' win, glasses for wine--but not beer--in New Zealand and Australian cows prefer Cabernet

Posted: January 10, 2007

• Following up on last year's bet between senators from Texas and California, the governors of Ohio and Florida made a friendly wager on the outcome of Monday's BCS national title game between the University of Florida and Ohio State University. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist made the obvious offer of citrus fruit were the Gators to lose, but Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's end of the bargain was a bit of a surprise--he wagered Ohio wine. Clearly taken aback by the offer, Crist managed to secure some chocolate buckeyes and Skyline Chili to seal the deal. Florida's lopsided victory secured the spoils for Crist, but there's still no word on which Ohio wineries were represented in Strickland's gift. Unfiltered called the Florida governor to ask his opinion of Ohio wines, but Crist isn't returning our calls. Unfiltered's guess is that he's still enjoying the wines at the victory party.

Paris? Pretentious? Never.
• Celebrity socialite Paris Hilton yet again stands out. The hotel heiress took the No. 1 spot in the Click Wine Group's Fat Bastard Top Ten Most Pretentious Public Figures list, an effort undertaken since Click Wine Group prides itself on taking the pretension and intimidation out of wine. The list was compiled after receiving feedback requested of several lifestyle editors concerning what "intrigues the most avid gossip-magazine readers across the country," according to Rebecca Rader, spokesperson for the producer of the Languedoc wine. Movie star Tom Cruise came in a close second, and was followed by, respectively, Donald Trump, Bill O'Reilly, Madonna, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Streisand, Kevin Federline and Jessica Simpson.

• Snobbery or public safety? There's a wine-versus-beer battle brewing in Marlborough, the largest wine-producing region in New Zealand. The Marlborough Liquor Enforcement Group (LEG) has decided that it will allow festivalgoers to drink from glasses at the Wine and Food Festival held the second weekend of February, but no longer for the Blues, Brews and BBQs beer festival held the weekend before. Of course, the organizers of Blues, Brews and BBQs are alleging beer-bashing snobbery, but we felt it best to ask the opinion of Allan Scott, the only Marlborough producer of both wine and beer (called Moa). "I agree you cannot restrict one without doing it to the other ... I hate drinking anything out of plastic and so wouldn't even entertain doing so, especially at either event," he said. Unfiltered agrees. So we say no glass at either festival. No paper or plastic either. All beverages must be poured from the bottle or tap directly down the throats of the attendees.

"There's a rumor that the herd up the road gets their wine in Riedels."
• Like a little red wine with your beef? Well, it turns out that beef likes a little red wine. At the behest of a Japanese chef, an Australian producer of Wagyu cows has started giving 400 of his herd 1 liter of 2004 Chestnut Grove Western Australia Cabernet-Merlot ($15) every day, mixed in with the standard grains-and-hay diet. "They genuinely seem to like it," said John McLeod, managing director of Margaret River Premium Meat Exports. "Their appetite has increased since we introduced the wine, and it has a relaxing effect." The concept of giving alcohol to cattle is nothing new, as Wagyu cows--called Kobe if reared in the Japanese prefecture of Hiogo and prized for their thin and copious marbling--are sometimes served beer or sake, in addition to being given daily massages. McLeod added that since the cows started having red wine with dinner, bullish behavior is at an all-time low. "After they've eaten, they lie in their pens," he said, "chewing their cud, very content." Unfiltered has bought a cow costume and a ticket to Australia.

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