This week’s wine news: Are hangovers an illness? Plus, Italian police sting wine scammers and bears like their wine grapes
• No, it’s not your fault: A German court has ruled that hangovers aren’t a function of stupidity, but an actual illness. The ruling came in a lawsuit against a hangover remedy company. The court said the firm couldn’t claim that its products cured a hangover because food products, including drinks, can’t be marketed as such under German law. This ruling probably won’t mean much elsewhere in the world, given it’s a German court ruling on a German issue. So no sense using it to call in sick after a weekend with too much alcohol and not enough common sense. Still, if I sold one of the myriad of new-breed “hangover cures,” I would pay attention.
• Where are Redford and Newman? Italian police dressed as waiters arrested a would-be con artist who was apparently half of a team that had been scamming restaurants – selling the owners €15 worth of supermarket wine for more than €400. The story isn’t breaking news; the arrest happened in the spring. But I thought it was worth mentioning, given all we’ve written on the blog over the past couple of years about restaurant wine prices.
• Where was Ranger Smith? Vinepair reports that a bear was recently caught on camera stealing pinot noir grapes from a vineyard in California’s Anderson Valley, one of the top pinot regions in the world. Closed circuit cameras at Navarro Vineyards & Winery in Mendocino County taped the bear, who may also have taken grapes earlier this year. It’s not unusual for wild animals to eat wine grapes, especially from more rural vineyards. No word, though, on how many points the bear gave the grapes, or if he preferred a riper, more California style as opposed to the traditional Burgundian approach.
Wine Curmudgeon mea culpa: There are two Baby Boomer pop culture references in this post that younger people may not get; I couldn’t help myself.