This week’s wine news: Cheap beer and wine, but not in the U.S., plus college athletes think they can use a wine class to stay eligible
• But cheap if you have the three-tier system: The BBC reports that beer in the most expensive city in Britain costs £4.40 for a pint, or less than US$6. Which is damn cheap, considering what we pay for beer in this country. And which made me wonder: Why do I pay the same price for a 12-ounce bottle of mass-produced Big Beer at many Mexican restaurants in Dallas? Note, too, that 12 ounces is three-quarters of a pint. The only reason I can think of (and it isn’t real estate, since London is one of the most expensive cities in the world)? The British don’t have the three-tier system adding its percentage to the price of a cold one. And yes, the Wine Curmudgeon understands that items like this on the blog are the reason why I don’t get invited to trade tastings any more.
• Running out of wine: I can only hope this happens in the U.S. after Lidl, the discount grocer, has stores near me. British shoppers who didn’t show up when the stores opened didn’t get a chance to buy six bottles of Prosecco for £20, about US$4 a bottle. The best-selling Prosecco in the U.S., E&J Gallo’s La Marca, costs about $12. The English Lidl stores ran out of the Italian sparkling wine, sparking an outrage that careened throughout the English cyber-ether. As the BBC put it, “It seems that the country has now effectively divided into two camps — those who arrived at Lidl early enough to purchase cheap Prosecco, and everyone else.”
• Not in my class, you don’t: The New York Times, discussing college football’s academic and criminal morass, reports that football players enrolled in a wine class at Florida State University may not have done work required to pass, and cheated as well. And when the instructor told school officials that she felt pressured to give special breaks to the athletes, she was ignored. This item, which combines two of the Wine Curmudugeon’s careers, shows how sad sports has become and reminds me why I got out of sportswriting. And no student in any of my El Centro wine classes would get away with that crap. The instructor has my sympathy and condolences.