May 27, 2019

  • Aussie Wine Advocate

    Many people in the wine industry can recall a moment early in their career when they tasted something absolutely memorable. My moment happened in the Barossa Valley, Australia during the 1997 Culinary Festival, a now defunct event that brought together the best of Adelaide cuisine with Barossa wine. I was at the Elderton Winery and it was their 1995 Barossa Shiraz. It tasted like someone had taken a pepper grinder to my glass. I’ve been a wine geek ever since. I’ve also been an Aussie advocate ever since. Australian wines enjoyed a boom during the 90s food culture revolution here…

  • Beer: The Other Food Pairing

    The dragon the wine world forever chases is food pairing. It started with the simple mantra of white wine with fish, red wine with meat. Now there seems to be a whole industry searching out all the flavor nuances of a particular dish and what wine matches best with that. It’s been a boon for the culinary world as the diversity of tastes from cuisines around the globe has caused a food renaissance in the United States that has taken us from the bland meat and potatoes of years past to vibrant, bold flavors that enhance the pleasure of eating…

  • The Science of Taste

    I read an article from a colleague in the wine industry recently that lamented the state of the American palate. He was basically frustrated by the desire to have everything big, rich, fat, salty and sweet. He, of course, is not from the United States, so he didn’t grow up eating McDonald’s and drinking Coca-Cola. It got me thinking though about how little the average person understands when it comes to flavor and taste. I experience this on a regular basis with customers that can’t identify, or explain, the basic flavors in the foods they eat. So, let’s look at some…

  • The Coming of the Can

    The current be-all and end-all package of the beverage industry is the can. Cans are sturdy when filled, lightweight, air tight, block light from the contents inside, can hold carbonated backpressure if designed properly, are easily recycled, and with the proper internal sealant are virtually non-reactive with the contents they hold. Cans take up less space. Thin metal is very conductive, so cans heat faster if pasteurization is required, and cool quicker for your enjoyment. Plus, a shiny metal surface is the ideal canvas to paint your logo and product brand for display. The brewing industry caught on to this…

  • Family Reunions!

    Guess what? It’s time to start planning for that event that strikes a chill in the heart of every true guy. The dreaded Arizona Family Reunion! WOW, what a thrill. Here we go again, or do we? Remember last year when the kids had the famous lemonade fight in the back seat of the car? How about the time you took the wrong turn because your wife was holding the map upside down and you ended up in the middle of the desert?All those memories pale in comparison to the time you waited three hour detour in 100-degree heat to…

FEATURED WORLD EDITION

Cynicism

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows.” — David T. Wolf “A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.” — H. L. Mencken “My pessimism extends to the point of even suspecting the sincerity of the pessimists.” — Jean Rostand “No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to…

Little Sentence for Little Man

May 12, 2016

LITTLE LEGAL NEWS: A Nebraska judge said a 5-foot-1 man convicted of sexually assaulting a child was too small to survive in prison, and gave him 10 years of probation instead. A drastic rise in serious crimes committed by “little people” in the state of Nebraska is expected. HIGH FASHION NEWS: An Indiana high school student, a male student who has worn women’s clothes to school all year, was turned away from his high school prom because he was wearing a dress. Kevin Logan, 18, went to the West Side High School prom on Friday in a slinky fuchsia gown…

Please Forward

May 12, 2016

                                                  I know that your intentions are No less than heaven sent; I know your altruistic goal Is pure enlightenment. I know you think my slate is clean, My mind an empty jug, And that the stuff you forward is All welcomed with a hug. This email is to let you know The opposite is true: You’ve got it wrong, you’ve missed the bus; You haven’t got a clue! In fact, when I see “FORWARD TO:” I feel the…

Computers

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.” — Rich Cook “Computer dating is fine, if you’re a computer.” — Rita Mae Brown “All sorts of computer errors are now turning up. You’d be…

Illegal Immigration Protests

May 12, 2016

ILLEGAL ALIEN NEWS: Widespread demonstrations broke out across America recently protesting the huge number of illegal immigrants from Canada entering this country illegally and taking high-paying jobs like radio announcers, actors and television anchors away from nearly qualified Americans. MORE PROTEST NEWS: Homeless people from major cities in the United States have moved from the sidewalks and allies to the streets to complain about the poor treatment being given to packages by uncaring delivery personnel. More and more cardboard collected has been found damaged and unusable as a decent shelter. ABSTINENCE NEWS: According to a Harvard University study, 52 percent…

The Garden of Edam

May 12, 2016

                                      I’ve always been a person who Could conjure up the bucks; At eight years-old I biked the park And raffled off the ducks! My latest scam requires a move To Nazareth, P.A. To launch my Christian cheese shop and To profit from the fray. “The Garden of Edam” is its name, With sculpted cheese on-line: There’s “Adam and Eve in Provolone” And “Noah’s Curds in Brine.” There’s “Matthew in Sharp Cheddar” and There’s “Mark in Tasty Brie,” There’s “Luke in Mozzarella”…

Love and Marriage

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked.” — Erich Segal “Love is a grave mental disease.” — Plato “Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife.” — Grouch Marx “If we take matrimony at it’s lowest, we regard it as a sort of friendship recognised…

Key Lime Pie Battle

May 12, 2016

LEGAL NEWS: A Florida state legislator who was locked in a fierce battle over making key lime pie Florida’s official pie has given up. Rep. Dwight Stansel, a pecan farmer, lobbied for pecan pie to be chosen. He later gave in to public sentiment and key lime pie is now the official pie of Florida. Arizona legislators are rumored to be considering lemons as the state fruit, but are still arguing over who should pick them. MODERN MORALITY NEWS: At two Rolling Hills Consolidated Library branches in Savannah and St. Joseph, Missouri, a children’s book about two male penguins that…

Brimstone Bound

May 12, 2016

                                       Pope Benedict is telling me That my beliefs are swell, And, though he hates to break the news, I’m going straight to Hell. The Protestants proclaim with smiles, My heart is pure and true, But, if I think I’m heaven-bound, I’ve lost a major screw. The Christian Rapture Right declares They’d help me if they could, But, since I voted Democrat, Damnation is too good. I’ve not heard from the Atheists, Or, those who worship Beer, But, exit polls predict as one, My…

Modern Politics

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me.” — President George W. Bush “Good thing we’ve still got politics — finest form of free entertainment ever invented.” — Molly Irvins “My FOX guys, I love every single one of them.” — Condoleezza Rice “What we really expect out of the Democrats is…

Sheepish Sex Offender

May 12, 2016

SEX CRIME NEWS: In Battle Creek MI, a man who pleaded no contest to a sodomy charge involving a sheep says he should not have to register as a sex offender. Police said Jeffrey S. Haynes had sex with a sheep at a Bedford Township farm. The animal’s owner caught him on the property and the sheep was found injured. Haynes claims he is harmless, but the prosecutor says he was just trying to pull the wool over their eyes. SOBER SINGER NEWS: Hanoi, Vietnam – Karaoke bars in Vietnam will no longer be allowed to sell or have alcohol…

Confirmed

May 12, 2016

I’ve heard you say your fellow man, And fellow woman, too, Is “crazy as a crocodile Who’s feet are stuck in glue.” “As batty as a bedbug” or “As loony as a lark” “As zany as a zebra” or “As quirky as a quark”; “As silly as a sailor” or “As pouty as a punk” “As goofy as a gopher” or “As squirrely as a skunk.” A brand new study indicates You didn’t speak too soon: One-quarter of Americans Are loopy as a loon! Quote: “One in four exhibit signs Of clear insanity.” (Which makes me stop and wonder where They…

More on Money

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Gentlemen prefer bonds.” — Andrew Mellon “If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” — J. Paul Getty “I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need if I die by four o’clock this afternoon.” — Henny Youngman “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack…

Aggravated Robbery

May 12, 2016

CREATIVE CRIME NEWS: A man who robbed a New Zealand bank recently was so disappointed with his haul he tried again–this time by phone, Wellington police said. Authorities traced the calls and arrested a man, charging him with aggravated robbery and demanding money with menace. He got the idea from the Psychic Predictions Hot Line. PRENUPTIAL BLUES NEWS: A 38-year-old man stood in flames on a 10-foot platform in Grants Pass, Ore., July 4th before plunging into a pool. After emerging from the water unscathed, he dropped down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend. Obviously also lacking the…

Giraffic Park

May 12, 2016

                                          The latest thing in eco-chic Is spotted milk and cheese, Obtained from freckled animals With high and lumpy knees. Their eyes are big and lashy and Their heads have door-knob things; Their tails sport lovely flourishes Akin to feathered wings. Their tongues are eighteen-inches long; Their manes are rusty red; They have to kneel to get a drink; They never go to bed. They’re ruminants like Holstein cows; They eat trees from the top; Their babies weigh a hundred…

American Politics

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.” — Gore Vidal “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” — Will Rogers “Americans have different ways of saying things. They say ‘elevator’, we say ‘lift’ … they say ‘President’, we say ‘stupid psychopathic…

Energy Crisis

May 12, 2016

MORE OUTSOURCING NEWS: According to a high source in the U.S. Department of Justice, nearly undetectable counterfeit $100 bills are being made in North Korea, and counterfeit cigarettes and U.S. postage stamps are being made in China for import into the United States. Counterfeiters with American citizenship have filed a formal complaint. FAST FOOD BUNGLED BURGLARY NEWS: According to a report in the Ann Arbor News, a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilante, Michigan around 5 am, flashed a gun and demanded cash. The clerk explained that he couldn’t open the register without a food order. When the…

New Man

May 12, 2016

                                        I just came from the doctor’s with The little list she made: “The food I must not ever eat,” The things I must evade. Right at the top is COFFEE, Which I’m drinking as I write; And next, I see, is BROWNIES, As I take another bite. POTATO CHIPS and KRISPY KREMES Are numbered three and four; Darn lucky since I packed them both For lunch the night before. And for this evening’s barbecue, With perfect timing clear, Are number…

Well-intended Warning

May 12, 2016

Excentric World staff members take a look at the laws on some state’s books that make it illegal for drivers to flash their lights to warn oncoming traffic of a police car down the street. Evidently in this town, it is allowable to post the information on a temporary promotional sign. Our staff members felt that while the sign was well intended, it may be more effective a little further up the road.     Related posts: The Current State of America’s Economy Unnecessary Manuals Internet Dating Follow Up Refuting Climate Change

Money, Money, Money

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Why is there so much month left at the end of the money?” — John Barrymore “In its famous paradox, the equation of money and excrement, psychoanalysis becomes the first science to state what common sense and the poets have long known — that the essence of money is in its absolute worthlessness.” — Norman O. Brown “The entire…

Loch Ness Laps Stunt

May 12, 2016

NESSIE NEWS: One lap of Loch Ness was barely tolerable, but two more proved too much for a group of nude swimmers who surrendered to bad weather. The four men and two women, taking turns of an hour each, began their charity stunt at night and completed their first 23-mile lap the following morning. That was all, as temperatures sank and winds rose. According to monitors and observers the temperature and winds weren’t the only things sinking and rising. BOOK NEWS: Six Wisconsin library administrators have produced a sexy calendar they are selling to raise money for their libraries. Five…

Whatchamacallit?

May 12, 2016

They say that as you’re growing old, Your whatchamacallit goes– You can’t remember little things Like if you wore your clothes, Or if your sister (what’s her name?) Has been released from jail, Or if your sister’s brother is Still trying to make bail. But, when you really think it through (Which, clearly, you can’t do), The things you don’t remember are The very things that you Would rather not remember and, In fact, would best forget, To give your brain some breathing room, So, frankly, you could get The life that you had rather lived Set firmly in your…

Assassination Confusion

May 12, 2016

TELEVANGELIST NEWS: Pat Robertson, CEO of the 700 Club television station in Virginia Beach, was quoted as saying he endorsed the assassination of Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, claiming the dictator supported both the spread of Communism and Muslim extremism. Later, he backslid and claimed to be misunderstood, saying he meant the tyrant should be “taken out,” which could have a variety of meanings, like kidnapping him, taking him out for dinner and a movie or taking him out for a walk. As usual, the media was behind the confusion. GOING POSTAL NEWS: Thomas Shaheen, 49, of suburban Springfield Township, who…

Whatchacallit II

May 12, 2016

In reading last month’s ditty, I Have realized of late, That what I vainly preached about Has been my own true fate. My whatchacallit’s truly gone! I’m in a brand new zone! I don’t remember anything, And, boy, how I have grown! Or shrunk, I guess! At any rate, I’ve had to start anew and Invent a past and present that More fairly is my due. A myth, in fact, a naked lie, A fabricated rout! Complete with names and places that I’ve only dreamed about! But, wait, this seems familiar. Could I simply have forgot? I’ll never really know…

Baseball

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Hating the New York Yankees is as American as apple pie, unwed mothers and cheating on your income tax.” — Mike Royko “Baseball statistics are like a girl in a bikini. They show a lot, but not everything.” — Toby Harrah “Well, boys, it’s a round ball and a round bat and you got to hit the ball square.”…

Astrology for the Weak

Horoscopes for December 7-13, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Holidays are coming and relatives are on their way to invade your home. This time, you’ll be prepared. Gift certificates to restaurants and hotels are great ideas. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) A small piece of dust will land on one of your eyes, leaving trails and triggering flashbacks from the 60s. You’ll recover with a love for tie-dye and paisley. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will be questioned this month in the disappearance of your senile uncle-in-law. You’ll stick to your story that you dropped him off to shop at Super…

Horoscopes for November 30-December 6, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Two new moons have been found around Pluto, the planet astrologers want demoted to a star. Pisces will support Pluto by mooning everyone Dec 23rd. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) You’ll learn of Festivus, dash out to find an undecorated aluminum pole and spaghetti, practice wrestling and airing your grievances. You’ve never been so happy. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) December is traditionally a month for celebrating friends and family members home. Your family, resembling the Grizwalds, will hit the casinos for days. CANCER (June 21 – July 22) You’ll start wearing a…

Horoscopes for November 16-22, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Once again, things will take a turn for the worse in November. And, once again, you will blame everything on a co-worker, a neighbor, a relative or a pet. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) Your Halloween costume was such a big hit at the office party, you will think it fun to wear it once a month. Others will think cross-dressing is more disturbing. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will find that the older you get, the more you want to take a nap in the late afternoon. For most government workers,…

Horoscopes for November 9-15, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) You’ll learn of Festivus, dash out to find an undecorated aluminum pole and spaghetti, practice wrestling and airing your grievances. You’ve never been so happy. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) December is traditionally a month for celebrating friends and family members home. Your family, resembling the Grizwalds, will hit the casinos for days. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You’ll start wearing a large silver cross around your neck after Christmas. Everyone will think you found religion. Little will they know, you just found the cross. CANCER (June 21 – July 22) Chanukah, Christmas,…

Horoscopes for November 2-8, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Your Halloween costume was such a big hit at the office party, you will think it fun to wear it once a month. Others will think cross-dressing is more disturbing. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) You will find that the older you get, the more you want to take a nap in the late afternoon. For most government workers, this is fine, but not for taxi drivers. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will recall your parents saying “Your day will come.” Well, it’s coming this month. If not this month, soon. But mark my words,…

Horoscopes for October 26-November 1, 2014

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) In October, you may be of two minds about something. This will come as a great relief. Until this October, you were of three or more minds about most things. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) You going to fall in love with yourself all over again this October. Like before, you will get along well for a while, then fight, leading to a painful breakup. PISCES (March 20 – April 18) Some forecasts show that your fashion choices, your musical taste and your overall style have everyone buzzing with admiration. Other forecasts say…

Horoscopes for October 12-18, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) You will find happiness in October. Unfortunately, this will happen right before you lose your keys, your mate, your job and finally your sense of self respect. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) People say they can tell a lot about a person from their handshake. While you may want to strengthen yours, you will definitely want to get rid of the curtsy. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will describe yourself as a take charge kind of person. You will be more successful when you are also a take cash and checks kind…

Horoscopes for October 5-11, 2014

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) You going to fall in love with yourself all over again this October. Like before, you will get along well for a while, then fight, leading to a painful breakup. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) Some forecasts show that your fashion choices, your musical taste and your overall style have everyone buzzing with admiration. Other forecasts say “nah.” PISCES (March 20 – April 18) This month, you could have a flash of inspiration that illuminates the potential future in a profound way. Not to worry – like a kidney stone, this too shall…