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Does Jancis Robinson Fog a Mirror?

Weekendatbernies Compelling proof that Jancis Robinson’ stiffness might in fact be rigor mortis.  Empirical research indicates her writings are only 41% likely to be generated by an authentic human. 

Last year a groupof MIT students created an generator capable of creating"random Computer Science research papers, including graphs, figures, andcitations."

One of the papers created by thisprogram was accepted for presentation at the World Multi-Conference onSystemics, Cybernetics and Informatics. 

In response, researchers at the Indiana University School ofInformatics invented an Inauthentic Paper Detector.

It’s supposed to be able to tell whether a paper has been written by ahuman or a machine. The researchers write:

This web site is intended for detecting whether a technical document ishuman written and authentic or not. Predictions may work for documentsintended for entertainment (novels, news articles etc.). The mainpurpose of this software is to detect whether a technical documentconforms to the statistical standards of an expository text.

I allowed the site to review her recent article on the 2005 Bordeaux vintage in the Financial Times—it included such prosaic prose like:

But the great thing about the successful 2005s is their purity. Theyhave power but they also have refreshment value. They have keepingpotential - witness the high levels of tannins in virtually all thewines - but in the best, those tannins are ripe, beautifully managedand so well hidden by fruit that the wines are already delicious. Onewould like to call the wines classic claret, but Bordeaux has surelynever known a vintage quite like this.

In order to validate my own research into this, I used a control group—a blog post of my own.  My blog post on Wine Sediments last Wednesday came back as INAUTHENTIC with a 28% likelihood of being authentic.  Darn, Jancis beat me with a 13% greater likelihood of having come from a live human.

For further validation, David Sedaris and Dave Berry  were 48% and 29% likely to be authentic. 

In other news, wine terroirists are looking into the technology for wine.


New World

Inspired by the wine youth movement, recent news and the mainstreaming of online "social networking."



Pssst ... Got Any Good Wine Stock Tips?

SmallbullWith BBQ season fast approaching, every stockbroker and financial planner is equipping themselves with disarming factoids or pat answers.  After the grill has cooled off, after sports topics have been tread, the kid diversion has been milked, and the deflection to the wives have been made, the eventual conversation always comes around to work and if you’re a financial planner, you’ll get stroked for a good stock pick.

The world of wine has really been beat up the last couple of years with a lot of companies choosing to go private—AFTER they were already public—Golden State Vintners, Chalone Wine Group and a number of others, if I’m not mistaken.  Mondavi and a good number of other guys have been bought up, as well.  Mondavi by Constellation, by the way.

So, if you’re looking to invest in some shares of a wine stock, in the stock market, the pickings are kind of slim.  Which is unfortunate, because the growth curve would make it interesting if there were some stock choices aside from a couple of huge producers.

This is even more interesting because Constellation, one of the big guys, is at polar opposites of the buy/sell spectrum according to Charles Schwab research and Standard & Poors research.

Which is kind of appropriate, I supposed, when you consider that Constellation owns both Blackstone and Ravenswood which usually receive good wine ratings and they produce Arbor Mist and Almaden, which I think some discerning palates at Wal-Mart don’t even drink.

From the Constellation Web site:

Constellation Wines is a division of Constellation Brands,a leading international producer and marketer of beverage alcohol brands with abroad portfolio across the wine, imported beer and spirits categories.Constellation Wines produces, markets and sells a broad portfolio of winesthroughout the world. Selling nearly 90 million cases annually, ConstellationWines is the world’s largest wine business, operates the leading independentdrinks wholesaler and a cider business in the United Kingdom, and produces bulkwine and other related products.

Caveat Emptor on this one.

Standard & Poor’s gives the stock (STZ)  trading in the $24 dollar range, a strong buy recommendation with a 12 month price target (estimate) of $31.  Rueters research calls it an out-perform which means it should do better then the entire stock market in aggregate as measured by the S&P 500. 

Yet, Schwab gives it a D.

My stock-picking advice?  Don’t do it.  Save your money and buy some 2004 French wine futures which will probably pick up some collateral steam from the 2005 vintage—if the early reports continue with overzealous fawning.  Both are a gamble, but at least you’ll have the benefit of having the wine in your possession and that’s a liquid asset everybody can get behind. 


Au contraire, mon fraire—You do drink French Wine!

DonhoshowovI’ve said a couple of times here that I don’t drink French wine—partly because I don’t understand all the domaines, and partly because of how damn serious they are.  I watched Mondovino and jeez louis, you’d think some of these guys were absolutely without a sense of humor.

Nonetheless, a very charming woman, Melanie Tarlant, from the blog wrote to tell me that I do indeed drink French wine—the kind with tiny bubbles in it.

Yeah, you’re right, Melanie.  I do drink Champagne.  I didn’t have the heart to let her know that I’m a little down on the Moet & Chandon product food chain and more likely to quaff anything but Dom Perignon.

The Champagne blog just moved to Typepad and they have video’s.  In the spirit of the Francophile, I’m including a short recent post in French and the same translated in English. 

Quand le silence règne dans la cave, l’atmosphère y est très particulière. Ici aussi la bougie est de mise, mais pas pour la prière. (Saint Vincent est passé, nous attendons les Saintes Glaces.)

Seule la main de l’homme compte, la flamme allume la mèche, le souffre s’enflamme et va protéger le tonneau. Le futur vin de réserve va pouvoir être transvasé.

Twisted taperWhen silence reigns in the cellar, the atmosphere is very particularthere. Here also the candle is of setting, but not for the prayer.(Vincent Saint passed, we await the Holy Ices.)Only the hand of the man counts, the flame lights the wick, suffers itignites and will protect the barrel. The future wine of reserve couldbe transvased.

And, in the spirit of some fun, here are some sample lyrics from Don Ho’s Tiny Bubbles:

Tinybubbles in the wine,
make me happy, make me feel fine,
tiny bubbles make me warm all over
with a feeling that I’m gonna love you ‘til the end of time.



Shotz Brewery & Wine in the New Millenium

Wellfed5_2I have a fresh post today on the Well Fed network and the wine blog, Wine Sediments. You can check it out here.

I tryto draw a correlation between wine and Laverne & Shirley.  I read acase study in a book called Buzzmarketing that told a really interesting storyabout the development of light beer and linked it to some organic marketing andthe socio-political times of the 1970s.

Ithought about that and it really applied to, perhaps, what is happening todayin the world of wine and how that’s tied into our pop culture.

Indoing some background research on this, I also found out what Schlemiel &Schlamazel means, too.  Because they opened the shows with the "what did they say" singingof: 

Schlemiel,Schlamazel Give us any chance we’ll take it Read us any rule we’ll break itWe’re going to make our dreams come true(doing it our way) ...

Schlemiel and Schlamazel is yiddish and basically stands for a dope or a klutz(schlemiel) and their partner or foil in crime (Schlamazal).

What does this have to do with wine?  Um, not much, but I found itinteresting.  Check out Well Fed for the full post. 


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