17th (technically last week but hell, it’s 18 days dedicated to drinking beer!) – The mayor of Munich kicks off the 178th Oktoberfest.
19th – The first Indian wines to be sold in British supermarkets seem to be flying off the shelves as they come close to selling out despite experts being unimpressed by their quality. The interest may have partly been sparked by BBC1’s Saturday Morning Kitchen recommending the wine partner a curry dish (not obvious at all) and the discounted price of the bottles. In light of these developments Waitross, the first UK supermarket to the stock the wines, “are looking to adding them permanently to (their) wine range”.
22nd – SABmiller acquires Foster’s at A$5.10 a share (or about A$9.9 billion) an hour before end of trading on the 21st after 3 months of pursuit by the London-based company. The deal will not affect the Fosters brand in the UK or Europe which is owned by Heineken. SABmiller, whose stable of brands include Peroni and Grolsch, will gain a prominent foothold in Australia where Fosters currently has a 50% market share. However, there is some doubt as to whether SABmiller is getting its money’s worth.
22nd – The old excuse of “honey, I was drunk” may no longer get you out of the dog house (does it ever? If so please send me a photo of this fictional character you speak of). A recent study at the University of Missouri College of Arts and Sciences says that it’s not that drunk people are unaware of their behaviour they just don’t care of the consequences as much.
23rd – St Austell Brewery and Healey’s Cyder Farm have produced the first batch of whiskey to come out of the region of Cornwall, in the UK, in 300 years. The limited-edition half-litre bottle, named Hicks & Healey, will be on sale for £150 and has been rated as “among the best debut bottlings of the last decade”.
23rd – China’s liquor producers are asked not to raise prices as the country struggles with inflation which reached a three-year high in July of 6.5% (although it eased in August to 6.2%). This occurs amid China’s stock futures falling as investors become increasingly pessimistic about the global economy. The request had been prompted by Wuliangye’s, the largest liquor producer in China by sales, announcement last month that they will be raising prices by 20 to 30 percent starting September 10th.
21st – Universal is looking to make a new ‘Scarface’ but no writers are currently attached to the project, however, meetings with possible candidates are currently taking place. If the studio does go ahead with their plans this will be the second remake of Howard Hawks’ 1932 classic, the first being Brian De Palma’s 1983 ode to 80’s excess starring Al Pacino.
21st – A rather abysmal month for Netflix as negotiations with Starz broke down and the announcement of a price hike of 60% for a popular service, which took effect on the 1st of this month, have sent the company’s once soaring stock into a downward spiral (falling 57% in the last 2 months). The resulting customer backlash caused the humbled CEO Reed Hastings to abandon the price hikes and separate the DVD and streaming businesses. The disc-by-mail business, designated Qwickster, will add video games into the mix and have a separate website as well as billing. Many analysts questions whether this may be a ploy to allow for the eventual sale of the DVD side of things.
This did not make customers any happier. The Twitter-verse, this week, was still alive with the sounds of displeasure. However, not all were unhappy with current events. @blockbuster quickly jumped on the situation with this tweet, “Tweet why you’re leaving Netflix. The top three most creative tweets using #GoodbyeNetflix will win a 1-year subscription to Blockbuster!” As expected there were many takers. Blockbuster, of course, as part of Dish Network Corp will be launching its own subscription-based movie-streaming service next month.
23rd – Steven Soderbergh’s new movie ‘Contagion’, which depicts a world in which a deadly virus spreads through the populace with a 30% death rate, has doctors touting its realism. The situation is vaguely reminiscent of the SARS and H1N1 scare that occurred a few years ago and is modelled after a disease in South Asia which has so far infected 475 people, killing 251 of them. The film’s writer, Scott Burns, says he hopes “the movie makes the public more aware” of the public health ramifications of the “paranoia” of people who don’t get their children vaccinated. His message seems more poignant now after the recent comments of Republican Michelle Bachmann, who is currently vying for her party’s presidential nomination, and the emergence of the old argument of the link between vaccinations and autism. The movie has already raked in $44 million at the US box office in its two week run.
Coming up: Boardwalk Empire returns this Sunday (25th) for its second season after its win at the Emmys over the weekend in directing (Martin Scorsese) and lead actress in a dramatic role (Kelly Macdonald). In celebration of this joyous occasion the people at Templtonrye.com have created a viewing party guide for the night filled with cocktails and food suggestions.
19th – Australia’s Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, has problem getting Vegemite through US customs.
19th – The red wine myth rebuked as experts suggest any consumption of alcohol will have negative effects.
October 27th (Australia)