Sunday, October 30, 2016

Fun fact: Military loves its Jack Daniel's

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-9-51-28-pmQuick, what segment of the world's population is the largest consumer of Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Whiskey?

Oh, you read the headline? Well, it's true, says Jeff Arnett, Jack Daniel’s master distiller.

According to Business Insider, the price tag for an entire barrel of this whiskey, approximately 250 bottles, swings from $9,000 to $12,000 since no two whiskey barrels have the same volume.

Single Barrel whiskey was first sold in 1997 and was such a success that the distillery created the "By the Barrel" program a year later.

“Over the entire span of when the program has existed, the U.S. military is the largest purchaser. It has been represented by base exchanges, individual units, as well as other on-base military entities like officers’ clubs,” Arnett said in an interview.

 Go here for the full story.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Celebri-Quote: Priyanka Chopra

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-3-29-17-pm Priyanka Chopra, the India-born star of TV's "Quantico" series, apparently was a bit confused when people kept handing her shots of tequila before such things as a red carpet celebrity walk and an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," shots she obviously willing downed. Here's her take on it, excerpted from an interview with InStyle.

Describing her appearance in a white cutout lace dress for her first appearance on the DeGeneres show:
“I was trying really hard to get into that dress, so I hadn’t eaten all day, which little girls should not do. Please eat! I had that tequila shot and I was really wonky after that, just from one, because it was on an empty tummy.”
And, again:
“I really started believing it was a very American thing. I was at the Emmys and it happened again. I was given tequila and I was like, ‘American red carpets have to start with tequila'."
Go here for my archive of Celebri-Quotes on drinking.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Making a beer run without a driver

The self-driving beer truck.
The self-driving beer truck

Much of the news of late about driverless vehicles has centered on cars.

Not to be outdone, the Uber-owned, self-driving semi-truck developer named Otto has turned in a 120-mile beer delivery in Colorado without a driver behind the wheel.

There actually was a driver, but he was sacked out in the back of the cab during the run that was accompanied, "Smokey & The Bandit" style, by a collection of state trooper cars after the test run received state approval.

Go here for the full story.

NH distillery's local gin a strange brew

Tamworth Apiary Gin
Tamworth Apiary Gin
Customers who come across Apiary Gin on the shelves of their favorite spirits shop may be excused for thinking they've instead spotted one of those decorative bottles of oil stuffed with fruits, veggies and herbs.

Apiary Gin, from Tamworth Distilling in New Hampshire, is chock full of things, a strange brew of botanicals along with a bunch of floating goodies.

The product reflects a lot of the flora of the Tamworth region, incorporating the obligatory juniper berries of gin with elements of red clover blossoms, honey, linden flowers, pine rosin, poplar buds and rosin.

This isn't the only offbeat product from Tamworth. To name just two others, there are Sweet Lips, a colonial-style cherry bounce made from Martha Washington's favorite recipe -- a house-made rye whiskey base, stored in oak with cherries, apple brandy and neutral spirits for infusing, then a touch of Tahitian vanilla and a distillate of smoked cardamom; and, Blueberry Fizz, a fermented offering made from blueberry pomace left over from the distillery's Art in the Age Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial that combines plump, alcohol-rich berries with fresh-pressed local apple juice, and unaged apple brandy.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Long Island group creating its first rosé merlot

li-merlot-allianceLong Island's only cooperative wine organization has created its first rosé merlot, but don't get too excited. It won't be on the market until spring 2017.

Merliance Rosé is a project of the Long Island Merlot Alliance (LIMA), a cooperative effort of five New York State wineries -- Martha Clara Vineyards, Raphael Vineyard & Winery, T'Jara Vineyards, Wolffer Estate Vineyards, and McCall Wines.

Unlike the red wine LIMA has been making, the rosé is being made from a single clone of the merlot grape, with all the grapes hand-picked and crushed on the same day, October 4. When it comes to market, it will be sold through the LIMA members' wine clubs at a price to be announced closer to that time.

Although Long Island vineyards have a wide range of grapes, their merlot acreage is approximately 700 acres, which represents 30% of the region's overall vineyard acreage, making it the most widely planted wine grape on the Long Island.

Merlot, French for "little blackbird,” is believed to have been developed from a variation on the name Merle in Bordeaux patois. Notes LIMA, "It is not certain whether the name reflected a comparison to the color of the birds or a testament to the fact that blackbirds in Bordeaux love feasting on this luscious grape variety. Either way, the use of the name merlot has only been found in the literature since the last 200 years. A report in 1784 referred to merlot as one of the better libournais blending varieties. We can trace the origins of merlot varietal back to the 1st Century in France, but merlot as the noble Bordeaux varietal standing on its own doesn’t appear in the literature until the 1800s."

The first merlot plantings on Long Island's North Fork were in 1974.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Celebri-Quote: Enrique De Colsa

Enrique De Colsa has been the master distiller for the upmarket Don Julio tequila company for a dozen years, and has worked in the industry for more than a quarter-century. He was interviewed by Haute Living at the recent Diageo World Class Global Finals in Miami. Here's a quote from that conversation.
Q: What is your favorite Don Julio variety?
A: My favorite is the añejo, but my baby is Don Julio 70. It was my unique baby because I made it all by myself.
Even [the late] Don Julio didn’t taste it. He was alive when we released it, but it was released in fall 2011 as an LTO [a limited time offer, although it later became a permanent one] and he passed away in March of 2012, so he was not able to drink it at this time. Although his sickness prevented him from tasting it, he held the bottle in his hands, proud of our team.
Go here for my archive of Celebri-Quotes on drinking.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Update: Strike ends at 2 Jim Beam distilleries

Strikers pose for a news photographer. (Lex18 photo)
Strikers pose for news photographer

UPDATE (10/22/16): An accord reached between management and union workers has ended a strike at two Beam distilleries. The settlement satisfies strikers who had been seeking expansion of the work force.  

(Originally published 10/15/16)

From ABC News
... More than 200 union workers walked off their jobs at Beam distilleries at Clermont and Boston in Kentucky after voting Friday to reject the latest contract offer from the world's leading bourbon producer. As the old contract expired, Beam said its contingency plans would keep operations running to maintain the flow of whiskey to distributors and consumers.

As passing motorists honked in support Saturday, striking workers outside the Clermont distillery vented their frustrations.

They said staffing shortages often extend work weeks to 60 to 80 hours to keep up with growing demand for Beam whiskey. The company has turned increasingly to temporary workers, they said, and disregards seniority when assigning veteran employees to new roles or shifts.

Go here for the full story.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: 'Wines of the Finger Lakes' works

burford-bookWINES OF THE FINGER LAKES, by Peter Burford. Burford Books Inc., Ithaca, NY. $18.95. Paperback. 192 pages, illustrated.

In his publishing career, Peter Burford of Burford Books Inc. in Ithaca, NY,  estimates he has published "thousands" of books. On Saturday, he'll be officially releasing another -- the first he personally has written.

"Wines of the Finger Lakes" is an ambitious undertaking. Packed as the region is with wineries of all sizes, a variety of terroirs, and a mix of farmers-turned-winemakers, winemaking as a second career, and second- and third-generation winemakers maintaining traditions, it is not an easy place to explain to the uninitiated.

Burford, who humbly says he is neither wine writer nor wine expert, takes on the self-assigned task with a good mix of approaches.

In a redundantly-titled initial chapter, "First Beginnings," he describes how winemaking came to the Finger Lakes in the person of young Episcopal clergyman William P. Bostwick who, in the early 1830s in Hammpondsport, planted Catawba and Isabella grapes to use as the source of sacramental wines. He goes on to delineate the growth from those first plantings to today's abundance when the Finger Lakes is the largest wine-producing area in a state that has grown to become the country's No. 3 wine producer, behind California and Washington.

In between, readers will find the stories of the early major companies such as Pleasant Valley, Taylor, Urbana and Widmer's, profiles of more than 50 current wineries both old and new; succinct explanations of the principal grapes grown in the region and the wines produced from them; even "A (Very) Short Course In Making Wine."

While the history and the explanatory chapters make for informative reading, it is in the profiles of the individual wineries that we strike gold. Many are filled with interesting tidbits about the ventures and the adventurers. For example, that a logger and a Cornell University staffer collaborated on what became Damiani Vineyard and began producing wine just a dozen years ago. That Chateau Lafayette Reneau, founded more than three decades ago and named for founder Bob Reno's grandfather, will be keeping its independent identity under new ownership despite Bob's passing in 2013. That some vines at Atwater Estates Vineyards planted in the 1920s still are producing wine-quality grapes. That Ruth Lucas convinced husband Bill to give up his career as a tugboat captain and move to Cayuga Lake in the 1970s to found Lucas Vineyards, the first vineyard on the shore of that lake.That when the Peterson family, owners of the Swedish Hill and Goose Watch wineries, bought the Finger Lakes Champagne House in 2005, they renamed it Penguin Bay Winery as a nod to their financial support of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, and particularly the Humboldt penguins exhibit there.

These personal touches and many others show the extent to which Burford researched his topic. This book is an excellent reference tome that should be added to your collection, or simply read as a pleasant way to learn more about a region of natural wonders.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Why you like certain wines and cheeses together

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-3-31-39-pmThe pairing of wines and cheeses is an ages-old culinary practice in many parts of the world. But, wines also go with so many other edibles -- chocolates, charcuterie, nuts, olives ... Why wine and cheese?

A study published in this month's issue of the Journal of Food Science says researchers used a new sensory evaluation method that helped them find that consuming cheese while drinking wine impacted the description and preference of different wines.

In other words, eating cheese may increase how much someone likes the wine they are drinking.

The study was conducted in a country where wine and cheese have long reigned supreme -- in France -- at its Center for Taste and Feeding Behavior, using residents of the city of Dijon who identified themselves as frequent consumers of wines and cheeses. They evaluated four wines (Pacherenc, Sancerre, Bourgogne and Madiran) to show how perception and liking of wine change after cheese intake over several sips, generally in a manner and amount typical of common practice.

"Thanks to our research, we learned that the duration of the perception of astringency of a certain wine could be reduced after having cheese and that the four evaluated cheeses had the same effect. In short, when having a plate of assorted cheeses, the wine will probably taste better no matter which one they choose," lead author Mara V. Galmarini explained.

According to, subjects were given a list of sensations to indicate what caught their attention (called the "dominant sensation") as they consumed the wine over three consecutive sips and after they swallowed. After the wines were initially evaluated, the task was repeated, but with a piece of cheese eaten between sips. Four different cheeses (Epoisses, Comté, Roquefort, Crottin de Chavignol) were sampled over different sessions with each wine. "Results showed that cheese consumption had an impact on the description for all wines, and impacted preference for most. None of the four cheeses included in the study had a negative impact on wine preference.

Liking of each wine was increased or remained the same after cheese intake. In both red wines (Bourgogne and Madiran), the four cheeses decreased the duration of dominance of astringency and increased that of red fruits aroma. In the sweet white (Pacherenc), the duration of dominance of sweetness was not changed by cheese intake, but in the white dry wine, cheeses had an impact on the main aroma.

"According to the authors, the sensory method developed in their work can help build better understanding of how the perception of one product is changed when consumed in combination with another. This information can help food brands communicate their products' characteristics, thus improving consumers' experiences."

This is the opposite of college-era cheap tequila

Casa Noble's $1,200 bottle
When I hear people say negative things about tequila, usually citing a bad experience in college or some such period, I cringe.

As I usually point out, that probably was because they had been binging rather than drinking, and at that age probably didn't have enough money or common sense to buy anything other than rotgut.

On the whole, tequila is an exquisite spirit, the manufacture of which is tightly controlled, rigorously graded and categorized. It does not have a worm in the bottle -- that has been an occasional gimmick with mezcal, tequila's poor cousin. It is not necessarily inexpensive, with prices of decent stuff ranging from reasonable to very expensive, just as is the case with whiskies and rums.

That said -- and I don't mind paying a premium price for a premium spirit, I find a new release from Casa Noble, a boutique small-production brand with nearly three centuries of history, way overboard.

While its portfolio of super premium tequilas is a regular award winner with expressions priced at around $50 a bottle, its new limited-production Alta Belleza carries a retail price of $1,200 a bottle.

Alta Belleza is the first creation in Casa Noble’s new Colección del Fundador, planned as an ongoing series of rare, limited-release, collectible tequilas. It will be available beginning next month at high-end shops in select markets such as New York, Boston, Washington, DC, and elsewhere.

Casa Noble says the extra añejo tequila is slowly aged in new French white oak barrels, then finished for six months in Tonnellerie Taransaud French oak barrels previously used to age Robert Mondavi’s prestigious To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon.

Only 563 bottles were produced, so the most Casa Noble will make from it is $675,600, but it probably will reap at least that amount in free publicity. Such as this posting.

Interpreting Obama ruling on Cuban rum, cigars

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-4-28-55-pmAn action announced by the Obama administration last Friday apparently has created confusion in some circles.

While the White House announced the elimination of the $100 limit on the value of Cuban rum and cigars American travelers can bring back from the island, some news outlets have misreported that as meaning retail sales of those two items also were affected.

The change does not mean that Cuban rum and cigars will be available for sale in the U.S. In actuality, Cuban rum and cigars now are subject to the same duties as alcohol and tobacco from other countries. That means most travelers will be able to bring back as many as 100 cigars and several bottles of rum. High-end Cuban cigars can sell for more than $100 apiece outside the island nation, so every U.S. traveler now may legally bring back many thousands of dollars of Cuban products.

More than 160,000 American travelers visited Cuba last year, a figure sure to increase because of the U.S. lifting most travel restrictions between the U.S. and the Communist dictatorship

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Constellation divests Canadian wine division

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-1-49-29-pmConstellation Brands, the Victor, NY-based international beverage corporation, has sold its Canadian wine business for $1.03 billion Canadian (about $785 million U.S.).

The sale includes such Canadian wine brands such as Jackson-Triggs and Inniskillin, a variety of wineries, vineyards, offices, facilities, and Wine Rack brand retail stores. Constellation retains ownership of Black Velvet Whisky and its production facility in Alberta Province.

This is the second major deal for Constellation this fall. It recently announced the purchase of High West Distillery, a Utah company that produces a range of whiskeys. And, it recently acquired a minority stake in Bardstown Bourbon Company, one of the biggest new U.S whiskey distilleries.

“With the acquisition of High West and the opportunity to work with Bardstown Bourbon Company, we are strategically advancing our spirits business with access to high-quality supply and state-of the-art production capabilities,” said Constellation CEO Robert Sands.

Constellation's vast holdings include numerous popular brands, including Woodbridge, Mark West, Clos du Bois, Manischewitz, Robert Mondavi and Ruffino wines; Svedka Vodka, and Modelo and Corona beers.

In explaining the decision to sell its Canadian wine division, Sands said, “In April, we announced plans to explore an initial public offering (IPO) for a portion of our Canadian wine business as part of our strategy to focus on premium, high margin and high growth brands. [Instead] we seized the opportunity to sell the entire business in a value-enhancing transaction when it presented itself. The Canadian wine business is the leader in the Canadian wine market and is a long-term growth opportunity."

The purchaser is the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada.

'Whisky Bible' names Booker's Rye No. 1

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-2-42-31-pmThe continually increasing popularity of American whiskies on the world market certainly won't be harmed by the release of authority Jim Murray's iconic "Whisky Bible 2017" edition.

It names Booker’s Rye, a 13-year-old, $300-a-bottle spirit from Kentucky, the world's best whisk(e)y. The last time an American spirit was ranked on top was in 2013 when Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye was rated No. 1.

Murray's pronouncement on the Booker's Rye called it “simply a staggering example of a magnificent rye showing exactly what genius in terms of whiskey actually means.”

It should be noted that, while the Booker's brand originated in the U.S. and still is made here, it is owned by Beam Suntory, the Japanese spirits conglomerate that a number of years ago purchased Booker's parent company, Jim Beam Brands.

It is not the first "Whiskey Bible" honor for Suntory. In 2015, its Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask was named No. 1. Booker’s Rye has a huge alcohol content, bottled at 68.1% alcohol by volume (abv), or 136.2 proof.

Murray describes the taste as “well-balanced notes of wood and oak from the longer aging process. This uncut rye has a spicy, robust flavor, but it is not overpowering.”

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The latest news from our robot overlords

screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-10-25-17-amIn yet another attempt to make humans obsolete, scientists at the University of South Australia have developed an electronic tongue they say can taste wine and tell you its age, the type of barrel in which it is aged, and its overall quality.

"We wanted to demonstrate the huge capabilities of electronic tongues as analytical tool for the analysis of wine samples,’ said Dr. Xavier Ceto Alseda, who ran the project with his colleagues at the university.

They have been testing the electronic tongue with help from INCAVI, the Catalan wine institute that who provided the wine samples, the necessary information about them and conducted the sensory analysis.

A story in Decanter magazine has all the details on the project.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wine, water, fuel wars in Finger Lakes

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-12-56-38-pm• From PRI: Public Radio International
With the glut of natural gas from the fracking boom, the energy industry is digging deep for new ways to store it.

There already are more than 400 underground storage facilities across the U.S. in places such as old mines and depleted aquifers. But still more storage is needed, and now some residents and businesses in the Finger Lakes area of New York have found themselves tangled in a long-term standoff with Crestwood Equity Partners, which owns a vast underground storage facility in the region.

More than 100 wineries, distilleries, and breweries are nestled in and around the Finger Lakes area. Their business pours brews (and dollars) into one of the area’s major industries: tourism, which is worth $3 billion annually and employs close to 60,000 people in the region. ...

Some people who live and work around Finger Lakes are concerned about a big thing affecting their business -- namely, a proposal to store fuels below Seneca Lake, the region’s largest lake. In 2009, the company that’s now Crestwood Equity Partners submitted plans, currently under consideration by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, to store propane, butane and natural gas in the salt caverns deep beneath Seneca Lake.

Go here for the full story.

Nashville distiller takes bourbon to a different place

A nine-grain bourbon
The ongoing expansion of distilleries across the country has become a catalyst for some imaginative products. From aging in different types of wood to flavoring additives, the variables are extensive. But, when it comes right down to it, perhaps the most telling part of the creation process is what goes into the grain mash from which all else emerges.

The Corsair distillery in Nashville, TN, has an eye-catcher. Founders/owners Darek Bell and Andrew Webber, who have grown from homemade brewers and distillers and also operate a fulltime brewery, have created a very wide range of products, some of them in regular production, others seasonally or on an experimental basis. One of particular interest is a pot still-distilled bourbon they call Corsair Grainiac.

The product, bottled at 47% abv (94 proof), carries no age statement. Instead of the somewhat standard mash bill composed of corn, rye, wheat and barley, they have added five other grains -- oats, quinoa, spelt, triticale, and buckwheat.

Corn still dominates because, by federal law, bourbon must be made from a mash containing at least 51% corn, but the additional unusual grains were specifically chosen to differentiate this spirit from competitors' products. The partners say they added the grains to achieve more flavor complexity.

"The oats and buckwheat add more mouth feel, while the quinoa, spelt and triticale add a nutty and earthy component to the taste."

You can get a look at the entire portfolio on the Corsair website.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Napa entry one of top 2 in Asian wine competition

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-4-05-47-pmEntries from 11 different countries took platinum "best in show" awards in the Decanter Asia Wine Awards, with one each from the United States and France scoring the highest point total according to results just released.

Each of the "best of" wines scored at least 95 of a possible 100 points, with 97 points awarded to a Silenus 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from California's Napa Valley and a Maison Chanzy 2014 Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru from France's Burgundy region.

Go here for the full results in all categories.

Chinese step up in wine tasting skills

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-3-57-20-pmFrom The Telegraph of London

China took another step closer to becoming a wine superpower after its team of wine tasters beat the French at their own game at an international competition in Provence.
The Chinese team, last year 13th in the same contest, took first place in a field of 21 nationalities, with the French second and the United States third. ...

The Chinese underdogs sipped their way to victory at the blind tasting at the Château du Galoupet, which lies near the Mediterranean coast and is one of France’s biggest wine estates. Organizers described the result as a “thunderbolt in the world of wine.”

Go here for the full story.

Celebri-Quote: Mariano Rotelli

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-7-55-04-pm• Mariano “Pops” Rotelli, a resident of the Atlanta suburb of Senoia, revealed the secret of his longevity to the Newnan Times-Herald -- at the party marking his 107th birthday. 
“I’ve had a shot of whiskey in my coffee every morning for 100 years. I went to the doctor three times in 100 years. He’s dead. I’m still living.”

Asked if he’s particular about the type of whiskey he has each morning, he said he'll drink whatever his son-in-law buys. It’s usually Jim Beam Black.

Go here for my archive of Celebri-Quotes on drinking.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Vineyard and winery planned for Staten Island

Staten Island seen from Brooklyn via Verrazano Narrows Bridge
Staten Island from Brooklyn over Verrazano Narrows Bridge
New York State wine watchers are fond of pointing out that there now are wineries in virtually every county making wines from New York grapes. Except maybe Richmond. Now, that is going to be remedied.

A prominent businessman on Staten Island (officially called Richmond County) has revealed plans to produce wine from grapes grown on the island, utilizing imported vines.

“Forty percent of the population is Italian on Staten Island. We drink a lot of wine here,” Richard Nicotra, owner of The Nicotra Group, a major developer, said in an interview with CBS2. “We are sophisticated, educated, classy people.”

Staten Island is the third largest of New York City's five boroughs but the smallest in terms of  population.

The vineyard idea is part of Nicotra's planned $20 million office complex in Bloomfield on the island's West Shore, where he will develop a vineyard on a two-acre site and on the roof of the building.

“We are going to transport a vineyard from Tuscany to Staten Island,” making wine that will be “probably a little bitter, probably a little bold, like all the people here.”

Plans call for doing the first planting next summer, part of a two-year project. Nicotra said all profits will benefit various Staten Island charities.

The to-be-named project will not be the county's first winery, however. The Staten Island Winery, founded and owned by winemaker Bob Rando, makes wine from grapes he purchases from California growers. It is located at 106 Wakefield Avenue #A. Phone: 718-494-9463. (Rando also is the winemaker at the Boston Winery in Boston, MA.) In addition, small-scale winemaking is done by individuals with purchased grapes at the Vino Divino School of Wine, 42 Industrial Loop. Phone: 718-227-9463.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Direct-ship wine gets test case in Pennsylvania

regulationHere's a scenario: You were on vacation in France or Italy and found this quaint little winery that has been in the same family for generations and produces some tasty varieties, so you plan to order some of the wines directly from them when you get home.

Forget it.

Here's another: You're planning a wine and cheese party and want to make it a genuine European theme.

The cheese part is easy. Anything you can't find at your local shops can be ordered online and shipped directly to you. The wine part? That's a different story.

In the U.S., it isn't legal for foreign makers to directly ship alcoholic products to individual consumers. You can order foods, clothing, books, jewelry, techie items ... almost anything you'd like. But, alcoholic beverages have to go through a U.S. importer who -- after adding its own profit to the price -- sells to your local wine and spirits purveyor who -- after adding yet more to the price -- sells it to you.

Now, however, under a new law that took effect this summer and vastly changed the rules on sale of alcohol in previously uber-stodgy Pennsylvania, that may change. Among other things, what commonly is called Act 39 not only got rid of Pennsylvania's prohibition on direct wine shipments, it allows any winery, foreign or domestic, to apply for direct shipping permits.

Currently, more than 460 U.S. wineries quickly filed while no foreign wineries have, according to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. But it's only a matter of time until wineries in Europe, South America, Australia or elsewhere will want to increase their market in places where consumers would be happy to skip the expensive layering. And, it wouldn't be a major leap of imagination to think that alcohol regulators and politicians in other states will be keeping a close watch on Pennsylvania's experience as what is, de facto, the test case for everyone.

Trib Total Media, which operates in the Pittsburgh area, has a very thorough analysis of the situation. Go here to read it.