When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

17 June 2006

Champagne in the news

Those emergency-cash debit cards distributed by FEMA after Hurricane Katrina sure bought some interesting stuff.
The Hooters restaurant chain has a $200 check ready for FEMA, reimbursement for a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne bought with Hurricane Katrina relief money. FEMA will be happy to have the money back.

The champagne, purchased in San Antonio, was among numerous examples of improper spending of hurricane relief money cited earlier this week by Congress' Government Accountability Office. The bogus spending could be as high as $1.4 billion, the GAO said.
Hooters wants to pay FEMA for champagne (AP via Yahoo! News)

Meanwhile, hip-hop artist and impresario Jay-Z is boycotting Cristal:

Cristal, the champagne that has been name-checked in songs by rappers like Lil' Kim, Snoop Dogg, Sean "Diddy" Combs and 50 Cent, no longer has a place on Jay-Z's table. The Def Jam Records president announced Thursday that he would be boycotting the beverage, both at home and at his chain of nightclubs, due to comments made by a Cristal executive that he found offensive.

Frederic Rouzaud, the managing director of Louis Roederer, Cristal's parent company, told the Economist magazine that his organization viewed the hip-hop world's affinity for its champagne with "curiosity and serenity."

For an article titled "Bubbles and Bling" featured in a summer 2006 issue, Rouzaud was asked whether Cristal's image as a symbol of a flashy lifestyle was detrimental to the brand.

"That's a good question, but what can we do?" he said. "We can't forbid people from buying it. I'm sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business."

Jay Z's Cristal Clear Decision (E! Online via Yahoo News)

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