Having your own website on a holiday is giant trap of tackiness. On Valentine's Day it's the kiss of death, especially for blogs, and above all for wineblogs. Wine is perceived to be romantic.
If Google slips into their masthead a chocolate-covered strawberry that cleverly looks like a "g" and Yahoo! depicts a little love story with raining hearts on their logo, then of course a wineblog would want to at least feature a special post, if not totally customize Blogger's template to shades of pink and red.
So what do I do? Last February 14 I sent a valentine to an inanimate object. This year is winding up to be no better since I am about to do an exposé on collective nouns falling in love with one another. It's state-run corporation love!
Pictured above are the current ad campaigns of the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) and the SAQ (Société des Alcools du Québec). First some background for those who don't know: These two wine monopolies cut a line that divides a English province from a French one. Like the Capulets and the Montagues, they don't mix well. If you've ever tried returning to the LCBO tainted wine you bought at the SAQ you know this. They'll shake their fists at you and growl that you should go back to where you came from. You'd think that they were mortal enemies.
But what to make of these pictures then? Both trumpet the arrival of South American wine; both celebrate the fact that love is the air. Well why not? Chilean and Argentinian wines are typically released at this time of the year. And it is Valentine's Day too, isn't it? Add that to the fact that we all know Latin Americans tango at the drop of hat (I don't think they stop tangoing on February 14 at all, except to eat and to watch Evita). Put all this together and -- whoomp, there it is! -- the SAQ and LCBO are in lovey-dovey lockstep, casting curious glances at each other like it's the first night of instructional ballroom dancing at the Gatineau community centre. They have so much in common it's evitable that they will fall hopelessy and irrevocably in love, and... um... merge.
Until then (but not for long) the two corporations continue to operate separately. The SAQ's worldly and exotic promotion runs through the weekend. The discounts during the LCBO's Latin Fever last a bit longer -- until February 24. Click on the tangoing twosomes at top for details.