Not Really Whining

California wine makers grouse about having to put warning labels on a beverage they consider a healthful accompaniment to food. But James Clendenen of Los Olivos’ Au Bon Climat Winery in Santa Barbara County goes further.

Here is how Au Bon Climat discloses the presence of sulfites, a naturally occurring chemical in wine, on his super-premium bottlings: This Hand-Crafted, Expensive Wine CONTAINS SULFITES and Should Not Be Consumed Without Consulting Your Wine Merchant, Your Accountant, and Your Doctor .

“We thought it amusing,” but others have found it anti-bureaucracy, Clendenen said. “Perish the thought!”

Shirley Temple Wins Round


The Shirley T won’t be known as “The Shirley Temple Soft Drink” for now.

A court order obtained last week by former child star Shirley Temple Black in San Mateo County bars Soda Pop Kids, an Encino soft drink company, from using her name for now in advertising cherry-flavored Shirley T soda. Soda Pop Kids also must omit her name from new labels for its soda, although the company will be allowed to sell its existing inventory of soda with labels calling the drink a Shirley Temple.

The court order is effective pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed last month by Black, who is miffed that Soda Pop Kids used her name on its drink without her permission. Soda Pop Kids is arguing that it has a right to call its drink a Shirley Temple because the name is generic for a kids cocktail that has been sold in restaurants and bars for more than 50 years.

Giving Plenty of Notice


Trick or treaters have yet to ring bells, but the Postal Service is already dropping off invitations to the year’s first Christmas parties.

Among the first to request the pleasure, etc., is Harold S. Geneen, chairman of Ticor, the title insurance giant. He and the rest of the company’s board of directors are inviting 1,200 or so “friends and business associates” to its annual “celebration of the holiday season” this year on Dec. 6. Friends will gather on the 21st floor of the firm’s Wilshire Boulevard headquarters.

Two months’ lead time is not unusual for this time of year, apparently. “We usually send out an informal pre-invitation reminder in September and follow up with the formal invitation a few weeks later,” advises an aide.

Tougher Than They Look

Can a personal computer--like a Timex watch--take a licking and keep on ticking? Probably not. But it may be pretty close.

In a surprising demonstration of just how resilient these little boxes are, a clean-up and recovery team from DataMemory Corp. in Woodland Hills has just announced that it was able to retrieve a whopping 98.7% of the data stored on the hard disk drives of the bank’s personal computers involved in last May’s devastating fire at the First Interstate Bank in downtown Los Angeles.

So, maybe there’s hope the next time you inadvertently trash your disk drive.

Should Be Called ‘Jeopardy’


How long can a man stay still with a rat on his chest or hold his head under water with catfish nibbling his face?

These and other odd challenges will be featured when Beverly Hills-based New Star Video releases next month a home video called “Endurance” that promises to show the most “hilarious” 90 minutes from a Japanese TV game show.

The number of contestants is whittled down by “outrageous endurance events,” according to New Star, such as “which blindfolded contestant, dressed in red, will remain in the arena the longest with an ornery bull stalking the grounds?”