Roundup: Forks without knives, a vinophile's dream job, a venti pint

By Tara Kimura, CBCNews.ca

Whither the knife?

A growing number of consumers shopping for flatware are opting not to purchase the matching knives to their forks, according to an article in the Guardian.

The department store Debenhams says the ratio of fork to knife sales in its London stores is three to one.

"The trend towards fast food is the biggest culprit for abandoning traditional etiquette," Debenhams spokesman Ed Watson told the Guardian. "Burgers seldom require the use of a knife, and ready meals are presented using pre-cut, bit-sized portions which slip easily on to a fork."

Uncorking a social media challenge

The list of tweeting, blogging and vlogging vinophiles has been narrowed to 10 in a dream job contest held by the California winery Murphy-Goode.

The winery is offering a six-month job, with a salary of $10,000 US per month, to the candidate who can best use social media tools like Facebook and Twitter to talk about Sonoma County and what they've learned about the fine art of winemaking.

The contest closely resembles an Australian contest held earlier this year by the Tourism Department of Queensland state in which 35,000 applicants competed for the "Best Job in the World." The much-publicized contest offered the winner a six-month assignment to explore and relax on Hamilton Island while blogging.

Murphy-Goode's campaign itself became the subject of scrutiny among twitterers when readers realized a poll on the site, in which people could vote for their favourite candidates, would in no way influence the final vote.

Spokesman Mark Osmun told the Canadian Press the blunder was a true indicator of how much they need to learn about social media.

"If we knew a lot about social media, we wouldn't have to be hiring somebody," he said.

A venti pint?

Coffee chain Starbucks is branching out with plans to beef up its menu with beer and wine at one of its Seattle locations.

The outlet, renamed 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea, is slated to open next week. The iconic logo will be stripped from the store's décor, according to the Seattle Times.

Along with shedding its corporate image, the new store will also host live music events and poetry readings.

Dan Ollis, owner of the independent chain Victrola Coffee Roasters, told the paper he was skeptical of the company's new venture.

"Starbucks is Starbucks, and we're different from them," he said.