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Wine-Fueled Ponzi Scheme Sounds Like a Really Low-Stakes ‘Law & Order’ Episode

Plus, hard seltzer taprooms exist now, and more news to start your day

Three wine glasses filled with white wine
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

Fyre Fest but make it highbrow

Omar Khan, a business consultant known for wooing investors with his extravagant tastes in wine and food, is being investigated by the Manhattan DA’s Major Economic Crimes bureau after allegedly conning people into investing in his events business—and then never paying out. A group of swindled investors is already suing him in state court for $8.3 million, but now the allegations are turning criminal. In one instance, Khan allegedly forged an email from Philippe Rothschild, the owner of Chateau Mouton winery, to make it seem like he had ties to the estate. “This guy needs to be stopped, said Kresimir Penavic, one of the people suing him. “Right now as we speak, he is probably scheming and organizing a dinner.”

As Dealbreaker puts it, Khan’s alleged crime — courting investors, getting them to hand over money for a not-yet-profitable business, and remaining unprofitable while maintaining a high valuation—is basically the IPO process for a lot of VC-funded companies. Which says a lot about the economy!

And in other news...

  • San Juan Seltzer is opening a tap room in Seattle, because that’s where we’re at with hard seltzer culture. [Eater Seattle]
  • Chef José Andrés and his World Central kitchen have served over 20,000 meals across the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. [Twitter]
  • In order to combat food waste, grocery stores in Finland are trying “happy hours,” where they cut prices on food hours from its expiration date. [NY Times]
  • Gather ye round for the tale of the man who accidentally paid almost $100,000 for a beer. [Twitter]
  • Put the knife down! Heinz is releasing bottles with tilted labels, which align when you’re pouring at the right angle. [CNN]
  • Troy Patterson says the current orange wine craze is an “assault on pleasure,” and more of a “cerebral” show-off than anything. Buddy, it’s ok if you don’t like orange wine! Everyone has their own tastes! [The New Yorker]
  • Mississippi will no longer ban veggie burgers from being called “veggie burgers.” [Vox]
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Andrew Scott handed out canned gin drinks at the line for Fleabag tickets. [NME]
  • Jimmy Fallon and Post Malone went to Medieval Times, where the chicken is surprisingly good. [YouTube]
  • And finally, charcuterie means commitment.