• Many wine lovers turn their unfinished wine into vinegar, but here's a new idea: Turn it into fuel for your car. The E-Fuel Microfueler is a machine capable of converting organic waste, including wine, beer and all the reusable byproducts of winemaking, distillery and brewing, into ethanol fuel for cars. Not only that, the $10,000 machine (with a 250-gallon tank) comes with a $5,000 tax credit, and the only waste product is distilled water. United States law permits consumers to make up to 10,000 gallons of fuel annually once they’ve obtained the required permit, which is free. The company is partnering with GreenHouse, a purveyor of green building services and products, whose investors include future NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal. Unfiltered guesses the man with the size 23 sneaker is making a big effort to reduce his carbon footprint.
• Move over Starbucks (er, 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea), there’s a new chain restaurant serving wine in Washington state. Vancouver-based fast-food chain Burgerville, with 39 locations throughout the Pacific Northwest, has added wines and beers from Washington and Oregon wineries and breweries to its menu. The alcohol offerings are being test marketed at its Salmon Creek location in Vancouver, near Washington State University’s campus. Wines and beers have been chosen by sommelier Christine Tran and Burgerville CEO Jeff Harvey. Current wine offerings include Eyrie Vineyards Chardonnay, Ponzi Tavola Pinot Noir and O'Reilly Pinot Gris. And anyone dining on a Burgerville Half-Pound Colossal Cheeseburger with a glass of Oregon Pinot will have good reason to ignore that nagging guilt that traditionally accompanies fast food: Burgerville prides itself on its sustainable business model and environmentally friendly practices—all 39 locations recycle their used cooking oil into biodiesel fuel; their beef comes from pasture-raised, antibiotic-free cattle; antibiotic- and cage-free hens supply their eggs; and wind-power credits are purchased to offset 100 percent of the company’s energy use. Sounds like the perfect drive-thru for Shaq and his soon-to-be ethanol-powered SUV.
• Top Chef is back, and like you, we’ve already been sucked into the drama of the season-six Las Vegas kitchen. (Seitan? Really? We’re with the judges on that one.) As if your collection of Top Chef logo t-shirts, baseball caps, knife blocks, cookbooks and “I heart Padma” gear isn’t enough to send the message of where you’ll be spending the next 16 or so Wednesday nights, soon there will be one more way to let the world know that Trekkies have nothing on this show’s fan base. Quickfire wine, named for the fast-paced challenge that begins each episode, is set to hit shelves in early October. The Quickfire Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are made from Napa-sourced grapes aged in French oak. Although we haven’t tasted the wines, Top Chef judge Gail Simmons dishes to Unfiltered that she would drink it with either the beef tenderloin dish prepared season-four winner Stephanie Izard or the spiced elk loin with huckleberry and blackberry sauce prepared by Dale Levitski in the season three finale in Aspen, Colo.
With Eva Longoria's Beso Vegas opening soon, perhaps the Desperate Housewife can parlay this into a Real Housewives of Vegas role.
• More than two years ago, we told you about an upcoming restaurant from an unusual partnership between celebrity chef Todd English and Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria, named Beso. Well, the restaurant/Hollywood celebrity hangout has met with critical and, more importantly perhaps, financial success since opening in 2008, and now there’s another outpost on the way in—where else?—Las Vegas. Beso Vegas is slated to open New Year’s Eve, and Longoria tells People magazine that she’s not stopping there. Frequent flyers should keep their eye out for “Besitos,” or “Little Besos,” as Longoria calls them, popping up first in Los Angeles LAX and soon to follow in airports around the country. Unfiltered thinks this is a great reason for Longoria and her NBA all-star husband Tony Parker to pop another jeroboam of Roederer Cristal.
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