• When Unfiltered heard that Sheryl Crow has a guest-starring arc as a Florida wine sales rep on the ABC comedy Cougar Town, we were pleased but not surprised, given that the singer-songwriter-actress includes "good Australian Cabernet" and "good Merlot" on her list of backstage requirements when performing her music live. We tuned in eagerly to see Crow's first episode on the show, in which her character, Sarah, tries to sell bar owner Grayson a few cases of Hurpes, a French Merlot ("It's pronounced 'hur-pay,'") and later goes on a date with him. We were pleased to note Crow’s entire first episode of Cougar Town revolved almost entirely around wine (though not always in the fashion Unfiltered would recommend), from the way in which Jules, played by series star Courtney Cox (a big Rioja fan in real life) fills her wineglass straight up to the rim and always opens bottles to entertain her guests to the other characters' staging of an intervention when Jules decides to stop drinking wine. We were puzzled, then, when the following week’s episode featured almost no wine at all, with a bizarre Japanese talking toilet getting far more airtime than the characters' vino. There's no new episode this week, so we’ll have to wait until next week to find out whether Crow can get her costars away from the bidet and back to the bottle.
• Maybe Chuck Wagner should add "Who Dat?" to the Caymus label and save New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton some time. Payton developed a thirst for Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon in February when he dined at an Indianapolis steak house and swiped a magnum of the Caymus SS 2007 that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had reserved. Two weeks ago, both men were in Orlando for the NFL owners meetings. As Payton explained in a press conference, "The other evening we had gone out to eat and the Cowboys were right behind us, about 10 minutes back in our rearview mirror." Payton arrived at local steak house, Ocean Prime, first. And he had an ally: General manager Michael Joffrion is from Plaquemine, La., upriver of New Orleans. When Jones and the Cowboys staff walked in, Payton called them over and said, "I just want you all to know that [Joffrion] here is from Plaquemine, and he's assured me that if there's any Caymus in this building, we're going to have first crack at it, and if we're not interested in drinking all of it then we'll send it your way." In fact, Joffrion had ordered two magnums of Caymus for the occasion. Payton formally presented one to Jones as if it were the Lombardi trophy, but not before signing it once again, "Who Dat!" Caymus may replace Gatorade on the Saints sideline next year. Payton also mentioned during the press conference how it's been well-known for some time that his one gameday superstition is to chew Juicy Fruit gum. For years, people have sent him packs. "After that Indianapolis Caymus heist, the makers sent a bottle over, and then one of the local suppliers sent a case. And I remember thinking, 'Boy I wish I had done the Caymus earlier because I sure like getting the Caymus over the Juicy Fruit.'"
• Two years ago, a study from Harvard Medical School found people with high blood pressure need not give up the moderate consumption of alcohol. Now, in last week's Harvard Heart Letter, the university claims that it is also OK to have a glass or two of wine a night for those with a slow heart rate. In it, editorial board member Dr. Peter Zimetbaum states that bradycardia, or a heartbeat under 60 beats per minute, may actually be helped by a little wine, since alcohol in responsible amounts can speed up the heart rate. "Although, that doesn’t make it a tonic for bradycardia," he warns in the Q&A section of the e-newsletter. He also mentions that around times of gathering, such as Easter, emergency rooms see a spike in people having a negative reaction to alcohol, in something called the "holiday heart syndrome," where heart palpitations cause pain, pressure, or heaviness in the chest, or shortness of breath. But keeping all things in moderation should keep people out of the ER. "The holiday heart syndrome can occur with just a drink or two, but it usually takes five, six, or more drinks to trigger it," he writes. "Too much caffeine or overuse of over-the-counter decongestants can cause similar rhythm problems."
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