• Date Night film stars Tina Fey and Steve Carell aren’t the only ones with a reason to raise a glass this month. Thanks to the new movie, Suzanne Phifer Pavitt and her husband, Shane Pavitt, have received some extra attention for their wine, also named Date Night. The couple’s wine, a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon produced on their property in Calistoga, is named for the Pavitts’ weekly night out. To make their cuvée, they tapped winemaker Ted Osbourne, who has made wine for Château du Seuil in Bordeaux, Rothschild Vignerons in South Africa and his own label, Olabisi Wines, in California. "My husband said, 'We should just call it Date Night, because that's all we talk about on our date night anymore!'" Pavitt said. And thanks to a friend in Hollywood, the couple's wine made it into the hands of Fey and Carell and was served at press screenings. The Office star Carell had the opportunity to thank the couple for his bottle when they met at Date Night’s New York premiere this month.
Super Tuscans and Prosecco are on deck at Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field.
• What black magic must the fans of the Tampa Bay Rays be practicing these days? Not only has Sports Illustrated forecasted their home team to make it to the World Series this year, but they’ve now got their choice of fine wines while sitting in the bleachers at Tropicana Field, thanks to a partnership with Zachys. The New York-based wine retailer and auction house has set up wine bars on the first- and third-base concourses for thirsty yet discerning stadium-goers. First up to bat at the new wine bars: a Prosecco, a California Cabernet and a super Tuscan. No mystery to where you’ll find Unfiltered during the seventh-inning stretch.
• The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Ontario, Canada, is now partnering with Raytheon, the self-proclaimed world's largest producer of guided missiles, to create a microwave frost-protection system at the institution's vineyard. According to their press release, "Microwave energy is transmitted from towers located in an orchard or vineyard, changing the energy balance that slows cooling to prevent freeze damage." Yes, the project aims to defy the very climate mandate of the heavens by putting all the world's vineyards in giant microwaves. Ontario is the new Rioja! Antarctica is the new Napa! For those of you keeping score at home, the future of wine is grapes grown under a giant microwave, harvested by cyborgs and served by sommelier robots.
Turning Leaf's new haute cuvées.
• Turning Leaf is taking its motto "discover the taste the color" quite literally, as E&J Gallo has hired British fashion designers Basso & Brooke to design new labels for their bottles in the U.K. The duo, known for their bright psychedelic prints on fabric, will outfit 2,000 bottles of Chardonnay and Zinfandel with neon leaves, erupting volcanoes and ikat prints inspired by their spring/summer 2010 collection. And should you want something more lasting, the pair is also designing bespoke products like umbrellas for the brand, just in case you're in the vineyard during an April shower.
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