• Blues star of the 1970s Boz Scaggs is no blue-eyed stranger to fine wine. Scaggs and his wife, Dominique, moved to Napa Valley in 1996, and started planting vines on their Mt. Veeder property in 1998. Fans of Rhône Valley wines, the couple planted mostly Syrah along with Mourvèdre and Grenache. They initially made wine just for themselves and friends, but over the past decade have hired vineyard consultants and winemakers to assist with what’s become much more than a hobby. Having a friend like wine merchant Kermit Lynch to advise them hasn’t hurt either. (Scaggs also appears on Lynch’s 2006 album, Quicksand Blues.) With the help of winemaker Ken Bernards (Domaine Chandon, Ancien), Scaggs Vineyards has recently released its first commercial line of wines, including two vintages of a Mt. Veeder Rhône-style red blend called Montage ($75) as well as a rosé.
• Grammy-winning crooner Michael Bublé will be doing a duet with Beringer Vineyards this fall and winter. Beringer has been named the official wine of Bublé’s upcoming Crazy Love Tour. “I think Beringer and I are a great pairing,” the singer said in a statement announcing the partnership. “[Beringer] is a winery that mixes elegance and excitement in a way that is simpatico with my music.” The grand finale of the tour and partnership will happen next year, when Bublé (pronounced “boo-BLAY,” no matter what Jon Hamm insisted during their joint-venture pork-and-Champagne restaurant sketch on Saturday Night Live earlier this year) performs at Beringer Vineyards for a select group of wine-loving fans.
• And for the philanthropic wine-loving music enthusiast, veteran music-industry executive Tony Martell’s T.J. Martell Foundation will be hosting its semi-annual Best Cellars Dinner this Oct. 2 in Atlanta at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead. The dinner brings together members of the music industry and wine collectors with some very deep cellars. Each table is sponsored by one collector who is responsible for providing the table’s wine selections for the evening. At $650 a chair, tickets to the black-tie affair are not cheap, but the price of admission includes the host’s cellar selections, musical performances and a four-course dinner prepared by chefs Eric Branger of the Ritz L.A. and Peter Zampaglione of the Ritz Buckhead. Proceeds from the event go to the Martell Foundation’s cancer research grant at Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute. Next month’s wine lists and attendees haven’t been finalized yet, but at this past April’s Martell Best Cellars dinner at Nashville’s Hutton Hotel, the guest list included Jewel, Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys, Martina McBride and more, and wine hosts Joe Bastianich, Jim Clendenen, Dave Sokolin and others opened 1966 Haut-Brion, 1982 Pichon-Longueville-Lalande and Mouton-Rothschild, 1997 Montrachet and much, much more.
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