• You may recall that Unfiltered debunked the myth of Mariah Carey “launching” her own new Champagne brand earlier this year. Now that the re-branded Angel has just been released in the U.K., we have some more insight into the union between an Italian Champagne producer eager to break into the lucrative world of nightclub bottle service and an American singer who insists she doesn’t drink Champagne because it hurts her throat. Call it “how your $1,000, crystal-encrusted bottle of Champagne gets made.” In an interview earlier this week with U.K. trade publication the Drinks Business, Angel founder Stefano Zagni said that, after finding celebrity endorsements too pricey, he paid record label Island Def Jam for access to celebrity events. Those events included an anniversary party in Las Vegas for Carey and her husband, actor and musician Nick Cannon, at which Angel was poured. Zagni made Carey the new brand ambassador of Angel, which is now featured in several of Carey’s music videos, as well as those by fellow Def Jam artists Rihanna, Ne-Yo and Fabolous. In her role as ambassador, Carey herself appeared on the U.K. television show Chatty Man, on which she stated that she crushed the grapes herself while wearing brand-new Jimmy Choo shoes. Chatty Man host Alan Carr joked about the black condom-like seal at the top of the bottle, and was liberally sprayed with Champagne (which she pronounced “Sham-PAG-nee”) upon opening it. Carey then helped dab off the host with a newspaper while shouting “Stylist!” In the diva's own words, "Classy!"
Hall of Fame Mets pitcher and Napa vintner Tom Seaver poured his Cabernet when he wasn't posing for photos with Annisa chef Anita Lo.
• There was a winning lineup at the home of the New York Mets on Wednesday night (even though the team was losing 7-5 to the Marlins in Miami). Several great chefs joined Mets alumni for "Teammates in the Kitchen," a tasting and reception at CitiField in Queens to raise money for the James Beard Foundation and the Queens Economic Development Corporation. Anita Lo of Annisa, Dave Pasternak of Esca, Beard Award winner Bradford Thompson and several other chefs served up small plates for guests, who could chat with Mets greats Tom Seaver, Darryl Strawberry, John Franco and Sid Fernandez. A silent auction offered jerseys autographed by the players and an apron signed by chefs and players. "When CitiField opened, we noticed what a great food destination it was," said Beard Foundation president Susan Ungaro. The foundation worked with Citigroup and the Mets for a year to make it happen. Despite the great food, the most popular table was on the far side of the room, where Seaver was pouring tastes of his GTS Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Though it's been a cool year on his Diamond Mountain estate, and he had to drop half of his fruit, meaning he'll make 250 cases instead of 500, Seaver loves being a winery owner. "I was on the road as a player for 20 years," he said. "Now my commute is a 90-second walk with my three labradors to my vines." A few days earlier, at Sunday's Mets-Braves game, the Mets gave a lot more than a taste of Seaver's wine to longtime Braves manager Bobby Cox, who is retiring at the end of the season. Cox received a magnum of GTS, recognizing the two teams' longtime rivalry (and Cox's 199-156 record against the Mets). Cox thanked them for the magnum by beating them 6-3.
• Fine wine and haute couture go hand in hand (well, a Swarovski-studded Champagne bottle in one hand and a Judith Lieber clutch in the other), and we’ve been covering the blending of the two at New York’s annual Fashion Week parties for years. In 2006 we found designer Betsey Johnson drinking Moët White Star at the Moët Be Fabulous Lounge; in 2007 and 2008 the Vibrant Rioja models were everywhere, but mostly clinging to America’s Next Top Model judge and photographer Nigel Barker, and just this past February we spotted actress Rosario Dawson and designer Tommy Hilfiger sipping Moët at the Sherry-Lehmann-sponsored event. At this month’s Fashion Week soirées, held at New York’s Lincoln Center for the first time after previously occupying Bryant Park, Dom Pérignon was poured at the Marchesa show for model Molly Sims and musician Rob Thomas, among other boldface names, and bottles of the DP Andy Warhol Collection were stocked backstage for designer Naeem Khan. New Zealand’s Kim Crawford winery set up a full-scale wine bar in the main tent, pouring Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Kim Crawford’s Central Otago Pinot Noir was poured in the Mercedes-Benz Lounge. So Kiwi wines are officially fashionable now. We guess it’s time to find a new value region …
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