• Californian Matt Damon recently moved to the Big Apple and immediately set to exploring the city’s charming wine boutiques. But like many New York novices, he was blithely unaware of its colorful population of hobo poets, subway panhandlers and Matt Damon obsessives who have grafted a Matt Damon face onto their own face and also legally changed their name to “Matt Damon.” So it is understandable that a city-savvier wine shop clerk would turn down Damon’s credit card at the register when he attempted to purchase a $1,200 case of wine (“a little pricey,” Damon said as he recounted the tale to Tonight Show host Jay Leno, in a convincing actor voice). The reticent register man demanded that Damon, who was there with The Office star John Krasinski (or a John Krasinski impersonator), pay in cash, and, of course, Jason Bourne would know it’s foolish to carry more than $8 in your wallet in this town. So Damon left without his favored wine and has yet to return to his neighborhood wine shop. We hope they haven’t hung a “Wine-Loving Actors Unwelcome” sign on the front door.
• United States restaurants are coming to the aid of Japan after the tragic recent 8.9 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths. At SushiSamba locations across the country, 100 percent of the cost of the $12 “Disaster Relief for Japan” roll will go to relief efforts. The rolls vary from location to location, as each one has been created by one of the local Japanese sushi chefs. At Mehtaphor in New York, 100 percent of proceeds from last night went to the Japanese Red Cross, and chef Jehangir Mehta will also donate the all of the class fees ($60 per person) from tomorrow’s Gastro Kids After School class at the restaurant, in which chef Mehta introduces children to healthy cooking. At SHO, also in New York, chef and owner Shaun Hergatt is donating 10 percent of all sake sales to the Japanese Red Cross beginning last night and running through March 23. At sister restaurants Tocqueville and 15 East, husband-and-wife owners Marco Moreira and Jo-Ann Makovitzky are donating 5 percent of all beverage sales to the Red Cross from yesterday through March 22. Unfiltered can’t think of a better reason for a glass of wine or sake this weekend.
• Wine lovers in the state of Georgia may soon have their Sunday thirsts quenched. Georgia Senate Bill 10, allowing counties to decide whether or not to allow alcohol sales on Sundays, passed this week by a vote 32 to 22 and will now move on to Georgia’s House. Georgia is one of only three states that still prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sundays, the other two holdouts being Indiana and Connecticut. Sunday sales of alcohol in Georgia could generate as much as $3.4 to $4.8 million in new tax revenue from the state according to the Distilled Spirits Council. In a statement praising the bill’s passage, Council vice president Jay Hibbard said, “Prohibition-era laws have no place in today’s economy.”
Howard G Goldberg — New York, N.Y. — March 17, 2011 6:04pm ET
Thomas Matthews — New York City — March 18, 2011 9:06am ET
Perry Rankin — Healdsburg, California — March 18, 2011 12:15pm ET
James Haug — Sebsatopol, California — March 18, 2011 2:46pm ET
Howard G Goldberg — New York, N.Y. — March 18, 2011 3:40pm ET
James Haug — Sebsatopol, California — March 18, 2011 4:42pm ET
Paul Cruz — Tap on Springs, Florida — March 18, 2011 6:47pm ET
Brent Cox — Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada — March 19, 2011 12:46pm ET
Mrs Barbara Comollo — E. Dorset, VT — March 19, 2011 1:44pm ET
Ross Anderson — Sydney, NSW, Australia — March 21, 2011 7:01am ET
Tom Miller — Vestavia Hills, AL — March 23, 2011 5:48pm ET
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