• There's no shortage of race-car legends turned vintners (Mario Andretti, Richard Childress and Bennett Lane's Randy Lynch to name a few), but legendary vintners turned racers are a new breed to us. Later this month, Napa Valley Cabernet icon Fred Schrader of Schrader Cellars will be taking his Aston Martin GT4 to France to compete with about 30 other Aston Martin owners in the premiere running of a marquee 1-hour, two-driver Aston Martin Racing Festival of Le Mans on the same track and day as the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is perhaps second only to the Indy 500 in international prestige among car races. Schrader has been training with Pruett Vineyard owner and five-time Grand-Am Series champion Scott Pruett, and his co-driver at Le Mans will be 2002's 24 Hours of Le Mans champion and Adobe Road winery owner Kevin Buckler. Both Schrader and Buckler must spend time behind the wheel during the upcoming race, switching places during the required pit stop. "I feel like I'm getting called in as the grizzled war veteran going back to Le Mans, having had such a stellar run there 10 years ago," Buckler told us this week, "and now I get to do it with my friend and fellow vintner, so that's cool." As for the skills of his amateur co-driver, Buckler said, "Fred's been training hard. He's on the simulator. He's working out … Fred's one of the guys with a really good head on his shoulders, and that is going to reward him at an event like this. He very rarely puts a wheel wrong and, to me, that's a huge skill—something that you can't teach." Schrader and Buckler take to the Circuit de la Sarthe June 16.
• Trying not to let the bed bugs bite? You may want to put away the foggers and pick up a bottle of wine. Recent research published in the Journal of Economic Entomology shows "bug bomb" or "fogger" insecticides are ineffective against bed bugs. "These foggers don't penetrate in cracks and crevices where most bed bugs are hiding, so most of them will survive," said co-author Susan Jones, a researcher in the Ohio State University Department of Entomology. However, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Ph.D. hopeful Ralph Narain finds a better solution may not be in treating the house, but rather treating the host—with alcohol. Narain spoke at the recent National Conference on Urban Entomology about his recent study that found bed bugs don't like booze. When offered blood with alcohol, bed bugs ate less, didn't grow as much and laid fewer eggs. The higher the blood alcohol content, the less the bugs consumed, but it proved effective in even small doses, as a BAC of .01 reduced bug growth by 40 percent (.08 is the legal driving limit). Unfiltered remains unscientifically skeptical, citing the alcohol-fueled-hipster–and–bed bug mecca of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as evidence.
• California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay lovers will be interested to learn that Bill Price and winemaker Gavin Chanin are collaborating on a new project called Price Chanin Vineyards featuring both varietals. If you’re a fan of California Pinot Noir, you may already know Bill Price’s name—he owns the highly regarded Durell Vineyard in Sonoma, has stakes in Kistler, and is chairman of Vincraft, the Sonoma-based investment group with controlling stakes in Kosta Browne and Gary Farrell. Chanin is a winemaker with extensive experience in California’s Central Coast, including at Au Bon Climat and Qupé. The Price Chanin label will feature grapes from famous vineyards including Price’s own Durell, and some hot spots in Santa Barbara County: La Rinconada, La Encantada, Bien Nacido and Sanford & Benedict vineyards. The debut 2011 wines come out next year.
• Unfiltered's invitation to the Metropolitan Museum of New York's Spring 2012 Costume Institute exhibition opening, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, must have gotten lost in the mail, but we have finally gotten some inside info on last month's lavish affair and its after party at the Standard Hotel's Boom Boom Room, which were both well-supplied by Italian (of course) sparkling wine Ferrari Brut Metodo Classico. Third-generation Ferrari winery family members Camilla and Matteo Lunelli flew in from Italy for the event, along with some 3-liter bottles of Ferrari for their special guests, who included Mick Jagger, Beyoncé Knowles, Gwyneth Paltrow, Adrien Brody and many, many more beautiful people who were surely wondering why we weren't there.
• Ed King Jr., who co-founded King Estate in Oregon, died Sunday at the age of 90. King founded the wine company, one of the largest in Oregon, with his son in 1985, on proceeds from the sale of his avionics firm, King Radio. He served as chairman while Ed King III ran the company, which includes a 600-acre vineyard and fruit orchard south of Eugene, in the southern Willamette Valley. King Estate makes widely available bottlings of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir from Oregon, and Washington wines bottled under the NxNW label.
Tony Tam — Midwest Town, Midwest State, U.S.A. — June 8, 2012 9:07am ET
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