Baron Philippe de Rothschild Mouton Cadet is once again the official wine of the Ryder Cup, to be played this fall at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. And this week Unfiltered got an exclusive first look at this year’s label, featuring a design by renowned golf-course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. The label is adapted from an illustration that Jones created for the special-edition 2014 Mouton Cadet of himself caddying for his father, Robert Trent Jones, who designed and built Hazeltine in 1962.
The partnership came of a serendipitous encounter between Jones and Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA managing director Hugues Lechanoine and his wife at the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex in England. Jones and Lechanoine’s wife, who is an artist, were having a spirited conversation about art when Hugues was inspired to suggest they work together on the 2016 Ryder Cup cuvée. “Hugues and I share a common pleasure of golf, and of course he is the expert in wine, and I am an expert in grass,” Jones told Unfiltered. “I said, why not draw a caddy, or a cadet, serving his patron or, in this case, his golfer.”
Jones sketched himself caddying for his father on the 16th hole at Hazeltine, and the label features Jones Jr. in the role of cadet, along with the Ryder Cup and Mouton Cadet logos. “Golf is an individual sport, except at team events, and [the Ryder Cup] is the most famous team event,” Jones said, “and the caddy is the teammate of the professional, so there are a lot of meanings in the label that I think seem to fit … Golf is like wine: It’s pleasure, you are socializing, you are sharing, and you work from the land. I grow grass, and they grow grapes!”
Lechanoine concurred. “You have to deal with nature [in both golf and in wine]; you have the notion of terroir—every golf course is unique and changes over time. You will never play Pebble Beach in France, and you will never a drink Bordeaux from California,” he said.
There will be 6,000 cases of the 2014 Mouton Cadet Ryder Cup red cuvée produced, along with a much smaller run of white and rosé. “[Mouton-Rothschild] is very careful who they work with—they work with real artists,” Jones said, “so to be even considered a cadet, or a caddy, to these artists, as a sketcher, I’m very honored.”
You might have mistakenly started following basketball or hockey or golf after the Super Bowl ended, but Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys (who else?) are here to remind you that the NFL demands your undivided attention 365 days a year. The flashiest franchise in football announced this past week that Concha y Toro is the new Official Wine of the Dallas Cowboys, at least for the next three years.
The Cowboys aren't the first NFL team with its own wine: In 2010, the New York Jets released their own line of Napa Cabernet. And this isn't Concha y Toro's first rodeo either: Its Casillero El Diablo label is the official label of the other football's flashiest franchise, Manchester United.
The relief at NASA was palpable across the globe: Astronauts need no longer aspire their fine Bordeaux through straws stuck in little bags. Product designer Octave de Gaulle has unveiled a circular space bottle, in the shape of a ring made of polycarbonates and silicon, which he designed while an artist in residence at the French space agency.
“Nowadays drinking in space is no longer a technical problem. However, if you drink alcohol from the existing plastic bags, you ruin everything beautiful and good in wine,” said de Gaulle, who introduced his bottle accompanied by astronaut Jean-François Clervoy. Clervoy, a veteran of three NASA space-shuttle missions, is president of Novaspace, offering zero-gravity commercial flights, and tested the circular bottle on a zero-G flight.
The weightlessness of space posed unique challenges. Liquids do not flow in zero gravity—they gather into spheres to reduce their surface contact with air. De Gaulle’s bottle “guarantees that wine moves toward the cork and never remains stuck in some part of the shape.” The circular space bottle can be filled on Earth, stored flat, and when in space the ring shape makes it easy to grab or hook with a strap. “This is an ongoing project in development,” de Gaulle told Unfiltered. “It worked as I wanted it to on the flight, but I have some things to change.” For now, only colored water made the flight due to flight restrictions. “We have an important team of people now, and I hope 2016 is the year we send wine in the bottle on a zero-gravity flight,” said de Gaulle.
De Gaulle believes Château Haut-Bailly has the Right Stuff, and Véronique Sanders, president of Haut-Bailly agrees. “It feels like a natural continuation of Haut-Bailly’s relation with arts and with science. It feels exciting … and a little bit of a vertigo when you think of tasting in an actual spaceship,” Sanders told Unfiltered. "Octave de Gaulle is a brilliant, impressive young man. He is some kind of wizard who made our dream of reaching the moon come true.” The circular bottle is currently on display at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Bordeaux.
In a world where prime-time TV has tired of asking us, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, CNBC is upping the ante, with its new series Billion Dollar Buyer, starring billionaire hospitality mogul Tilman J. Fertitta. Fertitta, the chairman, CEO and sole shareholder of Landry’s Inc., oversees 50 leading restaurant, hotel and entertainment brands, including Mastro’s Steakhouse and Morton’s, The Steakhouse.
Billion Dollar Buyer, which is kind of like Shark Tank but with just one shark, premiered March 22, and follows Fertitta and his annual $2 billion discretionary budget around the country as he seeks out what America’s best and brightest entrepreneurs and small businesses have to offer. Providing his expertise and guidance, Fertitta will determine the feasibility of innovative new products and how he might use them at Landry's Inc.—everything from food and drink to linens and spa products are fair game for consideration.
On March 12, the World of Wine charity auction raised $100,000 at Opus One Winery for the non-profit Mentis: Napa’s Center for Mental Health Services. This is the fifth year for the wine-themed fund-raiser, but Mentis has been around much longer: Originally founded at the end of World War II to help soldiers returning home with the then-undiagnosed PTSD, the organization has been helping the Napa community for more than 60 years. Staglin Family (which has long been a supporter of mental-health issues), Robert Mondavi, Flowers and the Symington Family Estates were among the participating wineries.