News of what will likely be the biggest wine movie since
Somm 2 Sideways broke this week when Netflix announced the upcoming Wine Country, starring Parks and Rec lead Amy Poehler (who's also directing and producing) and featuring an absolute murderers' row of comedy talent: Fellow Saturday Night Live alums Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell and Emily Spivey are all involved. The announcement came in the form of Poehler iPhone-filming her possibly-already-wine-practicing friends as they belt out a moving rendition of the Kenny Loggins/Stevie Nicks soft-rock staple "Whenever I Call You 'Friend.'" A rep for Netflix told Unfiltered filming started today, with a likely release in early 2019.
It's happening—Amy Poehler's directorial debut, Wine Country, is coming soon to Netflix! Starring Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, Maya Rudolph, Emily Spivey and featuring Tina Fey. Get excited. Get real excited. pic.twitter.com/kZedPmzeVC— Netflix US (@netflix) March 20, 2018
"Wine Country tells the story of old friends who go to Napa for a weekend of wine tastings to celebrate a 50th birthday," Netflix told us via email. And if the Neflix’s Twitter "preview" is any indication, the film will be "your new favorite movie," which, well, you may have heard Unfiltered is indeed pretty into the whole wine and comedy thing. While it is certainly not too early to start making your wine-and-viewing party preparations, we'll keep you posted as we get more details.
Wine archaeology is usually a frustrating game of grasping at microscopic traces of grape residue and detritus; lucky researchers might dig up pottery fragments relaying inscrutable messages from the ancients, or the home of an early specimen of label drinker, or death-flavored shipwreck Champagne.
So it was a rare and remarkable find when scientists cracked open a more than two-millennium-old wine vessel following an excavation in central China and found the fill level still pretty decent! This week, researchers from the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archeology in central China announced their discovery, which had been stored in a bronze jug in a tomb dating either to the short-lived Qin Dynasty or unfortunately rather longer-lived Warring States Period that preceded it. (Context: Emperor Qin Shi Huang consolidated power in 221 B.C.; you know him as the Terracotta Army guy.) It is among the oldest fermented beverages still in liquid form ever found.
The booze, about 10 ounces, is colored somewhere on the Pantone beverage scale between "Jura" and "regurgitated protein shake" and well-garnished with mystery sediment. "The liquor was milky white when we found it, and was a little muddy," researcher Zhang Yanglizheng somewhat kindly described it to CCTV in a broadcast. The presence of amino acids, protein and fatty acids led Zhang's team to conclude it was "similar to the rice wine we drink nowadays."
Finally, as the cork-versus-screwcap wars rage on, winemakers might be curious to know what kind of closure the ancient Chinese used to keep their wine preserved for a 2K-year drink window: burlap tied with plant strips.
Depending on whom you ask, wine can be either a virtue or a vice. So it followed that last week's Young Fellows Ball, the annual socialite-studded fundraising soiree held at the Frick Collection art museum on Manhattan's Upper East Side, drew its inspo from Paolo Veronese's painting "Choice Between Virtue and Vice." Cohosted by luxury fashion brand Escada, the party's good-versus-evil theme echoed through every detail, down to the libations for well-heeled guests wearing surnames like Hearst and Bloomingdale.
Batting for Team Virtue, Italian sparking producer Ferrari Trento popped more than 250 bottles of bubbly, while Piedmont winery Malabaila di Canale served as its still-wine counterpart. Spirits also took sides, with Tito's Vodka offering another virtuous option, and Johnnie Walker tempting patrons to the dark side.
For the morally ambiguous, there was somewhat of a medium (pink)-hued middle ground in the dance-floor beats of DJ Rosé (that's right it's 2018 and we got DJ Rosé at the museum, how do you like them bitcoins, grandpa?!), the music director for Chateau d'Esclans' ubiquitous Whispering Angel. In the end, virtue won out: Proceeds will support the museum's many initiatives, including its free art reference library and educational programs for the city's public schools.
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