Our favorite snacks of childhood were simple affairs: processed meat on bun, high-fructose corn syrup on popped corn. But what sort of transmogrifications would molecular-gastronomy mad scientist Ferran Adrià visit upon your beloved hot dogs and Cracker Jacks if given the chance? Adrià is now offering his services to elBullify your favorite childhood snack as part of a new charity initiative for One Drop, which works to improve access to safe water for communities worldwide—for anyone who's ever had a hankering for something like peanut "butter" & gelée, liquid Jawbreakers, Frosted Mini-Spheres, "Lucky" Charms, or Tootsie Pop but the center is a void.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, One Drop is bringing together celebrities like Colombian pop star Shakira, tennis champ Rafael Nadal and actor Michael Douglas for "10 Waves of One Drop," an auction and sweepstakes series of celebrity experiences starting with Adrià's, being gaveled off online from November 2017 through December 2018. For each event, half the funds raised will go toward One Drop, the other half toward the celebrity’s charity of choice.
The Adrià experience offers a four-hour meal and meet-and-greet with Adrià at Enigma Atelier, the Barcelona restaurant of Ferran’s brother, Albert Adrià. The winning group picks a favorite childhood dish—and the chef reimagines it as only he can. Winners also get to take home a copy of the recipe for their never-quite-the-same-again delectable. The bidding will end Nov. 12, and you can get in on it at CharityBuzz.com.
The wine-country fires were especially cruel to famed Mount Veeder Cabernet haven Segassia Vineyard. Owner Andrew Cates reported to Unfiltered that some 30 to 40 percent of the vineyard burned, and "our entire  crop was destroyed for winemaking purposes due to smoke damages."
But Cates isn't just a grapegrower: He's also a raisinator, as founder of Napa-based health snack business, the Wine RayZyn Company. "The wildfires ruined the flavor of winegrapes—there’s possible smoke taint, [which would] affect the aromatics of the finished wine in the future," Cates told Unfiltered via email. But—"the grapes were unusable for winemaking purposes only." We bet you can see where this is going.
As Segassia is hardly the only vineyard to lose its crop this year, Cates is taking the idea beyond his property. For the Rescue RayZyns project, he's hoping to get more than 100 tons of grapes for CabernayZyns (chocolate-covered and neat). Cates is attempting to raise $500,000 (using GoFundMe) to fund the processing and distribution of Rescue RayZyns and partnering with the Food Recovery Network to harvest smoke-damaged grapes. Then, a portion of proceeds from the Rescue RayZyn sales will be donated to California fire-relief charities, as well as victims of hurricanes Harvey and Maria. Meanwhile, Cates is already planning to raise Segassia from the ashes.
John Fogerty's best-known wine-country tune may be Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Lodi" ("Oh lord, stuck in Lodi again"), but the rock legend is a North Bay native—and the latest artist to donate his time and talents to wine-country fire charity relief. On Nov. 11, Fogerty will be playing at Hamel Family Wines, a small Sonoma outfit looking to raise a big sum for charity, for an afternoon and evening of wine, food and song.
Readers who missed out on tickets to the Counting Crows and Michael Franti concerts can still snag a ticket to Fogerty, though the $10,000 price of admission is a bit steeper; with 200 tickets to distribute, Hamel hopes to raise $2 million and work with Sonoma County Vintners "to donate 100 percent of the proceeds to those affected as quickly as possible to try to make the greatest impact possible," George Hamel Jr. told Unfiltered via email, with an emphasis on aiding "those uninsured, undocumented and most affected, ASAP." First responders, victims and veterans will get an additional 80 concert spots gratis.
Sonoma-area hot spots the Girl & the Fig, Vallete and Glen Ellen Star, along with Sweet Scoops Ice Cream, will be providing bites; Hamel will be pouring their 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and the 2012 Hamel Family Ranch; and Sonoma Springs Brewing Company beer will be flowing as well. Call (707) 996-5800 for tickets.
For the first time in more vintages than Unfiltered can remember, Burgundy's oft-blighted Côte d'Or had an untroubled growing season relatively light on hail, frost, disease, Rudy Kurniawans and any of the other usual suspects—while seemingly every other major wine region west of Moscow weathered some form of natural disaster or another that could be described as "historic" in badness. With Burgundy's biggest annual charity event—the Hospices de Beaune auction—coming up, some vintners are thinking of their friends on the North Coast.
Château de Pommard, owned by North Bay local Michael Baum, will be holding a silent auction Nov. 17-19 (Hospices weekend) to benefit the Rebuild Wine Country fire-relief charity, with lots including barrel tastings with the cellarmaster, a mixed case of the domaine's Clos Marey-Monge monopole, and assorted single bottles back to the 1977 vintage. "We hope to not only raise money to benefit those affected by the fires, but to also bridge the connection between California and French wine countries while raising awareness and solidarity for the incredible efforts being made by the North Bay communities," Château de Pommard rep Julie Albin told Unfiltered via email. More information can be found at the domaine's website.
The holidays are nearly upon us, and if you’re stuck with the fanciest friend in your group’s gift exchange (again), Champagne Krug just might have you covered. Unfiltered learns Krug has partnered with luxury menswear brand Berluti to unveil the $6,500 "Wild Journey" leather backpack, which is thermal-lined and specifically designed for toting bubbly.
"Wild Journey" (the name perhaps inspired by the improbable adventure of 65 Benjamin Franklins in pursuit of a the world's chicest school-supplies tote) completes the trifecta of Champagne carriers in the "Berluti pour Krug" collection; the two other bags are similarly styled (and priced) briefcases, titled "Short Journey" and "Long Journey." Does it come Champagne-included? Indeed, Krug sets you on your way with a bottle of rosé, a chrome wine stopper and two Riedel glasses, providing a pre-packaged go-bag for the over-the-top traveler.
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