• In the hit comedy film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the character Peter, played by Jason Segel, takes a Hawaiian vacation to try and forget his former girlfriend Sarah, played by Kristen Bell, but Napa's Clos Du Val winery is hoping you won't forget their wines' cameo appearance in Judd Apatow's (Knocked Up, Superbad) latest flick. The wines are featured during a dinner scene, in which the four main characters forgo fruity umbrella drinks in favor of numerous bottles of Clos Du Val. This isn't the first on-screen appearance for Clos Du Val, which has also shown up on TV shows Sex and the City and The Sopranos and the movie 21 Grams. And while the wines' "performance" may not earn them an Oscar nod, the bright side is that they won't have to sit through a three-hour award show next year.
• Anyone want to buy a bottle of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1921? How about Château Leoville Las Cases 1868? The Japanese city of Osaka is looking to sell 157 bottles of valuable old wines. The city's municipal government bought the wine for a museum it opened in 1995, dedicated to great port cities of the world, including Osaka, San Francisco, Shanghai and Melbourne. The museum included a wine cellar, displaying the wines, which were purchased for 5.65 million yen (about $53,000 U.S.). But in order to keep the temperature and humidity right in the cellar, the museum had to limit the number of visitors each day. The rest of the facility wasn't too full of people either, and it was shuttered for good in March. Now the government can't seem to find any buyers for the wine. Unfiltered would gladly take the whole collection off their hands, but the dollar-to-yen conversion rate isn't so good right now. However, since Osaka is considered the gourmet capital of Japan, someone in town is probably willing to buy it.
Empty now, but soon to be full of record-breaking wine tasters.
• JD Wetherspoon, the massive British pub chain, is going to unusual lengths in order to drum up wine sales. The franchise, better known in Britain for its cut-rate brews, is holding a free wine tasting on May 21 in an attempt to establish itself in the 2008 Guinness World Records book for the world's largest synchronized wine tasting. The pub will offer free 1.7-ounce servings of Fetzer Coldwater Creek Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Grigio or, ahem, white Zinfandel. At 6 p.m. sharp, all registered drinkers will be asked to take a sip. "The current world record stands at 5,100 tasters," said event organizer Kay Lewis. "I am confident that we can surpass that figure." We're more than happy to get behind wine tastings of any size here at Unfiltered, but we have to ask: Why wouldn't a pub go for a Guinness World Record by holding the world's largest Guinness beer tasting?
Well, the idea of someone sticking needles in our face does make us want to reach for a bottle ...
• Unfiltered knows more than a few people who become increasingly animated after drinking wine. In San Diego, however, some wine drinkers are hoping to achieve the opposite effect. We caught a recent NBC news report that took a look at "Spa Night" at a Coronado, Calif., wine store, in which a doctor is on hand to administer shots of Botox—that is, botulinum toxin, which is used to paralyze facial muscles and decrease wrinkles—during a wine tasting. That seemed rather unlikely to us, so we called WineStyles store owner Patti Nordengreen to confirm. She clarified: "We have a local doctor from the wellness center, Gretchen Deel, come in to do consultations on Botox." The actual Botox shots are done mostly at Deel's office, she said. Still, we think we'd more likely opt for some of the other offerings during the night, like massage or wellness consultations. Or maybe just the wine. Nordengreen offers tasting flights of six wines throughout the night. Just what the doctor ordered, we say.
• Speaking of that intersection between medicine and the vine … It's not exactly artificial intoxification, but a new company in France is offering a line of wines served in test tube-like packaging. WineSide has created a collection of sweet and still wines, as well as spirits, available in 60ml and 100ml glass tubes that are sealed under screw cap, the idea being that if you aren't sure whether or not you like Bandol, you needn't purchase a full bottle to find out. Unfiltered would just like to warn "Spa Night" clients not to bring the test tubes along to the Botox doctor, lest some confusion lead to an intoxicating face full of Riesling.
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