Wine, women and a walk-on: Former Disney Studios president and Frank Family Vineyards owner Rich Frank has teamed up with his friend and ABC Television president Steve McPherson to produce Promise, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from Frank's Winston Hill property in Rutherford. "The name alludes to a promise to produce more wine together, and a promise Steve made to his wife that he'd follow up on his desire to make wine," Frank says. Though the wine won't be released until 2007, Frank and McPherson will sell the first case for charity at Auction Napa Valley this June. But the real draw of their lot is dinner with Teri Hatcher, star of ABC's Desperate Housewives, at chef Norman Van Aken's eponymous restaurant in Hollywood. The winner also gets a walk-on in Desperate Housewives--although casting in a romantic dalliance is not guaranteed.
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Attention fashionistas: Red is the new white. Last year, red wine outsold white in the United States for the first time since the early 1980s, according to ACNielsen retail sales data released by the Wine Institute. Reds eked out a 40.5 percent market share, just a tenth of a percent more than white wine's 40.4 percent share. (Blush wine accounted for the rest). "I think this is the result of increasing consumer sophistication," said Wine Institute spokeswoman Gladys Horiuchi. "People are becoming more wine knowledgeable and want to try more classic wines, and a lot of them happen to be red." This is a giant leap for red wine, compared to its numbers less than 15 years ago. (In 1991, red had a 17 percent share and white a 49 percent share). Chardonnay remains the most popular varietal, followed by Merlot, white Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. I guess we can't pin this one on the Sideways effect.
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