How to own Brad Pitt's cellar, get a taste of Latin pop star Luis Miguel and age wine in a hurry
Posted: October 12, 2005
Looking for a house with a deluxe wine cellar already built in? You might want to take a look at Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's Beverly Hills mansion. Now that they've finalized their divorce, the former couple has put the Normandy-style home on the market, with an asking price of $28 million, according to the Los Angeles Times. That includes amenities such as a screening room, an artist's studio, a pub, an outdoor fireplace, tennis courts and a pool and spa. Of greatest interest to enophiles, though, is the extensive wine cellar that Pitt, who has developed an interest in architecture, asked Frank Gehry to design. It wasn't the first time Gehry got involved in a wine-related project--he's done work for Marqués de Riscal in Spain, Le Clos Jordan in Ontario and Kathryn Hall's winery in Napa Valley--but it has to be the smallest. No word on what Pitt has done with the pricey wine collection that was in it.
|Now that he's won three Grammys, Luis Miguel wants to try something new: making Chilean Cabernet.|| |
may not spark the instant recognition of Brad and Jen, but 65 million people know his name. At least that's how many records the Latin pop star, who got his start as a kid, has sold worldwide. After raking in numerous platinum records and dating Mariah Carey
, the dishy Latin lover is releasing his own wine. "ÚNICO Luis Miguel" is being produced by Viña Ventisquero
in Chile. (We have to ask: How will Spanish winery Vega Sicilia feel about the use of the Unico name?) According to Ventisquero, Miguel, a three-time Grammy winner, will blend the wines himself, using primarily Cabernet Sauvignon from a vineyard in Maipo Valley. The wine will be available in the United States as early as the end of this year for $28 a bottle. That's music to his fans' ears.
|Mothra in Napa? Nope, it's Luna's Harvest Moon Lunar Moth. || |
Some strange pictures cross Unfiltered's desk now and then, but one of a giant green moth looming over a vineyard certainly got our attention. No, it wasn't an insect attack straight out of a horror movie. Luna Vineyards in Napa Valley just decided to add a little excitement to its first Harvest Moon Party, during which staff and guests picked Pinot Grigio by moonlight. (The grapes will end up in a special 50-case Harvest Moon bottling that will probably be sold out of the tasting room for around $30 a bottle.) So the winery hired a performance artist to transform herself into the Lunar Moth Lady to greet guests. As if there hadn't been enough wordplay going on that evening, the Moth Lady even danced with winery cofounder Mike Moone
|Spurrier went to South Carolina and hit the bottle...sort of. || |
Did Steve Spurrier's stint as head coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins make him turn to the bottle? Well, not really. Now coach of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, Spurrier has lent his name and image to the new Cock-n-Fire Cabernet Sauvignon, grown at Healdsburg Vineyards in California. The special-edition wine was originally created for a giveaway at a media event, but was such a hit that it will soon be on sale at South Carolina stores and restaurants for about $15 a bottle. The wine will be used to raise money for the USC men's and women's golf teams, which need a $120,000 renovation to their short-game practice area. "He's a rabid golfer," Puggy Blackmon
, USC's golf coach, said of Spurrier. "He felt as long as it benefited both the men's and women's golf programs, more power to us." About 1,300 cases have been ordered, and if demand is strong enough, Blackmon says more might follow. As for how the wine tastes, well, not even Blackmon has tried it yet, "but hopefully, it'll have a little kick to it," he says. Much like the Gamecocks, who beat Kentucky 44-16 last weekend.
Luna's version of Mothra didn't originate from Japan, but another bizarre creation has. Bioengineer Hiroshi Tanaka, of Innovative Design and Technology in rural Shizuoka, has spent the last 15 years developing a device that can rapidly age wine, giving those 2001 Barbarescos a "drink now" recommendation. According to The Times of London, Tanaka's invention can supposedly soften and add complexity to young, even cheap, wine. He got the idea from a desire to take the rough edges off the sake he prefers. The device can be installed at a winery, but Tanaka plans to create smaller versions for restaurants or personal cellars, giving everybody the opportunity to tinker with their wines. So much for all good things coming to those who wait.
|Concert for a Cause: Jim Messina, Bruce Cohn, Pat Simmons of the Doobie Brothers and Kenny Loggins.|| |
What could bring Taj Majal
, The Turtles
and Lisa Loeb
to Sonoma wine country all in one weekend? B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen beefed up its 19th annual charity Fall Music Festival and Golf Tournament in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, adding a second performance to raise funds specifically for residents of damaged Gulf Coast areas. It wasn't too hard to bring together an impressive musical lineup since Bruce Cohn
, the winery's owner, is the longtime manager of the Doobie Brothers
. The band was also joined by Little Feat
, Joe Satriani
, Kenny Loggins
and Jim Messina
. The winery hasn't released the final totals, but proceeds from the first concert go to local Sonoma charities and those from the second concert go to hurricane relief efforts by Habitat for Humanity, the Mercy Foundation and Counties Helping Counties and Parishes. The items auctioned off during the shows brought in a good chunk of money themselves: One of several guitars signed by the musicians earned a high bid of $8,500. Now that's what the Doobies would call "Real Love."
The French have never made it easy for outsiders to get to know their wine, but they're trying to change this. For its "Fall for French Wines" campaign, Wines of France is asking people to describe, in 75 words or less, the first time they "fell" for French wines. The writer of the best entry wins a 14-day, 13-night trip for four to the wineries and vineyards of France, including round-trip airfare, accommodations, several meals and train transportation--a prize valued at $20,000. (Entries are due Dec. 31, 2005, at www.wines-france.us). According to the contest rules, "creativity/originality" and "appropriateness to theme" make up the bulk of the judging criteria, but "product knowledge" accounts for 30 percent of the total score. So if you can't remember if your first romance was with a Chinon or a Corton, you'd better study.