• When Unfiltered thinks of hip-hop, we automatically think of Moscato. After years of "passing the Courvoisier" with Busta Rhymes and "pouring the Chandon" with Snoop Dogg, we now know fo', uh, shizzle, that Moscato d'Asti is the new toast for hip hip-hoppers. At least we know now that a press release has pointed out that the trendsetter Kanye West—whose single Gold Digger and album Late Registration have received Grammy nominations—recently ordered some Saracco Moscato d'Asti 2004 for a party in Atlanta. He was also heard on MTV saying, "Please give me a little Moscato and another order of string beans." Given what rappers did for sales of Cristal and Hennessy, can a boom in the Italian sparkler be far behind? On top of Kanye's endorsement, Lil' Kim raps in Lighters Up: "Still over in Brazil, sipping Moscato / You must have forgot though / So I'ma take it back to the block, yo." We're just trying to keep it real.
• And yet, surprisingly, Unfiltered doesn't rate very high on the Wild-O-Meter. Montevina Winery's latest label, Wild Bunch, sent us a kooky quiz called the Wild-O-Meter, which, no matter how we answer the questions, always responds by telling us to drink more Wild Bunch. What a shock.
• Does a wine by any other name smell as sweet? Montana winemaker Andy Sponseller and his partner Connie Poten thought they had found the perfect name for their winery outside Missoula, dubbing it Rattlesnake Creek Vineyard in 1998. But recently an e-mail arrived informing them that the name was taken and asking them to cease and desist. Paul Portteus, who owns Portteus Winery in Washington's Rattlesnake Hills, has been making a red blend called Rattlesnake Ridge since 1989, and he trademarked the name eight years ago. After consulting with a lawyer, Sponseller decided that a court fight wasn't worth the money, so he will change the name instead. Portteus isn't holding a grudge; he's also had to change several of his wines' names because of trademark issues. And Sponseller found a solution to building a new brand identity. He's holding a contest in which anyone who sends a new name to email@example.com by Dec. 16 could win a case of wine every year for life. (The lineup currently includes several reds and whites from estate-grown hybrid grapes, a Pinot Noir from Oregon and a Sauvignon Blanc from California. This year, Sponseller is also experimenting with an ice wine.) "We're getting hundreds of suggestions," says Poten. "Some are hilarious—like 'Twitchy Litigator.' "
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