• Victory really does taste sweet: When French tennis star Amélie Mauresmo won her first Grand Slam title seven years after her debut attempt, she announced she would celebrate by opening a bottle of 1937 Château d'Yquem. Mauresmo, a wine collector who had previously expressed a fondness for red Bordeaux, bought the Sauternes a few years ago, vowing to open it only when she won a major tournament. On Jan. 28 at the Australian Open, after earlier opponents wilted from heat and injury, the 26-year-old Mauresmo realized her dream when finalist Justine Henin-Hardenne couldn't finish their match. While she planned to celebrate with friends when she returned home, Mauresmo said on the Australian Open's Web site, "concerning the bottle, it's not going to be enough for everybody, so I will probably choose the closest people." With the 1937 rated 94 points and averaging more than $3,000 a bottle at auction, Unfiltered understands.
• Emeril Lagasse isn't afraid to show a little skin for charity. At last weekend's Naples Winter Wine Festival auction in Florida, the celebrity chef donated a trip to New York that included two spots at the tasting table on his show, Emeril Live. When the bidding slowed, he kicked it up a notch. "I tell you what," he said to the crowd of 550 guests, chefs and vintners. "If you give me $300,000, I'll have dinner with you in my underwear." He ended up selling two trips at that price. Later, Lagasse offered a truffle dinner that he would prepare along with fellow chef Mario Batali. "This time, you'll be paying to keep my clothes on," Lagasse teased. The lot sold for $240,000, which leaves Unfiltered wondering how much more could have been raised if both Lagasse and Batali had promised to bare a little.
• The auction wasn't the only event heating up the Naples festival. Romance was in the air as well. Festival trustees Judith Liegeois and John Scot Mueller announced their engagement at the vintner dinner they hosted on Friday evening. Helping the happy couple celebrate were Italian vintner Giovanni Manetti of Fontodi and chef Josiah Citrin, whose Santa Monica, Calif., restaurant, Mélisse, holds Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence. With a party like that, Liegeois and Mueller are off to a great start, and Unfiltered wishes them the very best.
• Speaking of happy couples, Salvatore Ferragamo, grandson of the legendary Italian footwear maker and manager of Il Borro winery, left the Naples festival early Sunday morning to return home to Tuscany where his wife was expecting twins. Ferragamo, who celebrated the birth of his first child only 11 months ago, says he's had an easy time adjusting to fatherhood and is looking forward to the arrival of two more. "[At night,] my wife will stay with the twins and I will stay with the one-year-old," he said. "I got off easy."
• Pop Quiz: Your nation's wine industry is in trouble, sales are steadily declining and you're stuck with a glut of overproduction. What do you do? Industry leaders in France's two biggest wine regions decided to pick a fight with each other. The spat started last week when leaders of the vignerons' union in the Languedoc blamed Bordeaux for the economic crisis in the French wine industry. Irritated that Bordeaux winemakers refused to support a national day of demonstrations against the government, Jean Huillet, head of the vignerons' union in Hérault, accused the Bordelais of not moving promptly to end overproduction. "We continue to uproot [vines], we send millions of hectoliters to be distilled," Huillet told the French newspaper Libération. "The Bordelais stuff themselves and twirl their mustaches."
• The Bordelais were quick to fire back, however. In an open letter to France's wine regions, the presidents of three Bordeaux organizations argued that all French vignerons should stop asking for government handouts. "The Bordeaux region has suffered as much as everyone else from the market downturn and the antiwine stance of the French government," wrote Christian Delpeuch, Allan Sichel and Jacques Bertrand. "The French wine industry deserves more than public charity. It deserves reforms that will at last set it free." The CIVB, Bordeaux's trade body, has initiated a plan to cut wine production, improve quality and strengthen marketing, but it's unclear if even the Bordeaux winemakers are willing to listen. Activists bricked up the CIVB's entrance in December. Unfiltered thinks the group needs a snappier comeback to the mustache quip.
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