Maybe Brad Pitt is trying to make up for the loss of his Frank Gehry-designed wine cellar after he and Jennifer Aniston split and sold their Beverly Hills mansion. It's rumored that the movie star, who was adept at stomping people in Fight Club and Troy, could soon be stomping grapes, thereby putting him among the ranks of celebrities with their names on wine labels. According to the Daily Telegraph, the Mr. & Mrs. Smith actor is looking to snatch up a vineyard in Piedmont. Monica Tavella, spokeswoman for the Fontanafredda estate in Piedmont, told the newspaper that Pitt stayed there after the Winter Olympics and expressed interest in the art of winemaking and viticulture--as well as in visiting two nearby Barolo producers up for sale. If the Hollywood star goes for it, Unfiltered is looking forward to tasting his future wine and saying, "Hey, this is the Pitt's!"
|Mariah may not own Mariah wine, but she likes drinking it.|
Don't be surprised if San Francisco restaurateurs seem a trifle nervous over the next few months. Michelin announced today that its first San Francisco Bay-Area Guide--which will cover the East Bay, Napa, Sonoma and south to San Jose--is slated to be published this October, about 11 months after the Michelin Guide to New York City was released. That means the notoriously secretive inspectors are already trolling the region. In fact, Jean-Luc Naret, director of the Guides, told Unfiltered that five inspectors started the review process last November, and that another dozen or so reviewers from Europe will arrive over the next few months to visit more than 1,000 area restaurants. Decisions on who will win the coveted stars (and how many) will begin in May, with the final cuts determined by the end of August, when the Guide goes to print.
It turns out that Labour really is a party, in the true sense of the word. Since Tony Blair took over in 1997, Great Britain's Labour Party has spent $1.5 million of taxpayer money on wine, according to the Independent on Sunday. But don't pack your tastevin for your diplomatic trip to England just yet. While $1.5 million seems staggering, Labour officials are defending the purchases as staying well within the limit of their hospitality budget, with the average price per bottle hovering around the $5 to $6 range. The government tries to purchase in bulk and serve later, when the wine, hopefully, is worth much more. It got lucky long ago when it purchased several cases of 1961 Château Margaux for the equivalent, in today's money, of $5 a bottle. Each bottle now sells at auction for an average of $660 and as much as $1,700, according to the Wine Spectator Auction Index. But don't expect to get a sip of first-growth Bordeaux if you're invited for afternoon tea at Chequers. Most guests at the Prime Minister's country home can expect to be served Domaine de Planterieu, a Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne, which retails for about $9. Exactly how long does a Vin de Pays need to age to be worth $1,700?
Wine and racecar driving continue to merge, full speed ahead. We've already learned that both Bennett Lane and Ravenswood in California are sponsoring NASCAR teams. Now Viansa Winery & Italian Marketplace and its owner, 360 Global Wine Company, have announced they are sponsoring the IndyCar Vision Racing Team, led by driver Ed Carpenter, for the 2006 season. Unfiltered is happy that there's no sign of a slowdown in efforts to convert beer-swilling racing fans into wine-sniffing racing fans, just so long as all these wine-sponsored racecars send the right message: It's OK to drink and watch other people drive.
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