Inniskillin founder gets hitched, 'biching about your boss, rose-colored glasses and Charles Shaw for president!
Posted: August 9, 2006
• Hats off to Donald Ziraldo, cofounder and president of Canadian ice wine producer Inniskillin, on his recent marriage to his partner of many years, Germany-born Anna Netter. Ziraldo is among the most recognizable members of Canada's wine industry, whizzing around in his flashy Ferrari to buy Art Deco antiques and heading to Aspen to spend the winter on the piste. Last January he was even seen harvesting his frozen ice-wine grapes with the help of Geddy Lee from Rush, Steven Page from Barenaked Ladies and Jim Cuddy from Canadian country rock band Blue Rodeo. His wedding, held at the luxurious Traube Tonbach hotel in Germany's Black Forest, proved to be no less an event. While the ceremony was strictly family only, Unfiltered still got the down-low on the wines poured at the reception. Well, OK, it's not really a big secret that Ziraldo mainly served his own wines: the Inniskillin 2003 Founders' Reserve Chardonnay Niagara, 2003 Dark Horse Vineyard Meritage and three ice wines--the 2004 Cabernet Franc, 2004 Riesling and 2003 Sparkling Vidal. However, in the marital spirit of compromise, he also served two of Netter's favorites: 1989 Dom Pérignon and Nino Franco Prosecco. Best wishes from Unfiltered, Donald and Anna.
|If 60-bottle-capacity storage is too limited for you, finding more space in the kitchen shouldn't be too hard.|| |
• If you're in the market for a new apartment, have a big bank account and you like wine, then one of the seven Union Square Lofts under construction in New York might be right for you. Each unit, ranging in price from $3.2 million to $5.5 million, comes with either a GE Profile or Viking 60-bottle wine cooler-complete with a 24-bottle starter cellar, courtesy of Crush Wine & Spirits (a shop partly owned by restaurateur Drew Nieporent
). Residents will also get a 10 percent to 15 percent discount at Crush for as long as they live in their lofts. "[We're] crafting homes for people instead of apartments," said developer Josh Guberman
. "We want to build a connection between quality of life"-which, in this case, includes heated bathroom floors and built-in, 50-inch plasma TVs with surround sound-"and an introduction to wine." Crush managing partner Bob Schagrin
has selected the introductory package, worth about $2,500, for each apartment. Along with a few 2003 red Burgundies, the package includes wines such as 1998 Mouton-Rothschild
, a 2005 J.J. Prüm
Auslese Riesling and Napa Cabs Scarecrow and Shelter. But don't worry if there's a wine in there you don't want. "If someone doesn't drink domestic Cabernet, let's just say I'd take out the 2003 Hundred Acre, which each loft gets one bottle of, [and] I could replace that with anything they want of equal value," said Schagrin. Ah, the tough decisions faced when living the good life …
• When most people bitch about work, they usually go to a bar, have a drink and let the complaints--and expletives--fly. However, New Zealand winery Babich, whose 2005 Sauvignon Blanc made Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2005, has decided to make complaining a little more fun. Over the past several months, the winery has poured its wines at several "'bich sessions" at New Zealand bars, where employees get to nominate their colleagues, coworkers and--if they're totally fearless--their bosses for Office 'bich Awards. Last week, the biggest 'bich session yet, with more than 100 nominees, was held at an Auckland bar called the Bluestone Room. A panel of judges selected the winners, who couldn't be too upset with their coworkers publicly calling them a 'bich since the prizes included a free vacation and a Bose stereo. The bad news is that Babich has no plans to try the promotion in the United States. That's a real 'bich.
|Who knew there was a way to drink Champagne that'd make you feel even better?|| |
• As if Riedel hadn't shocked traditionalists enough with its "O" tumblers, the company is releasing more pink stemlessware. No, the crystal maker isn't just trying to get drinkers to look at their wines through rose-colored glasses. It's an effort to benefit Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a charity organization that provides support to women living with breast cancer and their families. This October, Riedel is unveiling a stemless pink Champagne "flute" that will retail for $27 per pair; 15 percent of the wholesale price will be donated to LBBC. Maximilian
and Georg Riedel
worked on several designs for this year's offering, and Georg's sketches were chosen in the end (father knows best, eh?). The new design features a ribbed hollow pedestal supporting an elongated bowl. Judging by the glasses' capacity, nearly 9 fl. oz., Unfiltered doesn't recommend filling them to the brim--unless you're making your own donation to charity for every bottle emptied.
• Unfiltered recently spotted a bumper sticker that read "Fiscal Responsibility: Charles Shaw for President." We thought, why not? The namesake of Two-Buck Chuck wouldn't make a bad leader-in-chief--anyone advocating lower-priced wines certainly has our support. However, we got a little ahead of ourselves there. It appears it's not that Charles Shaw, but the organizer for the Green Party of the United States and chair of the Peace Action Committee. Still, we wonder what his house wine is … might get our vote if it's good.
|Not the first thing we'd have thought to put in the English countryside, but we'll take it.|| |
• As Celtic dance phenomenon Riverdance stomps on, one of the former members is happy to be residing in the "Where are they now?" file. Ex-drummer and Emerald Isle native Kevin Sharkey
has gladly replaced his sticks with stems--he is now running British all-organic wine shop Organico, which opened earlier this month in northwestern England's Lake District. Sharkey, who fell in love with wine while on tour in France, was ready for a change from the gruelling repetition of tour schedules. "After the show, you sit around with the group, and I had this feeling, that two years down the line, we would still be talking about the same [expletive deleted]," he explains. Sharkey, whose shop has 100 or so mostly Italian offerings, says he has no regrets about his change of career from the dull music scene to the ultrahip wine world. "Eight years ago, [rock band] Snow Patrol asked me to be their drummer," Sharkey said, "but their music was just way too boring." Well, if Pearl Jam ever needs a new drummer with access to good wine for its front man Eddie Vedder
, they know where to look.