• What's better than sex? "SexyBack" with Veuve Clicquot. At least Justin Timberlake thinks so. Veuve was the 'tween dream's drink of choice on Aug. 28 when he and his crew hit the trendy G Spa & Lounge in Manhattan's Meatpacking District to celebrate JT's forthcoming album FutureSex. Given the title, it's no surprise that more than half of the album's songs are filled with innuendos and come-ons, like the lyrics from the racy hit single "SexyBack": "I'm bringin' sexy back / If that's your girl, baby watch your back." JT and his producer pal Timbaland toasted their collaborative effort with Veuve, and during the three-hour party, the crowd had its fill too. MTV News reporters noted a "seemingly never-ending amount of Champagne flowing." Which is always a good idea in our book, but for the record, Unfiltered would prefer to drink Veuve without having to endure those lyrics.
• Robert Louis Stevenson said, "Wine is bottled poetry," but still, it's not often you'll find a former U.S. poet laureate reading at a wine shop. None other than Billy Collins showed up at New York retailer Bottlerocket to kick off a series of tasting events. Acknowledging that the unusual venue was a new experience for him, he quipped of his presence, "I'm getting a case of wine for this." But it was a good match, because Collins' poetry is known for its accessibility and wit. And Bottlerocket is the kind of shop that allows dogs, gives kids a place to color, groups its wines by their best food matches and has a behind-the-register display of Thunderbird and Cisco alternating with bottles of Champagne. In honor of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Collins read his poem "The Names"--only the second time he's read the poem in public. But he also chose some more light-hearted selections that mentioned wine, including "January in Paris" and one of Unfiltered's favorites, "Litany," which satirizes a traditional style of love poem. So which wine would Collins be taking home? Without hesitation, he said, "I'm a Sauvignon Blanc man."
|Betsey Johnson has great taste in wine as well as fashion, it seems.|
• Tuscans have some pretty wacky ideas about what constitutes a sport. Think of the Calcio Storico in Florence, where once a year local hoodlums dress up in medieval costume and beat each other up in Piazza Santo Spirito. Or the famous Palio in Siena, in which jockeys ride bareback round the square for three or four laps, and the city explodes with joy when the fastest horse--with or without rider--crosses the finish line. But Unfiltered is a bit more fond of the Bravîo delle Botte, a barrel race that took place last week in Montepulciano, home of Vino Nobile. In this race, pairs of beefy locals roll 175 lb. wine barrels up (yes up) the steep, narrow streets of the city's center. The winners (for the fifth year straight), Lorenzo Martire and Giovanni Zorn, became the proud owners of a piece of scarlet cloth which, according to the 600-year-old statutes, must be "of the value of at least 30 florins." Those Tuscans sure know how to have fun, but we're thinking it'd be a little more appropriate if the winners received the last vintage's contents of the barrel. They certainly worked for it .…
• So which would you choose? A vertical of Château Lafite dating back to 1870, an eight-vintage vertical of Harlan Estate, or eight barrel samples of Bordeaux's heralded 2005 vintage? That's the sort of dilemma posed to wine lovers by the sixth annual A Taste for Life, a San Francisco tasting, dinner and auction benefiting the Bay Area Diabetic Youth Foundation to be held Oct. 7. Guests pay between $500 and $3,000 depending on which of 14 themed tables they select, and after the formal sit-down tasting, they can sample any bottles remaining at other tables. (Last year's "leftovers" included the likes of 1970 Pétrus and 1998 Grange.) As if the options weren't overwhelming enough, jetsetters have to consider that, in the same month, Acker Merrall & Condit is holding its third annual Wines of the Century tasting on the opposite coast. The three-day event, to be held at New York restaurants Per Se, Daniel and Cru, offers more than 70 classic wines, including 1921 Cheval-Blanc, L'Église Clinet, Lafleur and Pétrus (all from magnum); 1929 Haut-Brion, La Mission-Haut-Brion, Latour and Mouton-Rothschild; 1949 DRC La Tâche, Rousseau Chambertin and Vogüé Musigny (all from magnum); and a nice glass of 1959 Yquem to polish it all off. Oh, right, almost forgot--there is a moderate tasting fee: $17,500. Decisions, decisions.
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