• Never mind $200,000 cars, multimillion-dollar mansions and designer frocks. To feel decadent, just drink a flute of Champagne a day. At least that was Kirsten Dunst's strategy while preparing for her starring roll in Marie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola's forthcoming biopic on the 19 years the controversial and outrageously lavish Queen of France spent in Versailles. When asked how the film influenced her daily life, Dunst, according to Us Weekly, remarked, "I would always have a glass of Champagne before I went to bed, which I would normally never do ... I tried to be decadent." (On screen, Dunst as Marie Antoinette frequently has a glass of Champagne in her hand.) While there's no word on the 24-year-old actress' Champagne of choice, Unfiltered can certainly speculate. Perhaps, in a nod to her director, Dunst drank Sofia Mini--the cute canned blanc de blancs sparkling wine from California made by Coppola's father. That's our bet, because it comes with a fun little straw perfect for sipping bubbly in bed without spilling on the sheets.
|We just won! Let's party like we have the Yankees' budget!|
• Just as NFL teams rarely axe coaches midseason, wineries rarely fire winemakers during harvest. So Unfiltered wonders about the decision last month by Malulani Investments Ltd., the owners of Langtry Estate & Vineyards (formerly known as Guenoc), to fire the senior production staff--winemaker Bob Broman and assistant winemaker Mike Wood--one week after the start of harvest. Broman was admittedly blindsided. "In my 30 years in the business, I've never seen anything like this," he said. "They came in the morning of [Aug.] 31, put envelopes on our desks, chatted for a moment and said the board of directors decided to do this. There had been no prior discussions." Broman, the winemaker and owner of Broman Cellars in St. Helena, added that the national sales manager and two of the four outside sales staff were also canned, another curious twist given the approaching holiday season. And winery president Roy Cecchetti subsequently resigned after being told that the Malulani directors were going in "another direction." Easton Manson, president of Malulani, told Unfiltered that the directors wanted a winemaker who's focused exclusively on Langtry Estate, so they hired Paul Brasset, formerly of Pezzi King and Roshambo, to take over.
|When you're working for a good cause, all you need is a Beach Boy.|
|Not to worry, drinking Rioja won't necessarily make you look like Patrick MacDonald.|
• Wine may have a close connection to certain religions, but when it comes to federal regulations, the U.S. government apparently insists on the separation of church and slate. Oregon vintner Stephen Reustle, owner of Prayer Rock Vineyard and a devout Christian, printed a Bible verse on about 6,000 corks and squeezed them into bottles of his Pinot Noir, Syrah and Riesling. Taking the idea from Dobbes Family Estate's use of a cork quote from Mahatma Gandhi, Reustle said, he emblazoned his 2006 stoppers with Ecclesiastes 9:7: "Drink your wine with a happy heart, God approves of this." It wasn't long before Reustle received a letter from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, stating, "You may not make misleading curative or therapeutic claims on labels, or create misleading associations between the consumption of alcohol and health." The TTB also ordered Reustle to remove references to Old Testament locations to denote separate vineyards, such as his Pinot Noir Pishon block. (Pishon is a river in the Garden of Eden, for those of us who skipped Sunday school.) Nonetheless, Reustle won a "use-up" order from the TTB, and can sell the remaining wines bottled with the scripture as long as he doesn't do it again.
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