• There may be a new James Bond, but product placement never dies. In the forthcoming installment, a remake of Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig as the man licensed to kill, 007's Champagne of choice is once again Bollinger. This marks the 10th time since 1979's Moonraker, starring Roger Moore, that Bond has preferred this particular house (when he isn't quaffing vodka martinis, shaken not stirred, of course). Purists may cry foul considering Sean Connery's declaration in 1964's Goldfinger that "there are some things that just aren't done, such as drinking Dom Perignon '53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit." However, in the original Casino Royale (1967), the retired, serious and celibate Bond played by David Niven complained to M about his successor (Connery), calling him "a sexual acrobat who leaves a trail of beautiful dead women like blown roses behind him. That bounder to whom you gave my name and number!" Therefore, Unfiltered believes it's only appropriate that with the new Casino Royale we be accepting of the idea that James Bonds change, and so do preferences in Champagne. Just so long as he isn't drinking it from mini bottles using a straw.
|Mario Lemieux is trading up.|
• As we reported in this space, this past summer, chef Emeril Lagasse developed several New Orleans-style dishes to be consumed by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Not to be outdone, French superchef Alain Ducasse recently introduced his version of space grub aboard the Russian ship Progress, which departed last week from Kazakhstan en route to the ISS. Created in Ducasse's Basque country laboratory to fulfill the nutritional and gustatory demands of the active space explorer (and tested under extreme conditions, of course), the meals included roasted quails in Madiran wine sauce, celery root puree and Riviera-style swordfish steak. Ever diplomatic, the chef's office was careful to note that Ducasse's meals "do not compete in any way with the daily meals provided by the Russians and Americans." Instead they are reserved for "special events" like crew relief missions and extra-vehicular activity. No word on when Michelin inspectors will arrive to begin their inevitably controversial inspections.
|It might taste like it cost $17,000, but only one person will ever know.|
The hot new setting for reality TV shows: California wine country. Or so it seems, with the forthcoming series The Wine Makers and a recent episode of WE's Platinum Weddings. In this particular episode, B.R. Cohn winery hosts the pricey nuptials of Jennifer Purdy and Doug Meads. A camera crew tagged along as the San Francisco-based couple kicked off their lavish wedding weekend with a wine-tasting tour at Sterling, Grgich Hills, Peju and Domaine Carneros. The wedding itself, also caught on film, cost between $250,000 and $300,000 and included a dinner with wine pairing. The $8,000 wine tab included B.R. Cohn's 2004 Carneros Chardonnay, 2002 Olive Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 2004 Sonoma Valley Zinfandel and 2001 J Vintage Brut from J Vineyards. It's great that reality TV is in wine country, but they better not let this get too far out of hand, otherwise Bridezillas will show up next.
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