• The Christmas Day passing of the legendary singer and songwriter James Brown saddened Unfiltered over the holidays. We don't know anything about the Godfather of Soul's tastes in wine, but the man sure did know how to liven up a party. On two occasions, he performed at Wine Spectator's Wine Experience, funking it up in Las Vegas in 2002, just as he had at the event 10 years earlier. Even at the age of 69, he had the black-tie crowd shimmying and shaking like it was the '60s and '70s all over again. We're gonna miss you, Mr. Dynamite.
• James Bond may like martinis but Bond girls will stick to wine, thank you very much. On Christmas Eve, Denise Richards, who played the alluring Dr. Christmas Jones in 1999's The World Is Not Enough, was photographed stocking up on Opus One in Calabasas, Calif., with daughter Sam, 2, in tow. (No word on whether the former Playboy model was going to a holiday party or hosting one.) Earlier this year we reported that Teri Hatcher, the sexy siren (aka Paris Carver) in 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies and current Desperate Housewives star, uses sediment from red wine to polish her skin in the bath. And actress Carole Bouquet, who costarred with Roger Moore in 1981's For Your Eyes Only, makes her own European wines. With James Bond-inspired martinis on the menu at lounges such as Zola at the Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., we figure it's only a matter of time before someone releases Bond Girl Wines. They'd have a distinct advantage over the boozier drinks, especially for busy bartenders: No shaking required.
|Do redheads prefer reds? Angie and her fiancé party with Rioja.|
• California vintner Fred Brander of Brander Vineyard goes to great lengths to get his hands on the wines that make Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of the Year. For the third year in a row, Brander has scoured the nation's wine retailers and begged collectors in order to amass as many of 2006's Top 100 as possible to pour for his annual holiday party. This year he scored 45 of the Top 100. "I couldn't get No. 1 (Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova 2001), but I did get No. 2 (Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Washington 2003) and No. 3 (Château Léoville Barton 2003)," he said. Brander set up the wines on one long table and guests mingled around, tasting as they went. Few took notes and Brander never queried the assembly for a consensus on the wines. "People had their favorites," Brander said, "This year there was a lot of comparing of the Léoville Barton and the Smith-Haut-Lafitte. Overall, it brings out a lot of food for thought."
|Not your ordinary bottle.|
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