Unfiltered spent the New Year's weekend recovering. Not just from New Year's Eve itself, but really from all of 2006 because it takes a lot more time and effort than you'd think to report on--and make silly comments about--the world of wine. But what makes writing Unfiltered so rewarding is that every so often celebrities serve up material on a silver platter--essentially doing our jobs for us. So if you were to take the normal everyday elbow grease that goes into Unfiltered, the wine-related celebrity gossip and one of those magic eight balls and throw all three into a blender, you'd get this, our predictions for 2007. Will any of these come true? Doubtful. After all, for some reason we were the only ones who didn't see that Britney Spears-K Fed divorce comin' a mile away. But rest assured, even if just one of these predictions comes true, we'll be the first to say, "Told you so."
• California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill last year that sought to designate Zinfandel as the state's historic wine. The bill's sponsor, State Sen. Carole Migden (D-San Francisco), however, threatened that she, and the bill, would be back. And it appears that the Governator underestimated the power of the Zinfandel lobbyists--Unfiltered doesn't believe for a second that he broke that leg skiing. Expect further retaliation from California's Zin Mafia if Schwarzenegger doesn't soon concede to their demands.
• We were very excited that James Bond made a triumphant return to the screen in 2006, and that in Casino Royale he enjoyed Bollinger Champagne--just like a good Bond should. Now for the bad news. We predict that in the next installment Bond will sip Rich Prosecco out of the can after Paris Hilton is cast as the newest Bond girl. The good news, though, is that he shoots her.
• Big Brother reared his head once again in 2006. Fast on the heels of smoking bans in many states and cities, Chicago upped the ante and banned foie gras. Not to be outdone in the race to save man from himself, New York banned trans fats from city restaurants. In 2007, children across America will rejoice when spinach, now exposed as the evil E. coli carrier it always has been, is also outlawed. Popeye, in his weakened state, will finally turn to anabolic steroids, which the government will continue to ignore.
• Back in August, the astronauts aboard the International Space Station took a break from Tang to enjoy space-worthy culinary creations by Emeril Lagasse, and then in November the astronauts dined on fare created by Alain Ducasse. In 2007, both Emeril and Ducasse themselves will be shot into space to compete in Iron Chef Earth Orbit. Judges Jeffrey Steingarten, Candace Bushnell and Karine Bakhoum will all be put into the air lock.
• Michelin, the French tire company and guidebook publisher, added San Francisco to its expanding realm of influence in 2006. In 2007, we expect to see the Red Guide hit Chicago. The newest edition of the guide will feature a duck icon alongside some listings, indicating restaurants where, if you "know a guy," you can get some bootleg foie gras.
• Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson finally got married last year. They had four ceremonies, and each time celebrated with two words: Cham-pagne! Apparently, four weddings were not enough, because the classy couple is already divorcing. Unfiltered predicts Kid Rock cashes in by going on a nationwide divorce tour in 2007, signing papers with Pam in every major city. And this time around they'll pick tequila instead of Champagne ... and wake up married again.
• It was the year that headlines were grabbed by resveratrol, the red-wine compound believed to provide myriad health benefits. And in an unrelated story, we heard about a vineyard planted next to a cemetery. So we predict that in 2007 vines will be planted directly on top of the graves, allowing resveratrol to be transferred into the soil below and the dead to rise from the grave.
• Adult-film star Savanna Samson surprised the wine world in 2005 by releasing an Italian red wine called Sogno Uno, but what shocked everyone was that it got rave reviews from many critics. In 2006, Samson released her white wine, called Sogno Due. So in 2007 we predict that she'll release a Champagne-prosecco-cava sparkling blend called Sogno Tre-some. It'll be the sort of thing you try once, but is really kinda overrated.
• Unfiltered loves scientists--that whole late-at-night-mixing-potions-in-a-secret-laboratory thing has always been a fantasy of ours--but sometimes they miss the forest for the trees. In 2006, GE revealed the Monogram Wine Vault, basically an 8-foot cube for storing 1,100 bottles, and the clever people at NEC invented the Health and Food Advice Robot, which gives ideas on food-and-wine pairings. Anticipate the first of the "Missing Man Found Locked in Vault by SomBot" headlines to start rolling in around February.
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