• What does a girl have to do to get a free meal on Valentine's Day? Just look like you haven't eaten a meal since last Valentine's Day. Hip London restaurant Bumpkin is offering size-zero models--those with a BMI of under 18--free meals as part of London Fashion Week. Size-zero models are receiving plenty of negative attention, having been banned from Fashion Week in Madrid earlier this year. "We'd love to see a healthier catwalk in 2007," said Dariush Nejad, who manages the eatery popular with celebrities such as Orlando Bloom, Stella McCartney, Guy Ritchie and Simon and Yasmin le Bon. "If I could recommend a dish to a size-zero model, it would be Charter Pie, containing leeks, chicken and bacon. It's enough to keep you warm and energized all day in this winter weather." Models need only to show their modelling ID card, which reveals their size, in order to help themselves to anything their heart desires. Unfortunately, Bumpkin's generosity stops at food for models who may wish to consider a glass of wine. "I think they get plenty of booze backstage at the catwalk," said Bumpkin spokeswoman Erin Goodale.
• In a recent Unfiltered we predicted that the Enomatic wine dispenser set up in the tents of New York Fashion Week would be too complicated for the models to use. We, however, couldn't even find the machine. Blinded by the paparazzi flash-bulbs going off a mile a minute as Nicole Richie was ushered into the Zac Posen show, we stumbled into the lobby of the tents set up at Bryant Park. Not until the passing entourage surrounding Harry Connick Jr. swept us into a corner did we spot it. Tucked between a sandwich counter and the back corner of a liquor bar, the little dispenser was blocked by a four-person-strong camera crew filming a piece that looked like "how to use the wine machine." Let's hope the models watch the instructional film should they ever weave their way through the gridlock from the bar traffic and up to the Enomatic. Normal-size people like us couldn't get close enough to try it.
|Even the doctor says wine and sex go together.|
• Think you have to shell out a lot for Valentine's Day dinner? Think again. Some folks paid $34,322.50 each for a seat at the table in Mezzaluna restaurant in Bangkok's Lebua Hotel last Saturday night. The hotel organized the dinner, which attracted more of the rich than the famous. The restaurant even flew in nine chefs, each with at least one Michelin star (six of whom are rumored to have three stars each), to prepare the 11-course, 10-wine, black-tie event. And what does paying the equivalent of a pair of brand-new his and her Volkswagen Beetles get you? Among other things, foie gras crème brûlée, Kobe beef tartare, scallops with black truffles, lobster osso bucco and a Dom Pérignon sorbet as a palate cleanser. The wines included 1990 Cristal, 1995 Krug Clos du Mesnil, 1985 Romanée-Conti, 1961 Château Palmer, 1959 Château Mouton-Rothschild, 1961 Château Haut-Brion and 1955 Château Latour, to name a few.
• While NASCAR drivers may be speeding toward the Nextel Cup next month, more and more racing fans are rushing toward their wineglasses. Wine sales at NASCAR events have revved up 22 percent among racing aficionados, and sharply outflanked the 7 percent increase in national retail sales, according to a study released last week by Nielsen. The narrow intersections where wine and racing unite are appropriately giddy at all the speculations and hoopla, but Unfiltered isn't swerving at the wheel just yet. At a three-day contest held last year at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, 1,224 bottles were cracked open for enophilic spectators. That's still more than a few car-lengths behind the 23,896 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Miller Lite doled out at the same event. Still, we admit that any growth is good growth and Bob King, beverage director for Infineon Raceway's catering operation, agrees. "In a beer-centric environment, 22 percent is a really good thing to be able to say."
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