• A comeback for Boone's Farm? The "wine" that comes in flavors such as Apple Blossom, Kiwi Strawberry, Mountain Berry and soon-to-be-introduced Watermelon? Anything's possible. Especially if you have a clever marketing guy working for you. That's exactly what Gallo had in mind when it hired Blair Owens to head up the Boone's Farm brand, which it has owned for several years. Owens, who's been in charge for about a year now, realized that with retro styles currently in vogue, he could bring Boone's back into the spotlight as well by having vintage t-shirts made and sent to celebrities in advance of their placement on the sales rack at Saks Fifth Avenue (where they cost a whopping $49 … which would get you roughly 17 bottles of Boone's). The hope was that celebrities would be seen wearing the shirts when they get snapped by paparazzi, and thus raise interest in the brand for the 25- to 35-year-old set. And so far it seems to be working. Among those photographed wearing the shirts are Janet Jackson, Halle Berry, Gina Gershon, Robert Downey Jr. and former Mr. Spears, Kevin Federline. Plus, Owens said that he's seen an increase in sales of Boone's. The really amazing part, though, is even wearing a Boone's Farm t-shirt, Federline still looks like parent of the year compared to Britney.
|If you trip and fall in the wine room at a law firm, can you sue?|
|Just because vines can't go to restaurants doesn't mean they shouldn't eat well.|
• When television host and cookbook author Bob Blumer, once known as "The Surreal Gourmet," ran the 22nd annual Médoc Marathon last fall, not only was he surrounded by 10,000 outrageously costumed fellow participants swilling Bordeaux from 23 châteaus, he was also being followed by a camera crew. Blumer's participation in the race, and his sampling of all 23 wines, was one of a series of challenges featured in his new television show Glutton for Punishment which premiered last week on the Fine Living network. Another of the show's challenges found Blumer picking Riesling grapes during the 2006 harvest at Joh. Jos. Prüm in Germany. "Seventy degrees, that's how steep the hills were," recalled Blumer. "When I do these things for the show, I do it for real. It's not like I jumped out of a production vehicle and picked grapes for five minutes for the cameras," like some people we know. "I really am a glutton for punishment," he said. Confidential to Blumer: We're looking for someone to clean out Unfiltered's fridge ....
• Not much is known about the Illyrian people--an ancient tribe that inhabited parts of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and modern Serbia--since they weren't unified into a single kingdom until after they, like everyone else, were conquered by the Romans. But we do know that Illyrians loved their wine--at least we do now. Bosnian news agency FENA reported in late March that two recently discovered Illyrian trading vessels, shipwrecked in the waterways of southern Bosnia some 2,200 years ago, were awash with amphorae that were used for trading vast quantities of wine. A team of archeologists, led by Snjezana Vasilj, a professor of archaeology studies of the University in Mostar, said the ancient Illyrian tribe of Dalmatae would have been sailing from the Adriatic Sea up the Neretva River, carrying the wine to inhabitants of the inland Balkans. Obviously the wine on these particular ships never made it--thus very likely establishing the first-ever case involving wine lovers seriously angry with the guy selling Illyrian wine futures. Chances are, they went medieval on him.
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