• When you have your own line of salad dressing, popcorn, salsa, tomato sauce, steak sauce and lemonade, what else could you possibly need? How about some wine to wash it all down? Next March, Paul Newman will release his own line of Newman's Own Wines. For almost a year he's been talking with Rebel Wine Co., the partnership between Three Thieves and Trinchero, about adding wines to his roster of food products. The result is a California Chardonnay 2006 and a California Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, both priced at $16 a bottle. As with all Newman's Own products, the profits will go to charity—the company has given away more than $200 million in the past 25 years. Any food matching tips for Newman's wines? Well, these might just be the perfect pairing with 50 eggs.
• If music is the wine that fills the cup of silence, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to try his hand at winegrowing to the sounds of the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. Grapegrower Jean-Marie Zerr in Alsace swears that his grapes have increased in aromatic complexity ever since he started playing Schubert, Mozart and Vivaldi to his late-harvest Gewürztraminer. "I use classical music and unlistenable tunes especially designed for plants"—basically strange music unsuitable for human ears—"as their soothing effect helps to develop higher sugar levels," explained Zerr. He added that neighboring growers, who already had difficulty coming to terms with Zerr's conversion to biodynamic farming three years ago, now think he's completely lost the plot. But Zerr is sure that they'll come around to his methods, as he said his vines are the best looking in the area, standing out from miles away. He's so convinced, in fact, that he's now gearing up to flood his entire 18.5-acre vineyard with the sound of music in time for next year's harvest. It could be worse—he could be a Britney Spears fan.
|Next up, wine in a gas can.|
• Sure, in the past you've compared box wine to tasting like any number of household chemicals, and even though the wines tend to be much better nowadays, Paradocx Vineyards in Chester County, Penn., is having some fun with the old perceptions by introducing a 3-liter paint can filled with wine. Two thousand cans each of Whitewash Pennsylvania NV (a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio) and Barn Red Pennsylvania NV (a blend of Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese) will be available for $35 each at paradocx.com by the end of this month. The cans are sealed with a collapsible lining, similar to those used for regular box wine, which is designed to keep the wine fresh for weeks. To pour the wine, just pull the spigot through a hole on the side of the can. The winery is owned by practicing physicians David and Carol Hoffman and Mark and Joanne Harris, hence the name Paradocx—phonetically, "Pair of docs" (no relationship to Duckhorn's Napa winery Paraduxx, whose name sounds like "Pair of ducks"). We haven't tried the wines, but we advise that if you choose to drink the wine while you're painting a room, just be careful you don't drink from the wrong can. Or you'll be seeing your own docs thanks to the Paradocx.
• Julia Child, the late iconic American chef who helped bring French cooking to American kitchens with her many cookbooks and television shows, will be portrayed on the big screen for the first time. Variety has reported that actress Meryl Streep will be playing Child, who passed away in 2004, in the upcoming film Julie & Julia, based on the book Julie & Julia, 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen (Little, Brown & Co.). The story follows author Julie Powell's real-life quest to cook through all 524 recipes in Julia Child's culinary classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a single year. Powell's cooking odyssey takes her from frustrated secretary to inspired blogger working out of her small Long Island City loft apartment. Powell never met Child, but she does include fictionalized episodes from Child's life in her book. Actress Amy Adams will reportedly be playing Powell in the film, and Nora Ephron, best known for directing When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, is adapting the screenplay and directing.
|"Can we go back to the mansion already?"|
• Unfiltered recently spotted Marilyn Monroe, Hugh Hefner and some of the Playboy bunnies at the Bloomingdale's store in Century City, Calif. No it wasn't after a long night on the Sunset Strip. The starlet's image appeared on bottles of Marilyn Wines, which were being served to guests at an event sponsored by Playboy Enterprises. Called "Guys' Night Out," the event was used to launch Playboy's City Nights collection of menswear. The wine being poured was the Marilyn Wines Velvet Collection Napa Valley 2004 ($200, 1,000 cases, 1.5L). Through an exclusive license agreement with Playboy enterprises, the 2004 Velvet Collection label features Monroe's 1953-centerfold photo from the inaugural issue of Playboy magazine—a peek-a-boo peel-off label surreptitiously covers Monroe's exposed figure. Sadly, no one's promising that if you wear Playboy's new clothes and open a bottle of Marilyn you'll be surrounded by bunnies for the rest of your life ... but hey, seems to work for Hef.
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