• Words seldom fail Unfiltered. But they did for at least a few seconds after we saw this ad for Rich Prosecco featuring a nude, gold-painted Paris Hilton. Sure, up sprang the obvious jokes ("What's the difference between Paris Hilton and a can of cheap prosecco? The prosecco has something of value inside it."), but what we couldn't quite grasp was her ready willingness to appear as though she'd had a roll in the hay with King Midas. Maybe she saw it as her backdoor ticket to being cast in a Goldfinger remake, should there ever be one. Whatever the case, we're just glad this sort of thing starts and ends with Paris, and we can rest easy knowing that the same sort of pose will never be struck by Fred Franzia in support of Two Buck Chuck.
• Can you tell the difference between a small winery in southeast Oklahoma, owned and operated by three longtime friends, and a multimillion-dollar company that's known for racy videos of intoxicated young women lifting up their shirts in bars and nightclubs? Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis is afraid that you can't, and his company, Mantra Films, is gearing up for a legal challenge to the Girls Gone Wine winery in Broken Bow, Okla. After having received two cease-and-desist letters from Francis' company earlier this year, the women have asked a federal judge in Muskogee, Okla., to decide whether they can continue to do business under the Girls Gone Wine name, for which they were granted a federal trademark in February 2007. "We are a completely separate kind of business," said co-owner Michelle Finch, whose winery offers "Ladies Aren't Tramps" white wine and "Chilly Willy" red, among others. "We're really not into anything that [Girls Gone Wild] is into," she told Unfiltered. Should the ladies prevail, Unfiltered would like to suggest some new wine names: "You Are 18, Right?" red and "The Camera Isn't Rolling, I Promise!," a blush.
|"When do I go on break?"|
• Lights! Camera! Destruction! Rubicon owner Francis Ford Coppola began knocking down a concrete barrel storage building on his Rutherford property last week, with cameras and crowds there to watch, of course. The structure, which was built in 1975 by former estate owners the Heublein Corporation, has long been considered an eyesore on the otherwise pristine grounds, obscuring views of the historic Inglenook chateau. Coppola got things underway by getting behind the controls of a giant jackhammer, posing for a photo op, and pushing a symbolic start button (note that if not for the scarf and beret, he really does look like the sort of guy who operates heavy machinery for a living). The six-week demolition project—and subsequent plans to reuse the 3,000 tons of concrete in the estate's roads—is intended to restore the 19th century estate back to its original design. Unfiltered would have preferred a slightly more dramatic destruction such as an explosion a la Apollonia's car in The Godfather, and apparently Coppola's wife, Eleanor, agrees. She told the Napa Valley Register at the ceremony that she wished Francis had "blown up" the building when they first took over the property.
• Looking for something to watch while the writers' strike is still ongoing? Maybe do what your parents always tried to get you to do, and check out PBS tonight. The latest episode of Wired Science, called "The Grapes of Math," examines the role of technology in winemaking by pitting tech-savvy and traditional California winemakers against each other. Michael Havens of Havens Cellars can be seen arguing in defense of the micro-oxygenation technique he uses to make his wine: "What could be more natural than oxygen?" he asks. Get a close-up look at other technologies too, with T.J. Rogers of Clos de la Tech, who captures aromas given off during fermentation to try and reintroduce them to the wine. He also utilizes a machine that presses grapes in half an hour instead of half a day. In the corner for the technologically averse? Vance Sharp III of Sharp Cellars, who picks his grapes according to taste, said, "There's a certain pride you take in knowing that you did everything." The battle between science and tradition in winemaking is so passionate and feverous, we're looking forward to it—we may even open one modern- and one traditional-style wine while we watch.
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