• National treasure (in Unfiltered's opinion, at least) Justin Timberlake married actress Jessica Biel this past month. We declined the invitation that was no doubt lost in the mail, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have the inside scoop on the couple’s private wedding wine, which was served and also given as gifts to their guests, who reportedly included Saturday Night Live vets Andy Samberg, Jimmy Fallon, and hip-hop hitmaker Timbaland (more on him in a bit …). The Timberlake-Biel wedding cuvée was a red blend made from Alexander Valley Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2009 vintage. Only two barrels were made by Jesse Katz, who is winemaker at Lancaster Estate in Alexander Valley, and a friend of the Biel and Timberlake families. Rumor has it that they—we're waiting for the experts at People, Us or TMZ to dub them something better than Justinca or Bieberlake, which were the best Unfiltered could come up with on short notice—are wine savvy, and have been tracking Katz’ career, which prior to Lancaster featured a stint at a little winery named Screaming Eagle. The Prince of Pop and his new bride were not only part of the blending process, they also provided the art for the label. We can only assume the name on the label—Blue Ocean Floor—refers to both the color of Justin’s eyes and the depth of their love. Swoon.
• Rapper and producer Timbaland, not to be outdone by other hip-hop all-stars like Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, T.I., Diddy, Pharrell Williams and Lil' Jon, has gotten into the drinks game, with a sparkling concoction of vodka and white wine named LeSutra (presumably from the French rendering of the series of Hindu and Buddhist texts, or one of them, anyway). One of LeSutra's cofounder's is Tom Bruno who previously struck gold with the Grey Goose and Jägermeister brands. LeSutra comes in four flavors—blueberry, grape, peach and strawberry—and sells for about $30 per bottle.
• Who else has devised a wine-like celebrity Franken-drink of ingredients and flavors? It's Adam Carolla, the comedian Unfiltered best remembers as host of The Man Show, a favorite of our pre-man friends of 10 or 12 years ago. Expanding on that theme, Carolla's "Mangria" (presumably a portmanteau of the popular "sangria" style of punch and the English word for male humans) combines red wine and flavors of plum, cherry, blackberry and citrus. As Carolla tells it, the idea came to him after a late-night everything-but-the-kitchen-sink mixology session, and the recipe stole the show at Jimmy Kimmel's Fourth of July party. It clocks in at 20.9 percent alcohol, which we suppose is manly enough, but technically the amount of alcohol in a correct punch is "I don't know."
Finally, the wine-and-food industry's efforts to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy continue this holiday season:
• Ben Wood, wine buyer at New York retailer 67 Wine and Spirits, is combining his love of wine and music to support the Health and Hospital Corporation's Hurricane Sandy relief fund, which is working to rebuild and re-open New York's Bellevue Hospital. Wood, who also leads the band Franglais, is encouraging wine and music lovers to donate money to support the Brooklyn Djangology Festival, ticket sales from which will support Sandy relief efforts. A $30 donation earns a free ticket to the festival, which begins Dec. 6, while the kickbacks from a $500 donation range from CDs, posters and tickets to fine wine and an in-home tasting led by Wood himself. Donate at indiegogo.com/brooklyndjangology.
• This Monday, New York's Bowery Hotel Ballroom will host the first annual New York Bartender's Charity Ball, with 100 percent of net proceeds going to Occupy Sandy and Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation. The $100 ticket buys partygoers access to nine different open bars featuring cocktails and staff from Death and Co., PDT, Employees Only and many more local bars, plus beer, wine and pickle backs (for the uninitiated, that's a shot of whiskey chased with a shot of pickle brine). Go to bartendersball.splashthat.com for more info.
• New York's Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria will donate all proceeds from tomorrow's family-style Thanskgiving dinner at the restaurant to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
• Staten Island's Bayway World of Liquor and the Burrito Bar will host a fund-raiser for Sandy relief efforts Sunday afternoon, Dec. 2, at the Burrito Bar. The $35 donation comes with tastings of a range of spirits as well as wine and beer, with food provided by Nucci's Restaurant and the Burrito Bar. 100 percent of proceeds will go to Staten Island Sandy victims through the FDNY's Steven Siller Tunnel 2 Towers Foundation.
Unfiltered encourages readers to add any other Sandy relief-effort news in the comments, and to have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
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