• If a wine makes your ears ring, that’s probably a bad sign, but sometimes a wine can be forgiven for making you “Feel the Noize.” From Sting to Madonna to the Rolling Stones to Mariah Carey, it seems that no musical artist can resist getting in on the wine game, even from beyond the grave. The latest opportunity for music lovers to commune with their favorite artists through a bottle of wine comes from California’s D’Argenzio Winery. Co-owner Kathryn Rhoads D’Argenzio is the sister of the late guitarist Randy Rhoads, lead guitarist for the metal band Quiet Riot who died in a plane crash in 1982 while on tour with Ozzy Osbourne. In his memory, D’Argenzio will soon release the Rhoads Special Edition 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, priced at $53 per bottle. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Randy Rhoads Charitable Trust, which funds college scholarships for aspiring musicians.
• Our Spanish-speaking Unfiltered readers will quickly recognize Spain’s newly approved Vino Dulce de Hielo appellation, or Denominación de Origen (D.O.), for what it is: the country’s first approved D.O. for ice wine, including ice wine made from artificially frozen grapes. The Vino Dulce de Hielo D.O. has been approved for wines made from a variety of grapes in the Penedès wine region, just east of Barcelona. Elsewhere in Europe, ice wine can only be produced from grapes that are left on the vine until temperatures drop low enough to freeze the grapes, and well-bundled harvesters rush to bring the grapes into the presses still frozen. The new D.O. allows grapes of suitable sugar content (240 grams per liter) to be frozen, although the natural method is also acceptable. But given the fact that the last time Unfiltered visited vineyards in Penedès it was upwards of 90° F, a freezer seems the most likely alternative for a wine from this new D.O.
Will the legendary Mario Andretti set a new record this weekend in Pennsylvania?
• Want to set a Guinness world record? Join auto-racing legend and winery owner Mario Andretti this Saturday, Aug. 14, for the Great Pennsylvania Wine Toast, being held at more than 60 wineries across the state. Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Winery Association, Andretti, a Pennsylvania resident and owner of Napa-based Andretti Winery, is leading the attempt to break the record for largest wine tasting, set in the U.K. in 2008 when 400 pubs hosted a tasting for 17,540 people. Andretti's toast will be broadcast at all the locations, followed by an auction to benefit the Fund to Benefit Children and Youth. The top lot on the block? Dinner for six with the Andretti family at their house in Nazareth, Pa. Interested parties should start their engines at 4:15 p.m.
• We’re no stranger to Ubriaco, the “drunken” cheese bathed in the lees of red wines for up to 40 hours, but we’re fairly certain there are no drunken cows involved. However, a group of cattle ranchers in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley are taking a cue from some New Zealand Wagyu ranchers and are now treating their cows to a daily liter of local vino during their final days. According to rancher Janice Ravndahl of Sezmu Meats in Kelowna, the cows are grass fed until they reach a mature weight, then sent to a local feedlot where they receive a “proprietary blend” of grains and Cabernet. The wine-fed beef is getting high marks from local chefs, who unanimously chose the beef during a blind tasting held for members of the Okanagan Chefs’ Association, describing it as having a better color and a sweeter flavor than the teetotaling competition. Beef braised with wine from the inside out? Sounds great to us.