Fashion designers Scott Studenberg and John Targon have already gotten pop-icon stamps of approval from the likes of Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, but they were thirsty for more. The duo behind upscale-casual clothing line Baja East launched a new red wine just in time for New York Fashion Week. The Baja East Cabernet Sauvignon-Petit Verdot blend (they've nicknamed it "Thirsty" and it's priced at $20), is a collaboration between the designers and Winc, a direct-to-consumer wine club/retailer that manages the sourcing and production of the wines it sells.
The duo took care of the label design, using one of their new prints, but they left the actual winemaking to the pros. Drawing on Baja East’s high-low edgy-chic vibe, Winc founder and chief wine officer Brian Smith chose California’s Lodi region for this vegan-friendly wine. “I think the raw energy, new perspective, fearlessness and fun of Lodi really matches with Baja East,” Smith told Unfiltered via e-mail. So how does Thirsty taste? The label boasts “notes of cherry, violet and cocoa,” and Smith suggests pairing it with a New York strip. #BajaBae Gaga has yet to respond to our request that she let us toss her infamous meat dress on the grill and try the pairing out for ourselves.
This November's sixth-annual Napa Valley Film Festival will feature the premiere of a new wine documentary for which Unfiltered readers are getting an exclusive first peek at the trailer. Decanted follows seven veteran winemakers in Napa Valley for an entire year—including Heidi Peterson Barrett, Aaron Pott and Philippe Melka—and the team behind 13 Appellations winery as they go through the process of introducing a new brand, Italics. (Italics' principals are credited as associate producers for the film.)
Director Nicholas Kovacic II, whose previous credits include Brewmore, a documentary about the history of the brewing industry in Baltimore, spoke to Unfiltered about the inspiration for Decanted and what he's learned about the alcohol industry after filming the two documentaries. "My inspiration for the film started with history and legacy," Kovacic said. "Napa is this place where history and legacy are really starting to intertwine, creating some lasting effects on global wine. The film is also inspired by American perseverance—there is a Wild West feel to wine." He said the enduring effects of Prohibition were one similarity between the beer and wine industries. "Sadly, most of the alcohol industries in the U.S. post Prohibition were culturally homogenized and commoditized for the mass market, so communities lost that history and legacy. Now there's a cultural shift leading to a greater appreciation to beer, wine and spirits. I think that shift is driving innovation and ingenuity … Napa Valley has been blessed with amazing pioneers to really bring back the art of wine and winegrowing post Prohibition, and now Napa is multi-generations into producing amazing wine. End of the day, it's about the passion behind the vintage and believing in it for the future."
These boots weren't made for stomping, but they sure are fine as wine. Winemaking soccer star Andrea Pirlo of Major League Soccer's New York City FC revealed his newest soccer shoes this month, the Nike Tiempo Pirlo, and they're an homage to his passion for wine (Pirlo owns Italy's Pratum Coller winery.) The Merlot-colored leather uppers are inspired by crushed grapes, and the sockliner is made of real cork, emblazoned with "Aged since '94," which references the start of Pirlo's playing career on Brescia youth squad. Four gold stars on the heel reference the Pratum Coller logo as well as the number of World Cup titles Italy has won. The boots are even boxed in their own "original wood case," but they're not for sale as futures: Wine and soccer fanatics will have to get in line with everyone else when the shoes go on sale Sept. 19.
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