• Unfiltered has been checking Twitter all week. Why? We’re anxiously awaiting someone to tweet what new Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor drank to celebrate her swearing in this past Saturday. Twitter, the “social-networking microblogging community” that has seemingly become the glue of society, is how we learned how Sotomayor celebrated her confirmation by the Senate Judiciary Committee a few weeks ago. As tweeted by Long Island, N.Y.'s MacariVineyards on July 28, “Sonia Sotomayor just walked out of the tasting room with her hands full of Macari Cab Franc!” Now we see why our Enophile in Chief Barack Obama chose Sotomayor for the nomination. Macari Vineyards co-owner Alexandra Macari told us she was leaving the tasting room just as a “very official car” pulled into their parking lot, but the mother of four is frequently late picking up her kids due to work at the winery and couldn’t stick around to find out who was heading into the tasting room. “We were honored [that Sotomayor visited]. No doubt about it,” said Macari. “I didn’t get to meet her, but this time I picked the kids up on time.” Unfiltered thinks Sotomayor, who never misses a chance to thank her own mother for all she provided, would approve.
• There was a gold heist in Hungary a few weeks ago. Like a scene out of a Hollywood thriller, a van pulled up beside a parked delivery truck at 6:30 a.m. and offloaded 10 cases of gold, then quietly slipped away. Of course, the gold in question wasn’t that everyday commodity they keep in Fort Knox, but 60 bottles of Royal Tokaji’s Essencia, vintage 2000. This wine, the rarest of all Tokaji, requires 200 pounds of grapes to yield just one bottle, making Sauternes look like a bulk-wine operation. The bottles, whose total value is estimated at more than $34,000, are each packed in a wooden presentation box with a crystal spoon for those who prefer to judiciously dole out the nectar. The good news? The license plate of the suspect van is known, and the bottles are serialized, so if you happen across a great deal on some 2000 Royal Tokaji Essencia, be on the lookout for bottles in the range of Nos. 724 through 783—you just might help solve a gold heist.
Who says wine in a bag can't look every bit as sophisticated as a barrel sample?
• Wine packaging has officially jumped the turducken: A California winery is making bag-in-a-box-in-a-barrel Pinot Noir. DeLoach Vineyards is packing premium Pinot Noir into 10-liter biodegradable bags, which are hand-filled at the winery with a blend of Pinot Noir from vineyards around California, then packed inside boxes that are shipped directly to restaurants. The winery’s first taker was the landmark Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco’s Nob Hill. According to a spokesman for DeLoach’s Barrel-to-Barrel program, winery president Jean-Charles Boisset conceived of the idea over dinner at his home with friends. Boisset had mini-barrels in his home and he and his guests concurred it would be a cool idea to install similar barrels in restaurant bars. Once at the restaurant, the bags-in-boxes are placed inside reusable miniature oak barrels which are displayed behind the bar. Dispensing with the usual bottles dramatically reduces the carbon footprint of the wine, and both the bags and the boxes are made from recyclable materials. The wine stays fresh for six to eight weeks as the bag collapses. We’re pretty excited about any new concept that brings down the price—fiscally and environmentally—of our favorite beverage, and who knows? Maybe bag-in-a-barrel wines will finally change the minds of everyone still turning up their nose at box wines.
Scientists doubt King Tutankhamun ever made it to legal drinking age, but we'll let him slide.
• Iron Horse Vineyards has a new limited-edition cuvée on the way, a tribute to a very old Egyptian celebrity. Commissioned by San Francisco’s de Young Museum to commemorate its King Tut exhibit, running through March 2010, Iron Horse has produced a tête de cuvée run to be named Tut Cuvée. Only 500 cases of the unique sparkling wine (vintage 2006 Blanc de Noirs) will be produced. According to winery CEO Joy Sterling, Tut Cuvée should be available through the holidays and will be featured by the glass at the de Young’s restaurants and cafes, with $1 from each bottle sold going to the museum’s “Get Kids to Tut” campaign, which underwrites the ticket price for more than 350 Bay-Area school kids who might not otherwise be able to visit the exhibit. Tut Cuvée will be released at the winery’s Harvest Dance Party on Sunday, Sept. 13. Unfiltered figures if any sparkler were ever destined for old bones, Tut Cuvée is it.