Cellar Angel Jenny McCarthy

Plus, an American wine importer joins France's Legion d'Honneur and the Great GoogaMooga asks (and answers) if chefs are the new rock stars
May 24, 2012

• Chicago native Jenny McCarthy, a model-actress-comedian-author whose latest role is that of autism activist, returns to the Windy City tonight to host a cocktail party and silent auction for the charity Generation Rescue, which provides education, support and assistance for families affected by autism. Guests at the fifth annual “Rescue Our Angels” event, held at the Rockit Bar & Grill, will have the chance to drink a 2011 Pinot Gris from Blanchard Family Wines, sourced from a Russian River Valley vineyard, that was created specifically for this event, with the help of Cellar Angels, a company that markets and sells wines from small producers through a membership program and donates a portion of the profits to charities like Generation Rescue. There were about 50 cases made of the special-edition Pinot Gris, which is also available at www.cellarangels.com for $30 per bottle; Cellar Angels will donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from the wine sales to Generation Rescue, and Blanchard Family Wines has pledged additional support. Cellar Angels president Martin Cody describes the wine as having “a radiant brightness, crisp aromas of citrus groves and fresh flowers,” which is more or less what we imagine it's like to stand in the presence of Ms. McCarthy, who recently announced plans to pose nude for Playboy, the platform that brought her to the world's attention nearly 20 years ago.

William Deutsch, importer extraordinaire behind Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, may be based in White Plains, N.Y., but his decisions can change the game across the entire wine world; in France alone, his handprints can be seen everywhere from Bordeaux to Beaujolais. The French government is now recognizing this officially: Joining the august ranks of inductees new and old like Francois Pinault and Salma Hayek, Deutsch has been awarded the Legion d'Honneur. (Deutsch received the Wine Spectator Distinguished Service Award in 2009.) The Consul General, in presenting Deutsch the award, called him an "ambassador of French wines." He continued, "As a leading authority in the wine industry, Bill is respected for his ethics, his perseverance in defending French wines, his professional success and his sense of human relationships." That's an understatement: He sells more than 200,000 cases a year for Georges Duboeuf alone, and in the 1980s helped make that Beaujolais producer the No. 1 French wine in the U.S., a distinction Duboeuf still holds. Deutsch also has a three-decade partnership with Sauvion & Fils, the Muscadet house, Andre Lurton in Bordeaux and Vidal-Fleury in the Rhône.

An estimated 40,000 people trekked out to Prospect Park, Brooklyn this past weekend for the Great GoogaMooga, an inaugural combo wine, food and music festival thrown by the creators of Outside Lands and Bonaroo. Given that wine and food were co-headlining alongside music, only one question seemed to be on everyone's mind: Are chefs and winemakers the new rock stars? Festival wine director Peter Eastlake already weighed in when we interviewed him before the festival with a "no," and nearly every boldface name at the festival seemed to agree. In a panel discussion, Momofuku kingpin David Chang came out with an emphatic no, comparing chefs to plumbers, as did real-life rock star and former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy, who said that one benefit of being a musician is that people can download music, whereas chefs have to turn out dishes each night . Chef-turned-writer-turned-television personality Anthony Bourdain also laughed off the idea in a Q&A later in the day. “I’d be a bass player,” he said. Still, at least one winery at the festival had a good sense of humor about the comparison. The Gotham Project , a New York City-based winery from Charles Bieler and Bruce Schneider that sells wine by the keg, ran their tap lines through a souped-up iPod player in a retro boom box shell, serving wine and music literally together.

Actors Musicians / Singers Unfiltered

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