Dry Creek Vineyard Takes Its Star Turn
• The long season of entertainers accepting awards for being entertaining marches on, and while some watch for the dresses, hairdos and red carpet gaffes, Unfiltered keeps its gimlet eye on what wines the stars are drinking. For those keeping score at home, it was Moët & Chandon Gold Award Season Impérial at the Golden Globes in January. And, just a few weeks ago, Dry Creek Vineyard marked its 11th year of wine service to the Screen Actors Guild Awards by pouring its Cabernet-based 2008 Cuvée and 2009 Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc for the likes of Tina Fey (who met Dry Creek Vineyard vice president Kim Stare Wallace on the red carpet) and Unfiltered regulars Hilary Swank and Alec Baldwin. Los Angeles chef Suzanne Goin, of restaurants Lucques, AOC, Tavern and the Hungry Cat, prepared the evening’s menu, which included Beluga lentils with feta cheese, slow-roasted lamb and salmon.
• There might be a new player in the high-end wine-auction market. This past weekend, a bottle of vin jaune made in 1774 from France’s Jura region was sold for more than $77,500 at an auction at La Percée du Vin Jaune, the annual Jura wine festival held in Arbois, France. The 870ml bottle reached its extravagant price thanks to a bidding war between Swiss wine expert Pierre Chevrier, representing a multinational group of wine lovers, and François Audouze, a well-known wine collector based in Paris; both parties intended to drink the wine rather than hold on to it as an investment. Vin jaune, or “yellow wine,” is a golden-hued white wine made in the Jura from Savagnin grapes that receives six years in oak barrels and is known to age for decades. Audouze, the losing bidder and an aficionado of aged vin jaune, upped his maximum bid multiple times during the auction, stating on an Internet message board, “I dreamed of this bottle. The wine grew on the last year of King Louis XV and was bottled during the reign of Louis XVI. Every minute, I thought to improve the limit to which I was ready to bid,” Audouze wrote. “It was a great moment of emotion. Pierre will include this bottle in a dinner devoted to Jura wines in three or four years. I hope that I will participate.” Our hopes aren’t high, but Unfiltered would like to too.
• When stomping grapes the old-fashioned way, barefoot has always seemed to work just fine, but in most other aspects of life, shoes are an asset. Thanks to a new wine label and the Soles4Souls charity foundation, hundreds of thousands of those in need of shoes around the world are receiving them this year. The newly created FlipFlop California wines, which retail for $7 per bottle and were created by vintner David Georges (the label’s name was inspired by the fact that he’s most often spotted inspecting vineyards in flip-flops), is donating a pair of shoes to Soles4Souls for each bottle of FlipFlop wines sold. Since 2004, Soles4Souls has provided more than 13 million pairs of shoes to people in need.