• The worlds of auto racing and fine wine have a great tradition of coming together off the track, with a pileup of racers who have gone on to the wine business, and even a few vintners who have taken up racing. For the past 10 years, G.H. Mumm Champagne has served as the official Champagne of the Formula One racing league, with oversized bottles of the bubbly appearing on F1 winners' podiums. "G.H. Mumm has a lot in common with F1 drivers," said Lotus F1 Team driver and G.H. Mumm's racing brand ambassador Romain Grosjean, announced earlier this year. "Both have a passion for victory and a drive to be the very best in the field." Now G.H. Mumm has extended its passion for driving into the world of pop music with a new music video collaboration with French DJ David Guetta. Titled "Dangerous," it features an international lineup, with Swedish director Jonas Åkerland, American singer Sam Martin, English actor James Purefoy, a large cast of scantily clad female pit-crew members and, of course, lots and lots of G.H. Mumm, proving once again that Champagne really can bring everyone together. The movie trailer-style video features Guetta and Purefoy as Formula One racing rivals. (Spoiler: Guetta wins the race, but everyone gets Champagne.) "As a DJ, there is always a need for me to break boundaries and create new experiences for music lovers," Guetta said in a statement. "Mumm shares this passion with me and this is why it is a great honor to be chosen as their first music partner." And for those European sport lovers for whom soccer is more your speed, G.H. Mumm still has you covered: Last year they became the official Champagne of Paris Saint-Germain Football Club.
• Central Valley and Sierra Foothills wineries may have made the Save Mart Supermarkets Grape Escape wine-and-food festival, but they would soon learn no one escapes the long arm of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). According to the Sacramento Bee, eight vintners and brewers flagrantly violated what are known as "tied-house" laws, which prohibit beverage producers from promoting retailers so as to keep America's cherished three tiers of alcohol independent from each other. The offense? The wineries and breweries took to social media to brazenly trumpet "Two days till @SaveMart Grape Escape in Downtown #Sacramento! Get tickets and info here," and similarly subversive sentiments. Unfortunately while "Save Mart" is part of the event's name, it is also the name of the supermarket sponsoring the event, one that sells beer and wine. The California ABC in its infinite mercy spared the perpetrating brewers and vintners a 10-day license suspension, instead granting a year of probation. "They’re not going down for a suspension; they’re not paying a fine. They’re just having it over their heads for a year, then it goes away," a liquor board authority explained to Sacramento's FOX40.
Just one thing: The Save Mart Grape Escape was held in June. How did the ABC only just recently find out about the Tweets and Facebook posts? Revolution Wines' co-owner/scofflaw Joe Genshlea shared a clue with the Sacramento Bee: An ABC officer mentioned that one specific company had reported a slew of tied-house violations. "He wouldn’t say the name of the company, but they have a huge team of legal assistants, and they scour the web looking for people to violate. He said it was a multibillion-dollar producer … one of the big ones." And with that Unfiltered has identified the most soulless job in the wine industry: Lawyer for mass-market producer who combs through small wineries' practices in order to identify obscure beverage laws they might be violating and try to put them out of business.
• For Peter Mondavi Sr., living to age 100 is all about living well. Mondavi may not be as spry as he once was, but his smile and charm have never faded. Napa Valley’s oldest vintner attributes a modest living, loving family and good doctors for his 100-years-and-counting lifespan—that and a daily glass of wine. Mondavi Sr. celebrated his centennial birthday Nov. 8 at Charles Krug Winery. Chef Michael Chiarello, who catered Mondavi’s 75th birthday, then as an up-and-coming chef, created a banquet of Mondavi’s favorite Italian dishes that were recipes his mother, Rosa, made over the years. Four generations of Mondavis, as well as close friends and coworkers attended the festivities. To commemorate Mondavi’s 100 years, sons Marc and Peter, and granddaughter Angelina made 100 specially labeled magnums of Cabernet Sauvignon. Each magnum is packaged in a wooden box crafted from staves of the winery's original redwood tanks from the 1940s; and each bottle is individually numbered and personally authenticated with Mondavi’s signature. Although the official release date for the wine is Dec. 2, granddaughter Alycia is already taking orders to reserve one of the special 100th magnums, priced at $1,000 each. Mondavi Sr. described his birthday wine as a rich and bold Cabernet Sauvignon: “It’s still young at heart and should be enjoyed with family and friends.”