McDreamy Drives Martini

Plus, Pericles' souvenir wineglass unearthed, Gallo fights hunger with corks, and Renwood supports the American Heart Association
Aug 7, 2014

• Finely tuned race cars and fine wine make for one of those counterintuitive pairings, quite popular when enjoyed in the proper order. We've covered plenty of winemaking racers (Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Buckler, Randy Lynch, Randy Lewis, Richard Childress) and racing winemakers (Fred Schrader, Gil Nickel), but this week Unfiltered has a first: a winery-sponsored race car–driving TV star. Actor Patrick Dempsey, better known as Dr. Derek Shepherd, aka McDreamy, on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, competed in the Martini-sponsored 460 horsepower Porsche 911 GT3 at the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup held July 21 at Germany's Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg racecourse. The Martini Racing team was created in 1968, and first appeared in a Formula 1 race in 1972. “It’s a huge honor for me to race in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. This is where you take on the world’s best brand trophy drivers,” Dempsey said in a press release. As for whether Dempsey would rather be an actor, a race-car driver or a winemaker, "The job as a race driver is much more satisfying than acting. Not a lot changes in television work, but in racing, things change constantly," he said. "I find racing very exciting." McDreamy may prefer racing for now, but Unfiltered has evidence that most racers want to be winemakers when they grow up.


• We all have a few souvenir wineglasses collected from various tastings over the years, be they Riedels from a Wine Spectator Wine Experience Grand Tasting or paint pen–personalized goblets from a sorority sister’s bachelorette party. None of those, however, hold a candle to the coolest souvenir wineglass Unfiltered has ever heard of, discovered in an Athens suburb in July. A wine cup believed to have belonged to Greek statesman Pericles was unearthed while excavating ground for a new building, the Greek daily Ta Nea reported, in a tomb believed to be of a slave named Drapetis, who apparently liked the cup so much he chose to be buried with it. Pericles, who lived during the Golden Age of Athens, and served as a general during the Peloponnesian war, is largely regarded as one of the most influential of the founding fathers of ancient Greece. The validity of the cup’s history is essentially locked down amongst archeologists by the inclusion of the name Ariphron, Pericles' brother. “The name Ariphron is extremely rare. Having it listed above that of Pericles makes us 99 percent sure that these are the two brothers,” Angelos Matthaiou, secretary of the Greek Epigraphic Society, told Ta Nea. In fact, the cup was engraved with six names, likely from the men who shared the commemorative cup, which was used at a wine symposium apparently attended by the six men. Of note was the condition of the engraving of the men’s names (after reassembly from the 12 fragments it was reduced to), which showed some sign of, er, indulgence. “They were definitely woozy, as whoever wrote Pericles' name made a mistake and had to correct it,” Matthaiou said.


• Unfiltered has found yet another reason to incessantly snap smartphone pictures of the wine bottles we're opening: That photo could help put an end to hunger. Now, if you send a picture of the cork of a Gallo Family Vineyards wine to the winery via text message or e-mail (or physically put the cork in the mail, if anyone still does that), Gallo will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels Association of America. The Every Cork Counts program is now in its fifth year, and to kick off its 2014 campaign, Gallo has already made a $100,000 gift to Meals on Wheels, which aims to serve the nearly 9 million senior citizens threatened by hunger in the U.S. To learn how to submit your corks, either virtually or physically, visit www.gallofamily.com. Gallo hopes to raise another $50,000 by year's end.


• And if popping bottles for hunger relief isn't enough to satisfy your thirsty Samaritan, Renwood Winery in California's Amador Foothills is presenting several ways to support the American Heart Association. The Renwood Heart Fund will donate $1 to cardiovascular research for every bottle sold of their Zinfandels and Clarion blend, setting a goal of $20,000 for the four-month campaign. In addition, visitors to Renwood's tasting room or website can purchase red earbud headphones for $2, proceeds of which will benefit the Renwood Heart Fund. "I've always believed wine is part of a healthy lifestyle," said Renwood winemaker Joe Shebl in a statement. "You can catch me wearing my Renwood earbuds while I work out." Shebl and his coworkers at Renwood will participate in the Sacramento Heart & Stroke Walk in September (they invite you to join or support their team), and on Aug. 25 they'll host a live show online sharing their health tips.

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