Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star and side-hustling vigneron Brad Pitt snagged a statuette for Best Actor in a Supporting Role last night, but he was just one Hollywood legend in the Dolby Theater in L.A. to pick up a win—or at least a wine.
The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony highlighted the best in cinema with a splash of cheer: limited-edition magnums from Champagne sponsor Piper-Heidsieck, new reserve bottlings from six-time Oscar winner and winemaker Francis Ford Coppola and a plant-based menu from California Hall-of-Fame chef Wolfgang Puck.
Six-time official Oscars bubbly Piper created limited-edition Cuvée Brut magnums for the occasion, with labels that pay homage to the old bootlegging days of the Roaring Twenties (realistic enough throwback replicas that they'd do the wine-prop designers for The Irishman proud). More than 8,500 glasses of the brut, along with the prestige cuvée Rare 1998 and 2006, were served throughout the night, with winners Laura Dern and Taika Waititi spotted partaking during their award engravings. (The more conventionally thirsty attendees also put away 48,000 cans of San Benedetto water.)
In another mafia-movie wine tie-in of sorts, Francis Ford Coppola brought a stash of his Sonoma wines to the affair for the fourth year in a row, including two limited-edition bottles, dressed up in gold this year. The 2017 Reserve Chardonnay from Dutton Ranch and the 2018 Reserve Pinot Noir from King Vineyard made their Oscar debut on Sunday night, though Coppola also served lifetime achievers like his Sofia rosé 2019, Director’s Cut Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Director’s Cut Chardonnay 2018, Eleanor red blend 2016 and Mille Vernaccia 2018.
“Winemaking and filmmaking are two great art forms, and it is a joy to have our wines participate with the Academy on this occasion,” Coppola told Unfiltered via email. “I have always felt part of the Hollywood film tradition aside from being considered something of a maverick and am grateful for the affection and honor bestowed on me by the Academy.”
“The high-quality wines found in these specialty gold bottles represent some of the best that the Russian River Valley has to offer,” added Coppola winemaker Sandy Walheim in a press release.
And for the 26th year in a row (!), California cuisine dean Puck provided supporting snacks for Hollywood’s biggest night. Riffing on the Oscars' sustainability theme, Puck and his 200-person squad cultivated a plant-based menu for the Governors Ball after-party’s 1,500 lucky invitees.
“This year, more than 70 percent of our menu is plant-based,” Puck told Unfiltered via email. “I grew up on a farm and love going to the farmers market all the time, so vegetables are my thing"; he worked them into eye-popping dishes like sweet potato tempura with mint cilantro aioli, campanelle pasta with preserved Meyer lemon, and winter spice French toast with pumpkin crème brûlée.
“Twenty-six years ago, the Academy approached me and said, ‘Wolfgang, come join us at the Governors Ball and cook dinner for 1,600 people?’ And I said, ‘Why not? It will be a great challenge,’” Puck reflected. “And today, I say the same thing: I like a big challenge.”
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