Updated: Sept. 23, 2016
Unfiltered readers may have heard the recent sad news that star winemaking couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are divorcing. The two leased, and then in 2012 purchased, Provence's Château Miraval for a reported $60 million and partnered with Beaucastel's Marc Perrin to make a rosé, two whites and, as according to Pitt in 2014, a "super Provence" red that has just been released. But if you can't keep the flame of passion alive among the vines, in the gentle sun and breeze of the Provençal countryside with unlimited rosé and 35 rooms in your giant house, perhaps it just wasn't meant to be.
When Wine Spectator visited in 2014, the property had 90 acres under vine, but Perrin had enthused about the potential of plantings to come. It seems safe to say that the wine venture, called Jolie-Pitt & Perrin, will be ripped up instead, at least in name, though Perrin has not yet commented on the future of the winery. The property, where Pink Floyd once recorded The Wall and Jolie wed Pitt in happier times, reportedly became a source of contention itself: Us Weekly had the scoop back in June that Jolie wanted to sell it and Pitt did not, and the New York Post's Page Six claimed a source told them Miraval has in fact been on the market for a few months. Unfiltered put the question to Perrin, and he told us in no uncertain terms: "Miraval is not for sale." The rosé's fans can rest easy: "Harvest is on its way. We will definitely release the 2016 vintage next year. Really healthy grapes with good balance."
This week, President Barack Obama was in New York to address the United Nations for his eighth and final time as president. Amid the myriad meetings and events, POTUS, whose wine-and-food taste we've noted before, was able to sneak in a couple gastronomic getaways during his stay. First, he mixed politics with pleasure at a Hillary Clinton fund-raiser hosted by restaurateur and Wine Spectator New York Wine Experience regular Danny Meyer. Obama joined the 65 guests—each of whom paid between $25,000 and $250,000 to attend—at Meyer’s Gramercy Park apartment to support the Democratic nominee over dinner and drinks. Though he couldn’t give us any specifics, Meyer told Unfiltered via e-mail that the fund-raiser’s food was prepared by staff from two of his Wine Spectator Restaurant Award–winning restaurants, Gramercy Tavern and Untitled.
The Commander in Chief continued his epicurean streak the following night with First Lady Michelle Obama at chef Enrique Olvera’s Mexican hotspot Cosme, where they dined on tuna tostadas, short ribs and duck carnitas. “It's always flattering to receive at the restaurant someone you admire," a Cosme rep told Unfiltered via e-mail, "not only for what he has done but for what his visit represents after the bombing on 26th Street just a few blocks north of Cosme."
Two seasons ago, Hamptonites summered so hard that they sipped Long Island's Wölffer Estate dry of rosé—before Labor Day. Imagine it: 17,000 cases worth of pink, sweated out on SoulCycles and spilled over the edges of infinity pools. In 2016, though, Wölffer is making sure the rosé faucet stays on. There's now a Finca Wölffer Argentine rosé from the family's Mendoza vineyards, a rosé cider, most recently a gin based on rosé wine ($34) and, winemaker Roman Roth revealed to Unfiltered, a brandy "now slowly maturing in barrels." Why rosé gin—besides the obvious need to keep the pitchfork-wielding pink-demanding masses at bay? "Gin is much more interesting than vodka," for one, said Roth. The Wölffer Estate has always been bristling with juniper bushes, and Roth has held a degree in distilling, and a desire to make spirits, for years. Because gin is not Wölffer's main output, Roth explained that he could be extra-selective in the distillation, leaving "only the purest and cleanest alcohol." And the base of rosé wine? "This makes this gin much more flavorful/playful than a grain-based gin!" Besides juniper berries from the estate, other botanicals include mint from Roth's own garden, anise, fennel and coriander and, of course, a touch of grape-skin extract to give it a rosy hue. And with that, Wölffer has solved the pressing conundrum of how to drink rosé through Aspen season.
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