• It would be nice if every wine got its 15 minutes of fame, but some seem to be hogging the spotlight. As if the iconic Dom Pérignon Champagne didn’t receive enough attention already, it’s now going to be associated with another icon of “pop,” Andy Warhol. The Tribute to Andy Warhol bottlings of 2002 DP will feature labels in Warhol’s signature red, blue and yellow dyes, and go on sale this October. Warhol favored Dom, especially at Studio 54, and according to a March 1981 diary entry of his, he was part of a group of 20 men who planned to buy 2,000 bottles of Dom Pérignon, seal it in a room, and drink it in the year 2000. Warhol correctly mused that the members of the club might not all be around to open the bottles, and unfortunately for those in the group who survived Warhol, the purported 2,000 bottles have never surfaced.
This gives "party wine" an entirely new meaning.
• No doubt you have wine buddies who pair their drinks with various vegan dishes, ride their bicycle to work and admire Al Gore. And no doubt you also have wine buddies who consider skirt steak a vegetable, only drive American and have a bumper sticker involving some combination of eagles, American flags and never forgetting. Now you’ve got the perfect gift for both: Martellotto, a California winery, is releasing a new label called “Let the People Decide,” a 2008 Paso Robles red blend that comes in two “flavors”: Progressive and Conservative. High-school pals Greg Martellotto and Pedro Aguilar went their separate ways ideologically—one a vegetarian hippie winemaker, the other an O’Reilly-phile neurosurgeon (“We need government to run health care like a blind man needs to drive a school bus,” Martellotto quotes Aguilar as saying)—but they’ve teamed up to launch this wine in time for the midterm elections. Does it matter which of the two bottlings you buy? Well, 10 percent of the Conservative Red proceeds go toward conservative causes, and 10 percent of the Progressive Red sales go toward liberal causes. Choose wisely.
• They didn’t have a printing press to publish the Mediterranean diet, but the sailors of the ancient world knew the guidelines. Wreckage, including 2,400-year-old wine amphorae, was recently found in the Aegean Sea near Cyprus’ southern coast. Dating to 400 B.C., the shipwreck sheds light on the diet and commerce of Cyprus in the late classical period of antiquity. Besides vessels for wine, archeologists discovered olive stones discarded during the making of olive oil. The antiquities department of Cyprus explained that olive oil must have been part of the crew’s food supply, but it was also transported for sale as a base for perfumes. As for the wine? Unfiltered hopes some of that was for the crew, too.