Royal Wedding Winemakers Speak; Honeymoon at a 'Wine Spectator' Award–Winning Castle?

Plus, chefs Michael Cimarusti and Dominique Crenn go fish for Krug, and Elton John's Riedel rainbow decanter is back
Royal Wedding Winemakers Speak; Honeymoon at a 'Wine Spectator' Award–Winning Castle?
"We crave a different kind of buzz." (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for Harry and Meghan.) (Noam Galai/GC Images/Getty Images)
Jun 7, 2018

As the newlywed Duke and Duchess of Sussex decamp from wedding to honeymoon, our Royals-crazed realm remains thirsty for royal wedding (and honeymoon) wine gossip. We've got you covered: A guest who attended Meghan and Harry's wild nighttime reception apparently revealed wine details from the evening to U.K. tabloid the Daily Express. Naturally, we grabbed our deerstalker cap and magnifying glass to sleuth out the regal revelry rumors of an Old World white, Olivier Leflaive's Bourgogne Blanc Les Sétilles 2016, and a New World red, Mount Eden Vineyards' Domaine Eden Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains. And though Kensington Palace has yet to confirm these vinous reports, both producers seem confident in the leaked details; each took to their respective social media accounts to declare the glad tidings.

For Mount Eden, it adds up. "An online customer placed a surprisingly large order of Domaine Eden Pinot Noir [2014] with us earlier in the year," Peter Gordon-Smith, operations manager for Mount Eden's U.K. distributor, Roberson Wine, said via email that the winery passed to Unfiltered. "Apparently, the customer did say it was for a wedding, but didn’t specify which one."

"Having our Domaine Eden Pinot Noir chosen as one of the wines for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding came as a complete surprise," Ellie Patterson, co-owner of Mount Eden Vineyards, told us.

Across the pond, Olivier Leflaive president Jean Soubeyrand also weighed in: "Unfortunately, I can’t confirm the information," he told Unfiltered, explaining that Les Sétilles is sold in the U.K. at such a high volume that even if a large quantity of it was ordered, it wouldn't show up as significant in shipping records. But, he added, "if newspapers are talking about, I can’t imagine that’s fake news … Anyway, if Les Sétilles was poured at such an event, I can only say we are very proud of that and honored. You know, my personal feeling, the most important is not to be under the spotlights, but to know we did a good job. Last point, I would say, the royal family has really great taste."

Indeed: Harry and Meghan are rumored to be honeymooning at Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland, whose dining room holds a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence for its wine list. While a rep from the castle kept mum, the castle sent out a cheeky tweet this morn to tout a cottage on the premises that "sits discreetly on the shores of Lough Corrib and is surrounded by ancient woodland—perfect for guests seeking a secluded romantic break."

Michael Cimarusti, Dominique Crenn Go Fish for Krug

For a new Champagne-pairing project, Krug cast around for some seafood starpower, and chefs Dominique Crenn and Michael Cimarusti took the bait. With Krug x Fish, the Champagne house made voyages to Mallorca and California, then took to the sea with top chefs. After a day out on the boat, the chefs prepped their catches, paired Champagnes and feasted. "What better way to explore the fish," mused Olivier Krug, director of the house, to Unfiltered, "than to walk in the boots of a fisherman?"

Courtesy of Krug
It was this big.

Cimarusti, who holds court in the kitchen of L.A. Best of Award of Excellence winner Providence, set sail on an afternoon late last month to see what the sea could provide for pairing Krug Grand Cuvée and Krug Rosé. The toque cooked up uni served with double-shucked English peas in a broth made of pea shells, dashi and white soy; grilled spot prawns sprinkled with sea salt; seared black cod served with giant clam and Japanese turnips in a clam broth; and finally, grilled rockfish. “The rockfish was served with the rosé, which complemented the flavors of the fish and the broth perfectly,” noted Cimarusti. On her trip off the coast of San Francisco, Crenn, of Atelier Crenn, caught halibut and plated it with spring veggies and caviar.

Courtesy of Krug
It was THIS big!

From the Krug x Fish haul comes Tails of the Sea, a coffee table/cookbook that fans of chefs and Champagne can also peruse online.

Don't Go Breaking My Decanter: Elton John's Riedel Rainbow Is Back!

Last year, Sir Elton John got together with glassware giant Riedel to create a line of supersized Technicolor decanters to raise money for his charity, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which supports prevention, care and support services for people living with HIV. This year, they're still standing … and feeling the love for their newly released project, the limited-edition Riedel Ayam Rainbow Decanter.

And I guess that's why they call it the decanter.

Launched at the beginning of June, the colorful Ayam is not only tied to celebrations of Pride Month, but also to the 25th anniversary of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. “Since the number 25 is associated with silver jubilees, we wanted to pay tribute to this by adding the color silver to this strictly limited series of decanters,” Riedel president Maximilian Riedel said in a statement.

For this collaboration, Riedel has pledged to donate €25,000 (about $29,000) to the foundation. Of the 75 decanters—all of which are hand-signed by Sir Elton himself—five will be donated to charity auctions around the world. The remaining 70 will be sold at select retailers or by special inquiry via Riedel's website for $2,250 each.

Olé to That: Spain and Portugal Importer Raises Six Figures with Charity Rosé

New York–based Olé Imports sells its Liquid Geography rosé of old-vine Bierzo Mencía in 24 states, which means a lot of pink generating a lot of green—all of which goes toward charitable causes, for a total of $148,352 since 2013. The company has announced that its partners this year will be cancer foundation T.J. Martell, the South Bronx Educational Foundation, and now Wheeling Forward, the organization to support the disabled run by New York sommelier Yannick Benjamin, whose annual Wine on Wheels is always a top charity ticket in town.

“It is important for us as a company to do our part to make the world a better place and support important causes unrelated to our business. This is part of our ethos as a company," Olé co-founder, Patrick Mata told Unfiltered, explaining that each of the charities has a personal connection to Olé employees. "By 2023 (the 10th anniversary of Liquid Geography) our goal is to reach $1 million dollars in total donations."

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