Unfiltered

Wines for Red Sox fans, Gruner Veltliner cures the blues, four out of five dentists prefer red wine and New York wines immortalized in song
May 30, 2007

• The last time the Boston Red Sox were on such a tear, they grew their hair long and called themselves "the idiots." But the team with baseball's best record so far this season is trying to cultivate a more sophisticated image now: a wine-loving image. Three of Boston's best players--slugger Manny Ramirez and pitchers Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield--will unveil their own wines Thursday at Fenway Park, hoping to raise money for their respective children's charities. Wine-loving baseball fans across New England will be able to buy Manny Being Merlot, Schilling Schardonay and CaberKnuckle (a Cabernet Sauvignon) starting Friday. The wines are the brainchild of VinLozano Imports, which specializes in wines for charity, and sports marketing consultant Charity Hop. "VinLozano mentioned that they wanted help to launch a baseball wine for charity and always dreamed of a Manny Merlot," said Charity Hop marketing director Brett Rudy. After partnering with the players, each of whom has a charity they support, VinLozano sourced a Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile's Central Valley. About 264,000 bottles have presold, according to Charity Hop, but Unfiltered has yet to sample any of the wines. We suspect the Manny Being Merlot shows up late but packs a concentrated fruit-bomb punch, the Schardonnay is cerebral and well-aged with a touch of aggressive oak power, and the CaberKnuckle flutters wildly on the palate. No word on a Daisuke Matsuzaka Sake, a David Ortiz Rum or a zippy Julio Lugo Sauvignon Blanc ... yet.

• Austria's Wine Marketing Board has found itself with a bit of explaining to do. It seems the country's Weinviertel wine region ran a radio ad touting its signature wine, Grüner Vetliner, as an "anti-depressant ideal against the usual Monday-morning blues." Just exactly what the ad meant by the claim is unclear. Setting a nice, chilled bottle on the desk at the office on Monday morning? Packing a bottle in your lunch box? A few sips with the Monday-morning spezialtoast (the term for a typical Austrian snack)? The ad drew fire from politicians and medical experts alike (currently embroiled in discussions and legislation throughout the EU on the phenomena of teen binge drinking), forcing the board to clarify its position. Willi Klinger, executive manager of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, said the ad campaign by the Weinviertal region displayed a sense of humor about wine that "no longer works." Much like the ad, we think the explanation is somewhat lost in translation.

 
The logo for the society of dentists who smoke is even better.
• Along with teeth-staining coffee and tea, red wine usually ends up on dentists' to-be-avoided lists. Not so for the Purple Tooth Society, a collective of New England dentists who gather to taste wine during dental conferences. Interest has been so strong that the group now has a logo, t-shirts and plans to go national at the American Dental Association convention. Most recently, the group convened after hours at the annual Connecticut State Dental Association meeting, held on May 10 and 11 at Mohegan Sun. In an e-mail, Dr. Kenneth Broder, one of the founders of the 3-year-old society, reported that the dentists who attended recommend Château Clerc Milon from 1996 and 2000, as well as the Grgich Hills Cabernet 1986. We asked him for advice on the best way to cope with purple teeth, as our dentist seems vaguely horrified by the rigors of our profession. His sage reply: "Rinse first with white wine. Then brush and bleach." We are so printing this out and bringing it to our next appointment.

 
If you drink wine while you listen to the CD, it also times perfectly with The Wizard of Oz.
• Some people talk about their favorite wines. Some people write about their favorite wines. And some people, like Rob Lane, aka "Finger Lakes Weekend Wino," sit down and write an album's worth of songs about their favorite wines. Lane has just released Sparkling Diamonds: Songs of the Finger Lakes and debuted a few of the songs at the recent Golden Nose Wine Judging Weekend on the shores of Seneca Lake. His tune "I Want to Thank Dr. Frank" is a tribute to Dr. Konstantin Frank who, along with Charles Fournier, successfully introduced vinifera grapes to the region. And then there's the song "I've Been to Every Finger Lakes Winery," which is, as you'd expect, an exhaustive musical list of each of the region's 90-odd wineries. Though Lane is becoming known as "the Jimmy Buffett of the Finger Lakes," we suspect it will be a while before we see a chain of Rieslingville restaurants popping up across the country.

• "I started cooking at a time when if one paired the words 'health food' together, people ran for the doors," said Michel Nischan, chef and co-owner with Paul Newman of Dressing Room in Westport, Conn. He was an honoree at the American Heart Association's "Chefs with Heart" event, held on May 15, and if the elegant Wine Spectator-sponsored event at New York City's Chelsea Piers was any indication, times have certainly changed. Attendees went back for seconds and thirds of the heart-healthy small-plate selections from New York standouts such as Aureole and Aquavit, while sampling wines from L'Aventure and Eberle. Chef Joel Hough of Cookshop offered up a particularly tasty combination he designed specifically for the health-conscious event: smoked black cod (for omega 3 fatty acids), with a sunchoke puree topped with a wild nettle and grilled artichoke salsa (for antioxidants). Fellow honoree Daniel Johnnes, wine director of the Dinex Group, had some advice for the crowd: "I've always known, but now that everyone knows that wine is healthy for you, you should be drinking wine."

Unfiltered

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