Unfiltered: Come and Knock on Gallo's Door

Plus, a Finger Lakes winery loses a tasting room, a video game for wannabe winemakers and a new wineglass for fans of impractical gadgets
Apr 23, 2009

• Come and knock on their door for Gallo's imaginative new promotional campaign. Joyce DeWitt, one of the stars of the 1970s sitcom Three's Company, is touring the country in a retro Airstream RV to promote one of Gallo's oldest brands, Livingston Cellars. DeWitt will be hitting such hot spots as the Tampa Bay Blues Festival, an RV rally in Albuquerque, N.M., and the AARP Life Festival in Chicago, with a big finish at the AARP Life@50+ event in Vegas in October. DeWitt will be hosting complimentary wine tastings and signing autographs for fans along the route. Gallo touts its year-long "Living the Livingston Life" promotional program as being aimed at Boomers who crave adventure as they near retirement. The Livingston Cellars website also includes recipes and other features inspired by Americana of yesteryear that many Boomers will fondly recall, including a list of "Great Normal Cheeses of America" that includes "individually wrapped," "spray," "string" and "log." Unfiltered is suddenly very much craving our mom's Cheez Whiz-chicken casserole.

Thankfully, Dr. Frank has two more tasting rooms to pick up the slack.

• Most wineries might close down for a day if a fire destroyed their tasting room. Not Dr. Konstantin Frank's. A blaze broke out at Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars in Upstate New York's Finger Lakes at about 8:30 p.m. this past Tuesday night. Thankfully, no one was injured. "Due to the rapid response of four neighboring fire departments the damage was confined to just one building which serves as our third tasting room used primarily for large groups and weekend events," said Fred Frank, the third generation president of the winery, a pioneer in the region. "There was no damage to our remaining two tasting rooms, and we have been open and serving visitors. There was also no damage to our winery. We have been bottling wines from the 2008 vintage all week." The 2,500-square-foot building had been constructed in 2007 and enjoyed beautiful views over Keuka Lake. Frank says they plan to rebuild. Sadly, several pieces of historic memorabilia were destroyed.

Who says video games are kids' stuff?

• You can now forget Solitaire as the computer game of choice when killing billable hours at work. Winemaker Extraordinaire allows you to live vicariously through Maria, a young woman of the city who finds herself the owner of, what else, an Italian vineyard entrusted to her by her late grandfather. The game, which takes some liberties with winemaking for the sake of game play (daily case production vs. annual; a local shop always willing to buy your wine), does offer a lot on the entertainment front, and is an enjoyable challenge/cubicle diversion. As you travel the globe learning the techniques necessary to make various varietals and garner the acceptance of former Guild members through your winemaking prowess, you'll also learn how to upgrade your winery's production, buy winemaking supplies, design a label, unite the "Guild of Extraordinary Winemakers" (we're quite confident such a guild actually exists) and finally unlock the recipe to "Vino Ultimae," thus taking your rightful seat as leader of the Guild. It's available through BigFishGames.com, but don't blame Unfiltered if a few hours playing Winemaker Extraordinaire has you calling up Napa realtors (or getting an earful from your boss).

Because you're too busy to bother refilling your glass yourself.

• Using principles of physics in a design heretofore only seen in gerbil feeders, Kyouei, a Japanese design company, has created a prototype of an automatically refilling wineglass. The glass in question is attached at the base of a giant bulb which holds a substantial (though finite) amount of liquid. As one quaffs, air pressure keeps the liquid in the glass at an even level. "It is a glass for drinking a lot," says their website. Sounds great on paper, right? We're not going to give this design the thumb's up just yet though: Judging by the pictures, you have to lift "a lot" of that wine each time you want to take a sip. We suppose a straw solves that problem easily enough, but Unfiltered also wonders, How the heck do you clean the bulb?

New York City United States New York Unfiltered

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