Unfiltered: Trouble in the Champagne Room for a World Champion

Plus, the Mets may have signed another culinary heavy hitter, Tina Fey and Steven Spielberg linked by a bottle of Moët, and wine marketed by flesh-eating zombies
Feb 26, 2009

• Avid sports fan that Unfiltered is, we want to send a warning to all professional athletes planning to celebrate their next great victory with a bottle of bubbly: Don't try to open the Champagne with whatever sporting good is closest at hand. World champion American downhill skier Lindsey Vonn was leading the World Cup overall standings this month and was planning to celebrate with Champagne after winning two gold medals at the world championships in Val d'Isere. Apparently, Vonn accidentally broke off the cork in her Champagne bottle as she was preparing to toast her victory. Fair enough—we've seen it happen. But here's where the ski team loses us: Vonn and her fellow downhill racers reportedly then tried to extract the remaining cork with a ski (?!) and succeeded in removing both the cork and the top of the bottle itself—we're picturing some sort of bizarre snow ski-sabering incident …. With the bottle open, Vonn reached for it and sliced through a tendon in her thumb, requiring surgery and putting her next championship run on ice for at least a week. Unfiltered hopes all you world-class athletes out there can learn from Vonn's mistake: Always keep a master sommelier in your entourage.

The Mets' Nieporent may compete with the Yankees' C.C. Sabathia as this offseason's biggest acquisition.

• It's less than two months until the New York Mets' home opener at the new Citi Field, and while we're looking forward to the action on the field, we're also excited about what could happen in the concession stands. As Unfiltered reported last summer, New York restaurateur Danny Meyer will bring his Blue Smoke barbecue restaurant, his Shake Shack hamburger stand, a taqueria and a French fry joint to the new ballpark, and with Zachys now on board to handle the stadium's wine lists, the Mets are clearly outdoing their crosstown rivals when it comes to signing free-agent culinary talent. Now we hear that Drew Nieporent, proprietor of New York restaurants such as Corton and Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning Tribeca Grill, is in talks to assume management of Citi Field's club restaurant, currently known as Left Field. It's not yet a done deal, according to Nieporent, who told Unfiltered that his company, Myriad Restaurants, is "having a conversation" with Mets food-service provider Aramark. Unfiltered is hoping that, with Nieporent joining the team, next season at Citi Field will see many more Maine lobsters than John Maine meatballs.

The rare 1929 bottle, and the infamous declaration of love accompanying it.

• The 81st annual Academy Awards show was this past weekend, and Moët wasn't shy about letting everyone know that they were this year's exclusive Champagne of the Oscars. Here at Unfiltered, we report enough celebrity items to know that it takes more than a glass of bubbly, some designer clothes and a pretty face to qualify as a worthy item for our scrupulous dear readers. So we didn't really raise an eye when photos came across our desk this week of Oscar host Hugh Jackman, Lindsay Lohan, Robert Downey, Jr. and Matthew Broderick signing a magnum of Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 1929 to be auctioned off for charity. At least, not until we realized we had photographic evidence of a scandalous new Hollywood romance on our hands: As you'll notice in this photo, iconic filmmaker Steven Spielberg and actress and former Saturday Night Live news anchor Tina Fey are clearly an item. Or so it would appear. In fact, Spielberg left his John Hancock well before Fey inked her name to the rarity from the year the Oscars debuted. Funny girl Fey then linked their names by drawing a large heart around the two of them. No word yet on whether Spielberg's wife, Kate Capshaw, has gotten wind of the also-married Fey's advances, but we here at Unfiltered are kicking ourselves: Our high-school yearbooks would look so much less pathetic if we'd have thought of that trick.

No zombie labor was used in the making of this wine. We hope.

• Unfiltered loves innovation when it come to wine packaging, usually. But sometimes the envelope gets pushed too far … or stuffed with pictures of flesh-eating zombies. Credit the creative minds at Australia's Mash design company for that idea. (They've also designed labels for Mollydooker, Two Hands, Adelina, Killibinbin and other outstanding Aussie wineries.) Actually, we think it's kind of cool. If you were trying to market a non-vintage wine with a mysterious blend of grapes, a bottle complete with the story of a captured "vineyard zombie" and accompanied by impressive illustrations would at least force us to take a longer look. Each bottle's neck is dipped in a gory crimson wax, and then a twine noose is hung around its shoulders. There is no traditional "label" on the bottle—instead, there's a plain envelope hanging from the noose with the name of the wine, Return of the Living Red, which is made by McLaren Vale's Redheads Studio winery. The envelope contains "missing and/or suppressed crime files implying the existence of the living dead in and around the vineyards," including "disturbing illustrations," according to Mash's description of the packaging design. Cheers to Mash and Redheads Studio for putting one more product out there that ensures our trip down the wine shop aisle is never a boring one.

Australia France Champagne Unfiltered

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