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Low-Octane Wine for High-Octane Sex

Plus, wine in space, cycling's Jonathan Vaughters celebrates a Giro d'Italia win and more Girl Scout honorees

Posted: May 31, 2012

Wine, sex and romance have been interconnected longer than history has been recorded, though almost always with the caveat that a little is enough and a lot is too much. And Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the world's foremost psychosexual therapist of the 20th century, agrees. "If [the woman] drinks too much [wine], she falls asleep, and if [the man] drinks too much, he can't perform," Westheimer told the New York Post this week while promoting her new wine label, Vin d'Amour. After initially rejecting overtures to create a wine featuring her name and likeness, Dr. Ruth has acquiesced, with one stipulation: The wines are only 6 percent alcohol, about half that of most table wines. (Between this and Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on large sodas in New York this week, we're starting to get the feeling we've lost the trust of our authority figures, but we digress …) Dr. Ruth's Vin d'Amour California Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and white Zinfandel are priced from $8 to $10 and will be available in July at supermarkets and select restaurants, including Gilt in New York (part of the profits will be donated to the Museum of Jewish Heritage). The labels, which Dr. Ruth showed off this morning on NBC's Today show, each feature the soon-to-be 84-year-old sex therapist's smiling face. We recommend turning the bottle around before turning the lights down.

• Space wine! Now that Unfiltered has your attention, that's … pretty much the whole story. They are making wine in space now. On the recent historic launch of SpaceX, the first private spacecraft ever to supply the International Space Station, a handful of high-school science experiments went into orbit along with food, clothes and other supplies for the station. One of them, from two California students, was simply a twist on the classic method of wine fermentation: Put some yeasts in grape juice and let them go to work (the twist is it is in space). "We think it's going to ferment faster," hypothesized Max Holden, one of the students. As young Max knows his scientific method, he will be conducting the same experiment down here on earth. This is known as the "control" (the "variable" is space). The bigger science project here was the launch itself, which actually resembled a young Unfiltered's best science project, "which paper plane will fly the farthest." But happily, the SpaceX experiment succeeded, much like the paper plane that flew farthest, and docked with the space station. The space winemaking represents one small step for space wine over the recent Meteorito meteor-infused Cabernet. Once the fermentation has finished, the wine will be safely hidden from any cosmonauts on board and returned to earth.

• One of Unfiltered's favorite wine-loving American cyclists was celebrating this week. Jonathan Vaughters retired from professional cycling in 2003 to a life of enjoying wine as a "keyholder of Châteauneuf-du-Pape" and managing the Garmin-Barracuda professional cycling team, whose strict antidoping policies and testing transparency have helped restore some credibility to the professional cycling circuit. Vaughters and Garmin-Barracuda's Ryder Hesjedal earned their first major victory on the tour this past weekend, winning the Giro d'Italia, the second-most important cycling competition of the year behind the Tour de France. Vaughters told the Wall Street Journal that he was eyeing a bottle of 1982 Bruno Giacosa Barolo to celebrate with last night. No word yet on whether Vaughters shared with Hesjedal—he's got that Tour de France ride coming up, after all.

• Earlier this month we mentioned that the Girl Scouts of Northern California would be honoring 100 women "greening the future" for the Girl Scouts' 100th anniversary, some of them in the wine industry. We can now expand that list of honorees and report that the women will be fêted at a fund-raiser at Beaulieu Garden June 14 benefiting the Girl Scouts, hosted by chef Cindy Pawlcyn and locally, sustainably catered by Paula LeDuc. The seven wine industry honorees at the event will be Vanessa Robledo of Black Coyote Wines, Amelia Ceja of Ceja Vineyards, Cathy Corison of Corison Winery, Sara Cakebread and winemaker Julianne Laks of Cakebread Cellars, Eileen Crane of Domaine Carneros, Zelma Long of Zelphi Wines and Christine Wente of Wente Vineyards. Marin Sanitary Service president Patty Garbarino, Stanford Law professor Deborah Rhode and Cyrus restaurant's pastry chef, Nicole Plue, will also be honored. Tickets to the event are $250.

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