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'Unbreakable' to Table: Tituss Pinot Noir Debuts

Plus, country music star Zac Brown's new wine label, and the Champagne trademark police can't stop a Spanish soda brand
Coming soon to a boudoir near you: Tituss Burgess' Pinot Noir.
Photo by: Pinot by Tituss
Coming soon to a boudoir near you: Tituss Burgess' Pinot Noir.

Posted: March 10, 2016

If you've been locked in an underground bunker without the Internet for the past year, à la the Netflix hit comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, you've probably missed the catchy Pinot Noir–themed music video, complete with feather boas, sequins and gold lamé tights, that's had the Internet abuzz since the series debuted. Emmy-nominated actor Tituss Burgess’ "Peeno Noir" sensation stars his character Tituss Andromedon, serenading viewers with seemingly every possible word rhyming with “noir,” which he says was completely improvised on the day of the shoot. “Tis true … I made up the entire melody," Burgess told Unfiltered. "The creatives were throwing random words at me; they just kept rolling and so did I.”

With millions of views and fans—including the Today Show's Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford—clamoring for more, Burgess said that the production of an actual bottle of Pinot Noir was only a matter of time. And last week he unveiled Pinot by Tituss, a 2014 vintage Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir priced at $25. “The thought of making wine never crossed my mind until this TV show,” Burgess said. “I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy this process.” He also told us that an upcoming concert series and sketch comedy are in the works. Until then, fans can look forward to the April 15 return of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which gives them just enough time to secure enough bottles of Tituss Pinot Noir to binge-watch the entire season. While eating caviar. And smoking a cigar. In the boudoir. With Roseanne Barr.

Grammy Award–Winning Zac Brown Sings the Reds

Turn on any country-music station in America right now and you will likely hear a song about, well, America, a dog that ran away, drinking, or all three. Our nation's country singers are fond of their adult beverages, though beer and whiskey typically receive most of the attention. Don't tell that to the Zac Brown Band, though—lead singer Zac Brown now has his own wine, made in collaboration with Delicato Family Vineyards winemaker John Killebrew.

"Zac and I worked very closely through the entire process, and he was highly involved from start to finish," Killebrew told Unfiltered. After multiple joint blending sessions, the duo created two bottlings under the Z. Alexander Brown label, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a red blend comprised primarily of Zinfandel and Syrah; both cuvées retail for $20. The 2013 wines come from California's North Coast and are designated "Uncaged," a nod to the band's 2012 album and the wines' "intense, full-bodied expressions of the land from which they are from," Killebrew said. Judging by the popularity of Titus Burgess' "Peeno Noir," Unfiltered expects a proper wine-drinking song from the Zac Brown Band to hit the country airwaves any day now.

Champagne Can't Stop Spain's Champín

The Comité Interprofessional du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) has been the undisputed, near-undefeated heavyweight champion of wine-trademark litigation for a solid decade. Champagne, as you should well know by now, is a sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France, and if you don't respect that, the CIVC will come for you. They took down an Australian mom-and-pop delivery business. (Champagne is not a gift basket.) They took out the world's foremost water sommelier. (Champagne is not a water.) They took down hygiene titan Unilever. (Champagne is not a shampoo.) They prepared to fight what was literally the biggest company on the planet. (Champagne is not an iPhone color!) They even took on the president of the United States of America. (Champagne is not a Korbel!!)

But do you know why this clown is smiling? Because the Spanish beverage company Espadafor just became the unlikely pugilist to have dealt the CIVC a big L in a trademark case. The Spanish Supreme Court has rejected the CIVC's call for Espadafor to pull and discontinue its Champín brand of "non-alcoholic sparkling drink specially for children's parties, with delicious flavour to berries," as the company's English-language description has it. "Sabrosamente divertido!" proclaims Bozeaux the clown on a Champín ad, and the folks at Espadafor did indeed find the court's decision deliciously amusing. The company released a succinct response—"Champín defeats Champagne"—with a big ol' banner of the Champín clown yukkin' it up with his trademark-floutin' cartoon pals. The CIVC was rather less amused, having claimed Champín "sought to establish a mental association in consumers with the wines of Champagne to take advantage of the benefits of its prestige and reputation in the market." Maybe an unfair advantage in the luxury clown-faced fruit juice segment! The court decreed any similarity "faint" and "irrelevant." Adding insult to injury, the CIVC's lawyers then fell victim to the old Champagne-squirting trick-flower gag.

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