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The Queen's Very Own British Fizz

Also in Unfiltered, awards season puts Champagne in the spotlight, Clive Owen stars in Campari's 'Killer in Red,' and a refuge for abused circus animals gets a big lift from a California winery
Photo by: PA Images / Alamy
Queen Elizabeth II inspects a glass of fizz.

Posted: January 26, 2017

It's been a heady month for British winemakers. On Wednesday, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, hosted a party at Clarence House in London to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the United Kingdom Vineyard Association (UKVA). Days earlier, news leaked that Bob Lindo and his son Sam, both former chairmen of the UKVA and owners of Camel Valley Vineyards in Cornwall, had applied for a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) to protect sparkling wine made in Britain from imitations. "People think we're trying to protect the name. We're protecting against imitation and carbonation," Bob Lindo told Unfiltered. "It ensures that British sparkling wines can only be made from British-grown grapes and in the traditional method." In collaboration with the UKVA, Lindo is registering three terms: "British Fizz," "British Sparkling" and "Wine from Great Britain." "British Fizz" was first coined by Jason Hicks, a British ex-pat in New York. On the menu at his Manhattan pub Jason Wood Foundry, he lists "British Fizz: It is the British invasion all over again—and it’s even better than the last one."

Royal support for the English growers extends beyond a tipple at Clarence House. In 2011, the Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who also holds the title of Ranger of Windsor Great Park, revived the tradition of growing winegrapes at Windsor, the royal estate west of London. They gave permission to Tony Laithwaite of Laithwaite's Wine, the U.K.'s largest online retailer, to plant and manage a 7-acre vineyard on Mezel Hill in Windsor Great Park south of the castle. The first harvest was in October 2013, and the wine was made at Ridgeview Estate in East Sussex. The first vintage, released in late 2016, quickly sold out. The second vintage is available for presale at £35 a bottle. There are now 4,500 acres under vine in the U.K., with the vineyard surface having doubled in the past decade, represented by 500 vineyards and 135 wineries.

Awards Season Puts Bubbly on Stage

While we're still winding down from the holidays, over in Tinseltown, our favorite celebrities are partying it up: Awards season is upon us—the most glamorous season of all! If the dress fittings, blinding red-carpet flashbulbs and thank-you speech rehearsals aren't enough to make a star's head spin, the countless glasses of bubbly are sure to do the trick. And Unfiltered doesn't care which actor got snubbed or who wore it best; we know the greatest award comes in a bottle.

On Tuesday, the Academy broke some hearts and made others soar with the announcement of this year's Oscar nominees. At the Oscar Nominations Announcement party in New York, Unfiltered caught a glimpse of the limited-edition magnum bottle that Piper-Heidsieck, the Champagne of the Academy Awards, will pour at the Feb. 26 ceremony and Governors Ball after party. Sure to look as glamorous as the most fabulous A-listers, the Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut's on-trend shiny red and gold bottle is evocative of old Hollywood glamour. Very La La Land.

The Champagne house will have to share the spotlight with another name that has star power both in the vineyard and on the red carpet. No stranger to the Academy, Francis Ford Coppola will take on a new role as the sole still wine brand poured at all official Oscars events. No word yet on what the California winery will pour, but the new three-year partnership is fitting for the five-time Academy Award winner, whose "Director's Great Movies" label is inspired by popular films that also earned the prestigious honor. And for "edgier" wine-and-film buffs, Coppola's winery is also the exclusive sponsor of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Getty Images for Moët Chandon
Actress and activist Emily Ratajkowski's gown beautifully complemented the Moët & Chandon.

But there's more to awards season than little gilded men. On Jan. 8, our favorite famous faces flocked to the Beverly Hilton for an intimate dinner party known as the Golden Globes. Moët & Chandon reprised its role for the 26th year as the official Champagne for the ceremony. Jurassic World star Bryce Dallas Howard and Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez kicked off Globes week as judges of the Second Annual Moët Moment Film Festival, where Hollywood's leading ladies and gents celebrated burgeoning filmmakers and sipped out of Moët golden goblets throughout the night. While Miss USA 2012 and bona fide "lifestyle expert" Olivia Culpo created the fete's official cocktail, many red carpet-goers opted for mini bottles of Moët & Chandon Impérial to participate in the Toast for a Cause initiative. Moët donated $1,000 to the favorite charity of each celebrity who toasted with the cuvée on the red carpet, and thanks to the likes of Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, Issa Rae and Ryan Gosling, Moët will be donating $24,000 to charity from this year's Toast for a Cause.

And let's not forget the Screen Actors Guild Awards, another Champagne-soaked celebration. On Jan. 29, longtime partner of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Champagne Taittinger will open the SAG Awards red carpet with a toast from Vitalie Taittinger, daughter of president Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, and actor Glen Powell from the SAG-nominated film Hidden Figures. In addition to the 510 standard bottles and 160 magnums of Taittinger Brut La Française, Taittinger will also provide two methuselahs of the cuvée to be signed by nominees to raise money for the foundation’s Emergency Assistance program, which supports actors and their families in times of need. The signed bottles will then be available for purchase in the online SAG Awards Ceremony Auction.

Clive Owen and Campari Star in 'Killer in Red'

Move over, Rum, Princess, Red Shoe and Vampire: There's a new diary in town. Campari Red Diaries, a series of short films featuring the Italian aperitif, was unveiled this week. The first film in the series, Killer in Red, stars Golden Globe winner Clive Owen and was written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino (the man behind HBO's most memed new show, The Young Pope). Owen's Campari turn is about 13 uninterrupted minutes of cocktail shaking, nightclub raving, killer red dresses and bikinis and the British actor's smooth, seductive drawl. If you feel like a Killer in Red cocktail of your own, you'll need equal parts Campari, Cinzano 1757 Bianco and chamomile gin, a splash of Grand Marnier, and a drop of rose essence.

Michael David Winery Donates $25K for Protection of Performing Animals

Elephants and other performing animals will be benefiting big time thanks to the generosity of Michael David Winery in Lodi, Calif. The winery announced this week that it is donating $25,000 to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), an organization that advocates for circus-animal welfare and also provides refuge for injured or mistreated wildlife. As animal lovers and longtime supporters of PAWS, winery owners and brothers Michael and David Phillips are hopeful that their donation will help raise awareness of the organization’s mission. "We have valued our longstanding community relationship with the Phillips family," said Ed Stewart, PAWS cofounder and president, in a statement. "The generous support from Michael David Winery will be put to work immediately at our Ark 2000 [sanctuary] caring for our rescued elephants, tigers, bears and other animals."

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