Log In / Join Now

Doctor Strange Joins Forces with 19 Crimes Wines

Plus, Washington, Va.'s Mayor John Fox Sullivan sets the record straight, Outlander TV series wines, and rapper 50 Cent brings Effen vodka to Dutch country
Photo by: Paul Bruinooge/PMC
Benedict Cumberbatch was joined by his wife, Sophia Hunter, at the Doctor Strange premiere.

Posted: November 3, 2016

For Unfiltered's "comically" out of touch readers, there's a star-studded new Marvel superhero movie coming out this weekend, and we were on the case at the New York premiere of Doctor Strange, starring Emmy winner Benedict Cumberbatch, SAG winner Rachel McAdams, Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton and Unfiltered Most Unnerving Guy Who Always Plays the Villain winner Mads Mikkelsen. Hosted by Cinema Society along with Australia's 19 Crimes wines (singer Meghan Trainor's favorites!) at the Times Square AMC Empire theater, the premiere finally answered the age-old question, "What would happen if you dropped a bunch of sorcerers into an M.C. Escher lithograph?"

Actual wine only makes a brief cameo in the film, when a yet-to-be-enlightened Dr. Strange (Cumberbatch) insensitively chastises love interest Dr. Palmer (McAdams) for her care packages—wine and cheese aren't going to heal his precious but uselessly crippled neurosurgeon hands, damn it! (If Ms. McAdams is reading, Unfiltered appreciably welcomes all gifts of wine and cheese.) Of course, the good Dr. Strange eventually does find enlightenment (and superpowers), and goes on to fight many crimes against nature and humanity. Not many of them, however, are among the 19 crimes punishable by deportation to Australia for which the wine label is named, including "burning clothes," "stealing trees" and "impersonating an Egyptian." Nevertheless, the team at 19 Crimes couldn't have been happier to be serving time alongside Marvel's newest big-screen hit. “It’s a thrill to celebrate the premiere of Doctor Strange," 19 Crimes senior brand manager Doug Altmeyer told Unfiltered via email. "The film tells such a great story, and Benedict Cumberbatch always takes on exciting characters, which we found particularly befitting for 19 Crimes wines, whose stories are also told through the characters themselves.”

Wine Fraud Fakeout: Wine-Loving Mayor John Fox Sullivan Confused for Wine Criminal John Fox

This past Sunday, the New York Post ran a story about California wine fraudster John Fox, who in August confessed to running a Ponzi scheme that cheated customers of retailer Premier Cru out of at least $45 million. The problem? The man in the photo accompanying the story was not Fox. Instead, John Fox Sullivan, retired publisher of Atlantic Media and mayor of Washington, Va., was depicted as the notorious “Bernie Madoff of wine.”

It’s a bit ironic that this sort of flub would happen to Sullivan, who at 73 has spent most of his life publishing magazines like the Atlantic and National Journal. “You couldn’t make something like this up,” he told Unfiltered. “There’s really no excuse for what they did, but I’m not going to get bent out of shape about it.” The upstanding mayor was taken aback when his friend emailed him a link to the story online, and he immediately called the Post to have his photo removed. When Post editor Stephen Lynch called him Monday to apologize, Sullivan decided to make the best of his situation and asked for copies of the newspaper to keep as mementos.

Coincidentally, however, it turns out Sullivan is a wine lover. “I grew up in Carmel, Calif., so I have a predilection for California wines,” he said. “I also like Virginia wines, because we live here and have gotten to know a lot of people. But I’m a happy consumer of just about any wine, if it’s good.” Sullivan also told us that he’s a loyal subscriber to Wine Spectator, and when told he’d be making an appearance on this very website, he voiced only one concern, “It will be a photo of me, right?!”

Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Washington, Va., Mayor John Fox Sullivan assures us he is not 'the Bernie Madoff of wine.'

'Outlander' Time-Traveler Wines Coming to Near Future

Ed Miller/Starz/Sony Pictures Television
Wine has a leading role on Starz' hit sci-fi/period drama Outlander.

In 1945, World War II nurse Claire Randall was innocently exploring some Stonehenge-like standing stones in Scotland when the next thing she knew it was the year 1743, and she was in the middle of a fight between Redcoats and rebel Scottish Highlanders during the Jacobite risings. At least, that's the premise of the Starz series Outlander, based on the novels of the same name by Diana Gabaldon. The series, which was recently renewed for third and fourth seasons, has become a cult favorite among period drama fans, not unlike the BBC's Downton Abbey. And like that of Downton Abbey, Outlander's cast of characters are regular wine drinkers. So obviously (and just like Downton Abbey!), the creators of Outlander have created a line of wines devoted to the series and its characters. The four Outlander cuvées—a 2015 Willamette Pinot Noir ($30), 2014 Paso Robles red blend ($30), 2015 Vin de Pays d'Oc Cabernet Sauvignon ($20) and a non-vintage blend of Viognier and Pinot Gris ($20)—are each named for one of the series' main characters (with one each for 1945 Claire and 1743 Claire) and go on sale this Monday, Nov. 7. You'll have to pull off your own time-traveling trick if you want to get your hands on them before that.

Rapper 50 Cent Brings Effen Vodka to Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Ed Miller/Starz/Sony Pictures Television
Allentown-bound: Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson will be signing bottles of Effen vodka in Pennsylvania this weekend.

"Go PA! It's your birthday!" Unfiltered imagines rapper 50 Cent singing as he descends on Pennsylvania Dutch country this weekend. But he is most definitely not "gon' sip Bacardi like it's your birthday." That's because 50 Cent, aka Curtis Jackson, is hitting the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's Fine Wine & Food Spirits Premium Collection Store in Allentown on Saturday, Nov. 5, to sign bottles of Effen vodka, the brand he has been repping since last year.

“‘Effen’ means ‘smooth’ in Dutch," the Grammy-winning hip-hop artist, actor and entrepreneur told People. "But I know my audience and I know what they’re gonna do. And they’re gonna have fun with that.” Apparently his audience really Effen likes it, because sales have more than doubled since he signed with the brand. “50 Cent is one of the hardest-working businessmen out there and has played an integral role in the triple-digit growth of Effen vodka this past year,” Beam Suntory senior brand director Jason Dolenga said in a press release. The Holland-based brand retails for about $25 a bottle and also comes in flavors like cucumber, raspberry, blood orange, green apple and black cherry. No word yet on how many bottles you have to buy to get 50 Cent to perform a cover of Billy Joel's classic "Allentown."

Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.

Would you like to comment? Want to join or start a discussion?

Become a WineSpectator.com member and you can!
To protect the quality of our conversations, only members may submit comments. Member benefits include access to more than 315,000 reviews in our Wine Ratings Search; a first look at ratings in our Insider, Advance and Tasting Highlights; Value Wines; the Personal Wine List/My Cellar tool, hundreds of wine-friendly recipes and more.

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.