Actor/comedian/musician Jamie Foxx is adding another talent to his résumé: bartender. In the new talk show–style online series Off Script, Foxx plays host—and mixologist—to Black Panther's Chadwick Boseman, known wine aficionado/maker Gabrielle Union, screen legend Denzel Washington and other Tinseltown stars.
"I wanted to have the chance to be on the other side of the interview process, asking interesting questions that matter," Foxx told Unfiltered via email. "It’s been so fun to see a different side of some of the top names in the business as they reveal details about their lives that helped shape who they are today."
Created and produced by Grey Goose, the eight-part series of interviews kicked off earlier this month (today's episode features funnyman Vince Vaughn) with chatter ranging from Melissa McCarthy professing her love for late singer Prince to Boseman "teaching" Foxx Wakandan, candor and laughs perhaps partially facilitated by sips of Grey Goose.
For the libations, Foxx helped concoct the "Golden Goose," he said, "a twist on my favorite drink, the Moscow Mule. It has passion fruit juice, lime, ginger beer, and Grey Goose vodka, but the name is fitting because it ties into the 'Golden Age' of Hollywood. Film dictated much of the cultural conversation at that time. In a small way, I’m hoping that Off Script will have the same impact." Check out the episodes aired so far.
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, a fleet of World War II–era aircraft will fly in June 2019 from the U.S. to Normandy in military formation—among them The Spirit of Benovia, a DC-53 Skytrooper owned by Benovia Winery chairman Joe Anderson, who will be in the copilot's seat.
Flying has been a lifelong passion for Anderson, whose father and two uncles served in World War II as a battalion officer and Air Force officers, respectively; to help the vets, planes and some students get to Normandy next year, Benovia is now selling a special 2016 cuvée of Pinot Noir called "Liberation" with label art depicting American planes over Normandy, proceeds of which benefit the D-Day Squadron organization.
“This will be the last time, the last major celebration of Normandy because most of the guys will be passed. They’ll still always do the celebration, but the people who actually participated in [D-Day], those people are now all in their nineties,” Anderson told Unfiltered; we caught up with him shortly after a wing inspection of his vintage plane. “We’re so happy to be able to have our plane in it and be part of the flight.
“You think back and wonder, how many hundreds, or thousands, of these planes flew the route we’re flying? And many by women; a lot of the ferry pilots were women back during World War II, flying these routes,” Anderson added.
Alas, military history/Pinot buffs won't be able to hop aboard next year: “The bird, she’s 78 years old and we don't want to be hauling a bunch of people—especially if you have to ditch in the North Atlantic."
The wedding of the year has come and gone, but here at Unfiltered, royal wine watch is a long-term commitment. So far, our picks for the producers most likely to pour have remained pretty tight-lipped about the whole affair, but one official postnuptial announcement from Kensington Palace has quelled at least some of the curiosity: Pol Roger, also provider of bubbles at Prince William and Kate Middleton's 2011 knot-tying, served its Brut Réserve NV at the Royal Wedding's lunchtime reception.
"I think everybody at Pol Roger—including the people in the cellar, the riddlers of the bottles, the people who put the labels on, the people who are at the office—everyone was so happy," Laurent d’Harcourt, president of Pol Roger's board of directors, told Unfiltered, adding that Pol Roger is "proud and honored but above all delighted to be the Champagne of any family wedding."
Around 600 guests gathered at St. George's Hall in Windsor Castle for the soiree, hosted by Queen Elizabeth II herself, to sip on the bubbly and nibble on passed canapés. "A selection of wines" was also served, according to the announcement, but no word yet on which ones they were.
The evening reception, attended by about 200 guests—mostly palace pals and Hollywood stars—and hosted by Prince Charles, was shrouded in even more secrecy, but reports lead us to believe it was quite the royal rumble. According to British tabloid the Sun, tennis legend and Markle-BFF Serena Williams served up her devastating on-court precision in a game of … good ol' American beer pong. Another Yankee livening up the spirited affair: Page Six reported that George Clooney hopped behind the bar to pour up shots of Casamigos tequila, the brand he founded and then sold for $1 billion—validating an Unfiltered prediction that the tequila would show up at the Royal Reception Rager.
As for the honeymoon, rumor has it that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are headed to Africa, a continent that already holds special meaning for the couple. Bookies are betting (because, again, people really do bet on this stuff) that Harry and Meghan will jet off to a secluded site in Namibia; plus, early in their relationship, the lovebirds camped out together in Botswana. But will there be wine? Both Namibia and Botswana neighbor South Africa, where vine land is abundant. We'll put a wager on the Windsor pair venturing south to visit vineyards.
From the just-concluded Scandal to the just-debuted Sweetbitter, today's small-screen standouts have been all about the vino. None are quite so forthrightly named as the new series 600 Bottles of Wine, though, debuting Sunday, May 27, on the BBC Three streaming site. The comedy follows the adventures of Claire, a newly single twentysomething who's navigating the dating world with the help of her gal pals—and a whole lot of wine.
"We see wine as a member of the supporting cast, the ultimate wingman for dating in your late twenties," director Ainslie Clouston told Unfiltered.
Originally a web series of eight mini-episodes, the show was repackaged into four 18-minute episodes by Australian Grace Rouvray—the scriptwriter, star and inspiration for the plot, which is based on her blog of the same name—with director Clouston and producer Bec Bignell. Appropriately, at the premiere party a few months back, Aussie winery De Bortoli provided the libations, which were also used to DIY the soiree's white runner into a "red carpet."
Should Unfiltered readers also be on the lookout for vinous Easter eggs, like those in Sweetbitter, a fellow girl-meets-wine series?
"Wine is heavily featured throughout the series, as the show explores the female ritual of retelling and dissecting stories with friends over a good bottle of wine," Clouston said. "There are brief discussions about wine scattered amongst the drama of the series, but overall, these women just love a good drop."
Considering rosé bottles themselves are the haute couture of wine packaging, with their outré shapes and bold patterns, Unfiltered fully agrees with American designer Zac Posen when he calls rosé and fashion a “perfect match.” Now Posen, who has previously dressed fashion plates like Rihanna, Reese Witherspoon and Pinot Grigio, has partnered with Domaine Sainte Marie winemaker Christopher Duburcq on a snazzy new bottle for the latter's Provence rosé, VieVité.
“Taking that richness of that pink, we juxtaposed it to this incredible dark green, which is a color that I found on trips to Hollywood. It’s the color of palm trees and midnight,” said Posen of his inspiration.
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