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Jhené Aiko, Future and A-Trak Find Inspiration in the Bottle (of Belvedere)

Also in Unfiltered, a Bordeaux wine for America's Cup, and Coppolas join forces with Junk Gypsies
Photo by: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
Jhéne Aiko, vodka queen.

Posted: March 16, 2017

If Unfiltered described the scene of a scraggly-haired, Hawaiian shirt–clad man reflecting, "I'm lucky to have flavor in my life," while wandering among rows of plants in bloom, you'd be forgiven for thinking "definitely winemaker, probably Mendocino." But it's actually a moment in the first "Behind the Scene" video produced by music channel Noisey in collaboration with Belvedere vodka.

The videos—there will be three—are part of a sort of mentorship program that pairs an experienced musician with a lesser-known talent; for this one, Grammy-nominated R&B singer Jhené Aiko chose Peruvian-American musician A.Chal as her protégé, and its release is timed to coordinate with the A.Chal's performance this week (tonight, in fact) at the annual SXSW mashup of tech, tunes and movies in Austin, Texas. The other "big brother/big sister" artists are DJ A-Trak and rapper Future, the latter being especially well-positioned to share a few pointers on hitmaking, following a month in which he released not one, but two, albums that reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Their pupils will get slots at the Ultra music festival later this month and Coachella in April, respectively, as part of the "Belvedere x Noisey" deal.

The mini-documentaries are, broadly, about the creative process. Watch Aiko and A.Chal muse about songwriting—and shop for flowers.

So-Called 'America's Cup' Partners with Bordeaux's Mouton Cadet

Mouton Cadet is setting off to sea. The value Bordeaux wine by Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA of Château Mouton-Rothschild fame has partnered with the America's Cup sailing race for its 35th run, which kind of reminds Unfiltered of the time they served a Chilean wine at the Tour de France.

For fans cheering them on on dry land, Mouton Cadet has announced it will release three special-edition bottles of red, white and rosé. Each bottle has an etching of a sailboat at sea and the signature of Sir Russell Coutts—five-time human winner of the America's Cup and now the CEO of the America's Cup Event Authority.

Steven Morris
Hugues Lechanoine and Sir Russell Coutts are (ready to be) on a boat.

Managing director of the wine group Hugues Lechanoine compared the two companies' shared values: Both "work with nature, interpret the conditions, plan their course and strive as a team to be the best," he stated in a press release. The wines—which are Merlot (red and rosé) and Sémillon (white) blends—will be sold in stores around the world and served at the sporting event.

The 35th America's Cup will take place in May and June 2017 in Bermuda. With our comrades Mouton Cadet at the race, it's bound to be … off the hook.

Coppolas, Junk Gypsies Find Common Ground in Wine

Wine collectors and antique geeks have a lot in common: They love discovering old treasures, they're willing to go to great lengths to get their hands on them, and they are easy marks for clever fraudsters. Now, the two worlds collide as the Family Coppola's Virginia Dare Winery and design company Junk Gypsy (of HGTV's Junk Gypsies fame) partner up in a mutual celebration of old-timey aesthetic. The collaboration kicks off during Texas Antiques Week, a bi-annual event that brings more than 100,000 purveyors and antiquers to Round Top, Texas (population: 90). Virginia Dare will co-host a wine tasting at Junk Gypsy central, so shoppers can have something to sip on while they peruse the Junk Gypsies' rustic-chic offerings, which have outfitted the likes of "Kerosene" wine–swilling country star Miranda Lambert.

A Scholarship Fund in Honor of Wine Educator Chip Cassidy

Longtime wine educator and Florida International University professor Patrick “Chip” Cassidy will be honored next Saturday, March 25, with the inauguration of the Chip Cassidy Scholarship Fund. A dinner hosted by the American Fine Wine Invitational at the university's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management Wine Spectator Restaurant Management Laboratory will raise money to support scholarships for FIU students pursuing careers in the wine industry. 

For the past 30 years, Cassidy has dedicated his career to furthering wine education at the Chaplin School, after years spent in wine sales. “All the time I was a retailer, I realized that I was also a teacher,” Cassidy told Unfiltered. “It’s just something I love to do. I stand in front of a group of kids and teach them something I’m passionate about.”

Cassidy credits a bottle of 1969 Château Lafite that he tasted while on leave from military service as his "aha" wine. When Cassidy served in Vietnam, his parents would send bottles of Beaujolais enveloped in popcorn: “I was the only one that carried a corkscrew in Vietnam that I knew of.“

Other industry leaders will be on hand for the evening's festivities, including Mel Dick, senior vice president of Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits, who was awarded Wine Spectator's 2016 Distinguished Service Award, and Wayne Chaplin, president and CEO of Southern; pours will include Kistler Chardonnay and Eisrébe dessert wine from Joseph Phelps.

In addition to the establishment of the fund, a new library at the university is in the works, which will feature over 3,000 wine books Cassidy is donating from his personal collection. Cassidy's own most recent book, Chip Cassidy’s Further Wine Travels is also being sold in pursuit of good causes, with all profits going towards cancer research and FIU. Tickets to the dinner are still available, and donations can also be sent to Chip Cassidy Scholarship, 144 Greens Rd., Hollywood, FL 33021.

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