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Unfiltered: Gordon Ramsay Makes His Mark on Bordeaux

Plus, country music star Martina McBride gets into the winemaking business and the Ed Hardy brand rears its tattooed head in French wine country

Posted: April 30, 2009

• Chef Gordon Ramsay, the loose-lipped celebrity chef whose Gordon Ramsay Holdings company issued a statement in March that it had breached its contracts with its creditors (translation: "We ran out of money"), is apparently equally as loose with his name. He's lending it to one of his favorite Bordeaux properties, gratis. Or is it truly sans strings? Château Bauduc, a Bordeaux Supérieur/Premières Côtes de Bordeaux which has been a house wine in several outposts of the Ramsay empire over the past 10 years, will now feature a prominent band across the top of the traditional Bordeaux label designating every bottle the château produces as "Gordon Ramsay's Selection." Of course, this magnanimous gesture on chef Ramsay's part may or may not have anything to do with the fact that Château Bauduc is itself listed among creditors awaiting overdue payments for their goods and services from Gordon Ramsay Holdings Ltd. Maybe this amount of publicity equals or exceeds the amount in arrears? In the spirit of good humor and innocence until proven guilty, Unfiltered chooses to believe that the two facts are unrelated.

No blues here. Martina McBride is singing the reds, Bordeaux style.

• Move over Madonna and Sting. Country singer Martina McBride announced the release of her own wine label this past week, the 2006 Signature Series, a 56 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 38 percent Merlot and 6 percent Cabernet Franc Napa Valley Bordeaux-style blend made from Pritchard Hill and Oak Knoll grapes. McBride partnered with Napa's Blackbird Vineyards, a choice that might have as much to do with the name of her Nashville recording studio—Blackbird Studio—as it does her appreciation for winemaker Sarah Gott's skills. The bottles, which feature McBride's stamped autograph on the label, are available only through McBride's website. This latest endeavor puts the wine-loving country star, who discussed what's in her cellar with Wine Spectator in 2008, in the growing pool of country artists such as Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn and Grammy Award-nominated Miranda Lambert who have line danced their way into the wine business. At this rate we can't help but wonder how long before the iTunes store adds an iWines aisle.

That dream where the bottle of Screaming Eagle takes acid has finally come true.

• If you're in the market for a wine-themed tattoo, Unfiltered suggests looking to Daniel Sobolevskiy, whose tattoo is a replica of the Chateau Pétrus label, for inspiration. However, if you want your wine to wear a tattoo, you may be the target demographic for the new line being labeled and marketed by fashion designer-cum-branding monster Christian Audigier. The French native, who has lent his own name and that of California tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy to everything from a Las Vegas nightclub to air fresheners and bedding, has expanded into the wine market with bottles that appear to be sporting more ink than Lidia the Tattooed Lady. The sure-to-be hipster cult lineup of five varietals is made by Montpeyroux Estates in France and has already been photographed in the hands of Kim Kardashian and Dennis Rodman. Hats off to Audigier—that's a classy "pairing."

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