Archive for the 'TV and movies' Category

Celebrity wine advice, circa 1990 #video

“No one, but NO ONE puts ice in red wine!”

Such is the gist of the opening scene of a mostly tongue-in-cheek video about wine from 1990, “The Celebrity Guide to Wine,” chock full of 80s stars including Steven Seagal, Dudley Moore, Herbie Hancock, Whoopi Goldberg and more. It’s the brainchild of Bernard Erpicum, who was at Spago at the time.

Thanks to our friends at Eater for digging up this gem! A blog at the SF Chronicle picked up the item and posted screenshots to help navigate the 55-minute show with alacrity; the money scene is definitely Kelley LeBrock demonstrating to Steven Seagal how to open a wine bottle–between her legs. But then she doesn’t hold the glass by the stem! What kind of instructional video is this?!?

Brad Pitt NOT to star in The Billionaire’s Vinegar

brad pitt wine On May 3, the British blog published an entry stating that Brad Pitt was to star in the movie version of The Billionaire’s Vinegar. On May 4, picked up the story, citing no sources, adding that David Koepp is directing and the movie is set to be released this fall. On May 8,, rehashed the same details, citing no source. From there, it was off to the races, retweeted and picked up by wine sites from Canada to India as well as Brad Pitt fan sites and even Robert Parker.

Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble but Brad Pitt is not going to star in the movie. And the movie is nowhere close to coming out this year.

I called David Bloomfield of Escape Artists Entertainment at his office in LA. Bloomfield is the executive producer of the film. I asked if the Brad Pitt item was true.

“It’s literally someone in the blogosphere picking up something that was published two years ago,” he said referring to the page that was the source of the original blog post.

And David Koepp as director? Nope. Bloomfield said, that there’s “No director. No talent. No new news.”

He added that the project is still officially in development and that it is “not dead.” But there’s nothing to report. “I hope there will be soon.”

Movie rights sold for “A Vintage Crime”

a vintage crime fraud

Level 1 Entertainment has purchased the movie rights to “A Vintage Crime,” a story by Mike Steinberger about wine counterfeiting that appeared yesterday on Edward Milstein and Bill Todman Jr. co-founded Level 1, which has released two comedies (“Grandma’s Boy” and “Strange Wilderness”) as well as a thriller (“Rendition”) with houses 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, and New Line Cinema.

Milstein has several ties to the story. He is a wine collector and overlapped with Kurniawan, who is at the center of the story and indicted, awaiting trial. Milstein is co-chairman of Emigrant Savings Bank; a previous suit alleged that Kurniawan defaulted on a $3 million loan to Emigrant. Milstein owns or has a stake in Remoissenet Pere et Fils, a Burgundy producer, as well as The Sorting Table, a Napa-based wine importer. He also heads his family’s real estate company with his brother.

“Eddie is a huge wine collector who knew Rudy, and likely bought a few bottles from him, and when we got a peek at this article, Eddie flipped for it and we bought it preemptively,” Todman told Deadline. “It has that Catch Me If You Can thriller aspect, where you can’t believe this guy got away with this for so long, ingratiating himself into this billionaire’s club and living the high life, at least for awhile.”

Since the project will need a screenwriter, a director, and casting decisions before it can start shooting (if, indeed, it ever makes it that far), that gives us plenty of time to weigh in with our choices. Who do you see in the leading roles? It will be interesting to see if they keep a young ethnic Chinese in the central role, or if they opt for more of a George Clooney, Johnny Depp, or Gary Oldman type. And how about Jean Reno as Laurent Ponsot? Or do you think the story is too narrow for the silver screen?

30 Rock wine: the best tasting note Robert Parker never wrote

donaghy wine 30 rock

Okay, only about five years late on this. But, thanks to site reader Quizicat drawing a parallel to our recent discussion of moscato, I’ve learned that I missed an episode of “30 Rock” where wine featured prominently. Jack Donaghy is delighted to have his name on his own sparkling wine from Long Island and he shares it with Liz Lemon. They toast each other, take a sip–and then both spit it out and retch, with Liz scraping her tongue with her fingers. Jack wonders how he is ever going to sell 10,000 cases of this wine…

When Tracy likes it, Jack has the idea of getting the hip-hop star Ridikulous (played by LL Cool J) to flog the wine in a performance. In the spirit of full disclosure, Jack informs Ridikulous that Robert Parker wrote that “Donaghy Estates tastes like the urine of Satan after a hefty portion of asparagus.”

But how many points?!?

You can see the episode on Netflix streaming or buy it on Amazon or iTunes.

Orson Welles, in his cups

“Ahhhhhh, the French!… Champagne…” The outtakes of this Orson Welles ad make the rounds periodically, with this one racking up 854,000 views thus far. And, yes, it is funny when you turn on the outrageously bad closed captioning…

Hitler yelling

Check out this “Hitler yelling” parody that several people tweeted to my attention. Even if it’s 18 months old, it’s still sufficient for your Saturday LOL needs.

End of an era: Gary Vaynerchuk quits daily wine videos

gary vee “You, with such a smaller part of me than you realize, we have changed the wine world.”

That’s how Gary Vaynerchuk concluded what he said was his final wine video. (He had previously announced stepping down from his position at Wine Library.) I was once a guest on Wine Library TV, aka the “Thunder Show,” and the show had a fun run for five years. I wish Gary sunny skies in his future endeavors.

But what does Gary’s departure mean for wine video? After five years of gaining lots of traction on WLTV, he has come to define the space, with his gonzo style and spitting into a Jets bucket. Wine and TV are a difficult blend to master. Gary had his own distinctive style. It will be interesting to see what others can do with wine video, from finding a business model that works to the style of entertainment.

Meanwhile, the Jets dump bucket has to go into a wine Hall of Fame.

“Totally Uncorked” [TIME]
“A wine guru for the YouTube era” [Slate]
“The Pour – This Wine Critic Can Drive People to Drink” [NYT]

Move over Old Spice guy, here comes Zin man

Okay, this isn’t going to knock the Old Spice guy out of the advertising Hall of Fame. But, hey, it’s the best wine ad I’ve ever seen! I raise a glass of 14.4% alcohol zinfandel in the ad’s honor.

Addendum: cork marketers, take note!
UPDATE: I posted a few more details about making the ad.


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