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Your Wine Horoscope

A Silicon Valley-based company has developed StarSip, a wine-horoscope app that makes wine recommendations for each sign of the zodiac. Based on an interdisciplinary approach the company calls Biodynamic Astrology, the app’s algorithm aligns solar and lunar cycles in both viticulture and cosmology. StarSip subscribers who enter their signs  are sent a list of wines that possess the most “harmonic convergence” for the month. (Ok, we made this up. But hey, it’s California where anything is possible).

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Pink Kink

In the they-must-have-been-looking-at-each-other-through-rosé-colored-glasses department, right after Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie purchased (for $60 million) the 17th century Provençal estate Château Miraval, the rosé sold at a rate of 1000+ bottles an hour for five hours, according to Drinks magazine. Of course, that’s when they were married. Now that they’re splitting, presumably it will take a little longer to sell the just released 2016 vintage (a blend of grenache, syrah, cinsault, and rolle). Still, Hollywood’s famous (former) couple report that they will continue to be vignerons together. (The Château has 35 bedrooms so np). The label on the latest vintage carries the words “Bottled by Pitt, Jolie and Perrin.” (The Perrins of Château de Beaucastel in the Rhône make the wine for them). 

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National Ice Cream Month

With July being National Ice Cream Month, the pressure’s on to answer a fundamental question: what wine is best with ice cream? Being something of a traditionalist, I’m going with vanilla ice cream and PX Sherry, one of the gastronomic gems of Spain.  But that was before I heard of Golden Opulence, a $1000 (that’s not a typo) sundae now being served at the New York ice cream shop Serendipity 3. Golden Opulence consists of 3 scoops (imagine!) of Tahitian vanilla ice cream infused with Madagascan vanilla beans, and covered in 23K edible gold (ok that’s impressive), placed in a Baccarat crystal goblet (of course it is) and drizzled with Tuscan chocolate from Amedei (the Amedei Chuao chocolate is said to be from beans grown off the coast of Venezuela but we’re down on Venezuela thanks). There’s also some accompanying Parisian candied fruit, Swiss chocolate truffles, and a gold-plated sugar orchid (which doesn’t sound that tasty).  A tiny bowl of Grande Passion caviar—a dessert caviar sweetened with passion fruit and Armagnac (finally some wine!)—is on the side. I think you get to keep the 18K gold spoon that the sundae is served with. Ok wine friends, what would you drink with this?

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Binge-ing in Italy?

A friend once told me that when an Italian drinks too much, they don’t say he’s drunk too much; they say he hasn’t eaten enough food yet. By that standard, the residents of Alto Adige must be famished, because a new study by ISTAT Aspetti Della Vita Quotidiana (Italy’s National Institute of Statistics) has found that nearly 20% of the population of Alto Adige over 11 years old (yes eleven) has participated in binge drinking in the last year (defined as drinking more than 6 alcoholic beverages on a single occasion). Interestingly all of the other heavy-drinking regions of Italy were also in the northern part of the country. By comparison, Sicilians and Campanians were the least likely to drink a lot in one sitting—just 4.1% and 4% of over eleven-year-olds respectively.

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Big Machine

Big Machine—the record label of superstar singers Taylor Swift and Reba McEntire—is coming out with a vodka. Tenn South Distillery will help produce the spirit which will carry the tagline “Pour It On…Turn It Up…Lean In…Or Lean Back…And Indulge.” The vodka is said to derive its superior quality thanks in part to “pure Tennessee limestone water.” Ladies, ladies. Vodka? Really? Better things are made in limestone.

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Coffee Pot? Pot Coffee?

Your Keurig machine is about to redefine the idea of a “coffee pot.” The San Diego-based company Cannabiniers has introduced Brewbudz– cannabis coffee pods (and yeah, cannabis-infused tea and cocoa pods, too).  The compostable pods contain the natural flower of cannabis (not the oil), heightening the so-called “entourage effect” (the idea that the 480 or so compounds in marijuana work better and more synergistically when they exist together naturally). The company reports that the pods are an elegant solution to social situations where smoking would not be appropriate, but drinking a hot beverage would. The joe/weed pods are priced in the Starbucks sphere–$7 each.

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Aromas

Yeah so, everybody knows that when it comes to smelling fire hydrants, pooches are pros. Anything with urine? A dog will ace it every time. Certain aromas, however, elude man’s best friend. New research by Dr. John McGann and published in the journal Science suggests that when it comes to smelling wine (and bananas if you must know), humans perform better than canines. You can thank your complex orbitofrontal cortices and intricate olfactory bulbs for the advantage.

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Mommy’s Time Out

“Mommy’s Time Out,”–a line of wines being promoted for Mother’s Day–has been invented because, as the website points out, “being a Mommy is a difficult job.”  Apparently created for pretty mommies with an itsy-bitsy sweet-tooth, the four wines are “Delicious Red,” “Delicious Pink,” “Moscato,” and “Garganega Pinot Grigio.” We hope the mommies can pronounce that oh-so-big word that starts with a G! Wait. Maybe the poor mommies really are in a time-out and are being made to drink this condescending innocuous plonk by the daddies. Baaaaad daddies!

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Red Wine Hair

I swear I did not make this up. A new line of red wine hair products called Vine de la Vie have come on to the market, promising to make curly red hair shinier, blonde hair brighter and brown hair richer (No word yet on black hair). The $35-$50 products (shampoo, conditioner, mask, etc.) contain a red wine “extract” which, according to the company, provides antioxidants that heal hair and keep it healthy. The product website says that the extract is “found in only one region of the earth.”

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Vinfusion

The latest device from the tech company Cambridge Consultants is Vinfusion—a machine and accompanying app designed to let you blend a glass of wine according to your palate’s preferences. For just a couple of thousand dollars, you can slide some buttons and watch as different amounts of pinot noir, shiraz, merlot and red muscat are swirled together depending on whether you like your wine light or full-bodied, soft or spicy, dry or sweet. Another set of buttons will filter the wine through various types of soils to pick up your preferred kind of terroir. (Ok I made up the last sentence; but everything else is real).