The Great GoogaMooga festival returned to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for its second year over the weekend. Beefed up to three days from last year’s two, the food, drink and music festival transformed the park into a culinary playground with top chefs from 85 New York restaurants paired with 100 wines (which included selections from Sandhi, Lioco, Wind Gap, Charles Smith Wines, Brooklyn’s own Red Hook Winery and Terry Thiese selections) and 75 brews. Attendees could purchase access to a VIP cocktail section, where drinks from the some of the biggest names in New York’s mixology scene, such as Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog, The Nomad, and Death & Co were on offer. Additionally, national distillers like Bulleit, Dickel and Don Julio were represented. While Friday and Saturday went off without a hitch, with headliners The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Flaming Lips and Matt & Kim closing out each day, Sunday’s rain forced organizers to cancel the remaining performances. VIP ticketholders will be refunded the cost of their tickets, according to GoogaMooga’s Web site.
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Co. will launch a new extra special bitter (ESB). Goose Island’s ESB Anniversary Ale is brewed with Maris Otter malt and dry-hopped with East Kent Goldings, resulting in flavors similar to the English ales that originally inspired founder John Hall. The ale will launch on draft and in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles in major cities across 18 states.
Burgundy producer Domaine Ponsot is adopting new eProvenance second generation technology to create “Intelligent Cases,” which consumers can use to track provenance history of their cases. eProvenance is a Franco-American company whose technology monitors the temperature history of a wine case by uploading data to “the cloud,” allowing collectors to access a log of temperature data in order to verify the condition of the wines. The Intelligent Cases data can be read by smartphones and tablets and feature a 15-year battery life for long-term monitoring of temperature conditions.
The Alsace Wine Route is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a year-long calendar of events. Some of the event highlights include the Alsace Wine Fair, with musical performances by MIKA and Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg), alongside 350 exhibitors. Visitors to the trail will also experience a wine fair virtually every month of the year, while in June, the Vineyard Marathon snakes through the region. Created in 1953, the 105 mile-long trail is comprised of 70 wine-producing villages and nearly 1000 producers.
Rex Pickett, author of wine-soaked novel Sideways, which inspired the Oscar-winning movie of the same name, has released—you guessed it—a Pinot Noir. The 2011 Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley is called Ne Plus Ultra, “the highest point” in Latin. “When I decided to produce my own wine, I knew immediately it would be a Pinot Noir, the grape variety so rhapsodically celebrated in Sideways,” Pickett said in a statement. Pickett collaborated with Oregon winemakers Drew Voit and Darcy Pendergrass on the project. Ne Plus Ultra is made from grapes grown at high altitude on Laurelwood soils at Twelve Oaks Estate Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA and clocks in at 13% abv. In addition to Sideways and releasing his Pinot Noir, Pickett also authored the follow-up to the iconic novel, titled Vertical, which sent characters Miles and Jack to the International Pinot Festival in Willamette Valley. In anticipation of the third installment in the Sideways trilogy, which will see Miles in Chile, Pickett recently returned from a research trip to the country.