Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are reportedly victims of wine fraud. As reported by The Independent, the wine that the couple produces, Miraval Rosé, is being counterfeited by Chinese fraudsters. While the extent of the fraud is unknown, this year’s production will include anti-counterfeit protections. Produced in collaboration with the famed Perrin family, Miraval sold out almost immediately upon its release, Its latest vintage is only found in a few outlets worldwide, with some bottles available online. Pitt and Jolie bought the 1,200-acre Château Miraval estate for $55 million, which also hosted their wedding last August.
Documentary film fans, time to get excited: A film focused on wine is aiming to begin production this summer. Dubbed The Living Liquid, the film will follow a wine’s journey, from its vineyard of origins to the various individuals who interact with it, including exclusive interviews with sommeliers, writers and winemakers. Directed and produced by Rebecca Foster and Frank Kuzler, the film kicked off production with a “Wine is Life” fundraiser at New York’s Back Label Wine Merchants in March, with a forthcoming Indiegogo campaign to help fund its completion. View the teaser trailer here >>>
Your new favorite brew might be on its way. New Belgium Brewing and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream have announced a collaboration on an ice cream beer. The craft brewery will produce six-packs of Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, inspired by the ice cream producer’s hit flavor. It’s expected to be released in the fall. Speaking of spiked ice cream, check out this bunch of tasty popsicle recipes >>>
Your wine snob friend was right—the shape of a wine glass does matter, according to researchers in Tokyo. As reported by United Press International, scientists at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University developed a camera system to map the concentration of ethanol leaving a wine glass. They discovered that different combinations of wine and glass produced varying concentrations and distributions of ethanol, coaxing out unique bouquets from the same wine. Meanwhile, here’s our cheat sheet to the serving wine >>>
South Australian wine regions are starring in the second season of satirical comedy Plonk, heralding a new frontier of tourism. The web series Plonk takes an off-kilter look at the South Australia wine industry as “part comedy narrative, part documentary.” The mockumentary follows the many misadventures of a film crew producing a wine show, but the true star is the burgeoning wine and hospitality industry of Australia’s south. The first season was set in New South Wales, but this season, they selected South Australia because it’s “the Ground Zero for wine in Australian, it has the largest amount of wine regions,” said Nathan Earl, Plonk’s creator.
Joseph Phelps, 87, a visionary leader in the wine and philanthropic worlds, passed away on April 15. Read our full report on the pioneering Napa vintner >>>
In a report released April 16, the National Restaurant Association released restaurant sales figure gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau. The report states that first-quarter sales in 2015 finished higher than originally predicted, $50.4 billion in March versus February’s $50 billion volume. In total, first-quarter eating and drinking sales totaled $150.4 billion, a $2 billion increase from last year’s fourth quarter. In a separate report, the Commerce Department released data dating to 1992 that for the first time ever, sales at restaurants and bars overtook spending at grocery stores.
Members of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail have pledged support for the Finger Lakes Community College Viticulture and Wine Center in Geneva, New York. In all, 35 members donated $1,000 each to the Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) Foundation, a nonprofit organization that support the college. The funds will be matched by the state, providing $70,000 in all for the 9,000-square-foot building, which opened to students at the start of the spring semester. FLCC launched its two-year viticulture and wine technology degree program—the only one in the northeastern U.S.—in fall 2009. Side note: The Finger Lakes region was named one of the 10 best wine travel destinations in the world. Read all the details and get your guide >>>
On the Scene
Friday, April 17, was World Malbec Day, and the Wine Enthusiast team celebrated accordingly, by cracking open some top-rated selections. Contributing Editor Michael Schachner was at the forefront of the day, honoring Argentina’s signature grape in style. Wines of Argentina, the organization responsible for promoting the image of Argentine wines around the world, has declared World Malbec Day in honor of the country’s iconic varietal, the nation’s signature varietal and grown throughout the country. Watch this video to learn more about the World Malbec Day >>>