Global Wine News
Real Americans Drink Pink: Rosé Revs Up the Sturgis Motorcycle RallyAlso in Unfiltered, behind the scenes of the 'Bachelorette' Rioja finale, and Dutch Old Masters take flight on KLM art labels

If you're not careful at this week’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, you're liable to run up against a Hell's Angel brandishing a real mean hog, a set of brass knuckles … and a refreshing glass of rosé wine. California's Josh Cellars is bringing pink wine to half a million bikers as the first-ever wine sponsor in the event's eight-decade history, and if this feels weird, you haven't been paying attention to the rosé infiltration of rap shows, roadside stands, Bonnaroo and even your peanut butter and (rosé) jelly sandwich.

“It is about time a wine brand recognized what a great opportunity it is to get in front of more than half a million bikers,” Jerry Cole, director of Sturgis Rally & Events for the city, commented (growled?) in a press release. “People think we’re all tattoos and leather, but there is a lot more to us than that. We appreciate great wine just like everyone else.” And so, riders have been pulling up to 10 tastings of the winery's rosé, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon over the course of the week.

“Rosé has become ubiquitous. It’s everywhere, and for everybody. And the response from the Sturgis attendees only reinforced this fact,” Renato Reyes, chief marketing officer for Josh distributor Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, told Unfiltered in an email. “It was interesting to see how many of the bikers were already familiar with Josh Cellars and said, ‘Oh, we drink Josh at home.' One of the bikers even took us up on our offer for the Josh tattoo.”

Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits
Inked pink.

Rosé: Coming next to a mosh pit, Fight Club meeting, or prison riot near you!


'Bachelorette' Rachel Deals with Drought in Show's Rioja Finale

Last time we caught up with The Bachelorette's Rachel Lindsay, on the show’s penultimate episode, her world was awash in raw Tempranillo juice, trod under foot from grapes in the traditional (romantic) way by her and hopeful suitor/"business owner" Peter. This week, the show's finale returned us to Rioja, where the three remaining suitors, well, press on. Right off the bat, lucky chiropractor Bryan winds up on a date with Rachel at Bodegas Ontañon, where, snuggled in a vineyard, they sip Bodegas Ontañon Rioja Reserva 2005 (per a representative for the wine region). But though the word “love” is uttered some 57 times during the three-hour episode (unless we somehow lost count), Bryan is not loving the soirée, calling the date “awkward” in the interview afterward while scowling meaningfully at the vines. Not a wine guy, Bry?

CVNE
Contino and film crew prep for the final rosado ceremony.

Rachel spends much of the remaining episode trying to pair with men who, like difficult wines, are by turns sour, astringent, tart, awkward, unbalanced, closed, or maybe just going through a dumb phase. But finally, at Viñedos Contino, it is Bryan who pops the question. Rachel says “sí,” and the two toast with glasses of what Contino's Maria Urrutia Ybarra tells Unfiltered is the winery's Rioja Reserva 2011. (She called it "hard to decide" whom she would have given the final rose to; contact with the cast was limited.)

CVNE
Chris Harrison has barreled through 40 seasons of the Bachelor/Bachelorette. He could use a drink.

Urrutia Ybarra also reveled the breakout greatest love story of the night: Show host Chris Harrison, a Cune devotee, privately requested a visit to that winery before he even learned the finale would actually be filmed at sister winery Contino. Fate!

To close out the show, Harrison jokingly suggests during the show’s live-interview portion that Rachel and Bryan join some of their Bachelor/Bachelorette comrades in the upcoming spinoff show Bachelor in Paradise … in Mexico. “No thanks,” Rachel responds. “We’ll go back to Rioja.”


Rembrandt, Vermeer Take Flight on KLM Art Labels

Amsterdam famously offers visitors all manner of refreshments and restoratives, so KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has chosen wine and art as the Netherlands enticements it wants to highlight for passengers. Through August and September, the airline is serving a collection of five wines to business class travelers through its Art & Wines initiative. While high flyers have seen more and more wine options take to the sky in recent years, KLM's offerings go beyond the typical airline sip-swirl-sleep wine experience: The labels showcase paintings from Dutch Old Masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer, all of which visitors can see in large-format size upon landing, at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.

KLM
L to R: The Vermeer, Rembrandt, Gabriël, Berckheyde and Mignon labels.

The KLM wine team, led by Dutch consultant Hubrecht Duijker, worked with the museum to select the paintings and find the best “pairing” with each of the wines. The museum first selected five paintings, and the KLM tasting panel chose five wines from a group of 40. Duijker shared a bit about the process with Unfiltered in an email. “There are many links between wine and art. Just take Robert Mondavi’s famous quote, ‘Making good wine is a skill, making fine wine is an art.’”

KLM drapes a French Sauvignon Blanc from Abbots & Delauney with Vermeer's The Milkmaid, a South African Chardonnay from Boschendal with Rembrandt's Syndics of the Drapers' Guild, a Pinot Noir from Argentina's Finca Perdriel with View of the Golden Bend in the Herengracht by Gerrit Berckheyde and a Lapostolle Merlot with Abraham Mignon's Still Life with Flowers and a Watch.

But Duijker's favorite art and wine match? “That is the Windmill on a Polder Waterway by Paul Joseph Constantin Gabriël with the Pinot Grigio from Masi. As I wrote in the wine list: ’This beautiful and typically Dutch summer day, which is masterfully reflected in the smooth water, has been teamed up with a beautiful and typically Italian summer wine, a juicy, perfect Pinot Grigio from the Venezie region.'" Proost!


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