Sideways Splashes onto London Stage; Beer For Beauty, Brawn and Bathing & More News and Notes | Wine Enthusiast
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Sideways Splashes onto London Stage; Beer For Beauty, Brawn and Bathing & More News and Notes

After enjoying a live theatrical run in Santa Monica, California, the stage adaptation of the acclaimed wine-country dramedy Sideways will jump across the pond in May for a London premiere.

The St. James Theater in London will host a six-week engagement of the acclaimed story beginning May 26. Audiences can sip Pinot Noir (not Merlot) while watching the adventures of Miles and Jack as they weave their way through the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara, California.

In 2004, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor turned Rex Pickett’s novel about two middle-aged wine aficionados on a road trip into a movie. It grossed more than $100 million and received several awards, including an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Pickett says that wine is not only central to the plot, but also to the theater-going experience. In the U.S., where the play enjoyed a successful run at the Ruskin Group Theater Company, he insisted on serving high-end Pinot Noir to warm reception from the audience.

Meanwhile, in other headlines…

Photo by Aneta Foubikova / Unsplash

Italy, Meet New Zealand

The Glera variety, better known as Prosecco, will be planted this spring in Gisborne, New Zealand.

Steve Voysey, who consults for New Zealand’s largest wine business, Indevin, says that the vines were imported from Australia, where Prosecco is grown in the King Valley. Voysey said he plans to plant nearly 400 acres of the grape over the next two years, and will make a sparkling wine in Gisborne.

The name Prosecco is protected for use only by producers in the Veneto area of northern Italy. However, a World Trade Organization ruling in 2013 allows Australia and New Zealand producers to market their Glera sparklers as Prosecco. Those producers must remove the word Prosecco from their labels, however, if they want to export to the European Union.

From Prosecco to Pinot Noir…

The U.S. Postal Service is issuing a new 5-cent Grapes stamp that features a stylized illustration of two clusters of Pinot Noir. Check it out.

Speaking of Creativity, an Austrian Brewery Opened a Beer-Filled Hot Tub

No, seriously. The Starkenberger Brewery in Austria has filled one of its seven heated swimming pools with 42,000 pints of beer to create the boozy hot tub. Andrea Stigger, who works at the brewery, says a soak in the tub leaves skin soft and smooth, and can help treat conditions like psoriasis.

Her boss came up with the idea to attract visitors and offer them a chance to relax while touring the facility. And yes, the beer is drinkable, although the brewery warns that it may be bitter because it’s heated. “If you like warm beer, you can help yourself,” she says.

If you’re looking for other ways to justify your love of beer as “health conscious”…

Barbell Brew
Photo courtesy Barbell Brew

Have a six-Pack While You Work On Your Six-Pack

Barbell Brew aims to make your workout beer-friendly. Each bottle contains 21.8 grams of protein and 3.6% alcohol. That’s as much protein as a sirloin steak, and its alcohol content is in line with light or session beers.

The gluten-free beer also has less than 100 calories per bottle. Darren Beale, of retailer Muscle Food, says that the new brew is an ideal post-workout protein source. “Living a healthy lifestyle can be difficult, especially when you enjoy a drink with friends,” he says. “But now, our high-protein alternative means anyone can enjoy a beer without the guilt.”

Meanwhile, In Trade News…

WE’s Contributing Editor Matt Kettmann Will Moderate a White Wine Seminar at Hospice du Rhône

The much-celebrated, wine-trade event is scheduled for April 14–16 at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, California. Kettmann’s seminar will feature producers from Costières de Nîmes, including Michel Gassier of Michel Gassier, Luc Baudet of Château Mas Neuf, François Collard of Château Mourgues du Grès and Diane De Puymorin of Château d’Or et de Gueules.

Passes are currently on sale beginning at $100. Get more info at

Photo by Dennis Vinther / Unsplash

And in Rosé News, U.S. Sales Are High. Like, Really High.

Wines of Provence announced that for the 12th straight year, exports of rosé wines from Provence to the U.S. have grown by double digits.

Even as the American appetite for rosé climbs, the iconic dry rosé wines of Provence has surged further, with a 58% increase in sales volume over the last year, according to the French customs agency and the CIVP/Vins de Provence. The groups claim that the wines boasted a 74% increase in value. This is the largest increase in Provence rosé exports to the U.S. since 2001.