Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Tituss Burgess Unveils His New Line of Wines: ‘I’ll Be Your Pretend Sommelier’

06/14/2016 at 04:35 PM ET

Pinot Pride Wine
Pinot Pride

Tituss Burgess is one of us.

“My favorite situation is when there’s a glass of wine in my hand, wherever I am,” he tells PEOPLE.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star not only cherishes the act of drinking wine, but also its power to bring people together. This weekend at Pride in New York City, Burgess is unveiling two new wines Pinot Pride and Rosé Pride —  at three events (a brunch, a dinner, a party) all over the city.

The three-day “Taste of Tituss Pride” celebration has taken on a new significance in light of the mass shooting in Orlando on Sunday, which killed 49 people and injured countless more at Pulse, a gay nightclub. Burgess will be donating 100% of this weekend’s proceeds to victims and their families.

RELATED: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Star Tituss Burgess Launches New Pinot Noir “For all the Fabulous Kings and Kweens”

“What the world needs now is love. We are living in some very precarious times,” Burgess tells PEOPLE. “It would be nice for one day to not to even have these types of events or need to bring attention to the community because no one else will do it for us. Until that happens, any opportunity that I have to bring about awareness or a call for community, I’m going to do it.”

Burgess, who launched his first Pinot Noir in March as a playful nod to his performance of “Peeno Noir, an ode to black penis” on Kimmy Schmidt, flew to Santa Barbara to sample blends and choose the perfect ones for the new rosé and Pinot Noir.

RELATED: Drake Launches His Own Brand of Whiskey and, Of Course, We Tasted It

“I’m no sommelier but I know good wine. I know what I would want to drink,” he says. “Wine is sort of an elitist sport. It’s a very tricky, small community to get into and have people to take you seriously. My goal is not to become a wine that is respected by the world’s top sommeliers. What I care about is community and the wine being a tool, a conduit for bringing people together.”

Despite his outsider status as a winemaker, the wines are delicious (and the cast of Kimmy Schmidt are huge fans, he says.) Pinot Pride is a California Pinot Noir with bright lychee, kola and red fruit notes and the Rosé Pride is a crisp and light 2015 California Rosé that has flavors of “garden-ripe strawberry, crunchy pear skin and morning dew kissing wet stone,” a statement reads.

The actor, who marinates his ribs in his pinot noir (which we need to try immediately), has seized the chance to leverage what could have been a one-off, novelty wine into something bigger.

RELATED: Tituss Burgess Took ‘Shots of Patron’ While Anxiously Awaiting News of His Emmy Nomination

“So much of what I do is inspired by and for the LGBTQ community and for everyone, but just, being a theater kid and wanting to do stuff that represents us in a positive light,” he says. “This is an opportunity to create something fun that can also serve as a symbol of unity.”

Both wines are now available online.

— Maria Yagoda, @mariayagoda

FILED UNDER: Drinks , Food , Food News , Stars & Chefs , Wine

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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