We’ve highlighted wines inspired by entertainment in the past, which gave us the idea to pick 12 of the most interesting celebrity made wines available to drink this Christmas. The wines on the list range from great to, well, not so great.
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The 12 Wines & Some Info On Where To Buy Them:
- Jolie-Pitt & Perrin Côtes de Provence Rosé Miraval by Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie – The best wine on this list, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s rosé was named to Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines for 2013, coming in at 84th, which makes it the highest ranked rosé in the world. At around $25 a bottle you might just want to pick this one up and pretend you’re somewhere warm. (Find it @ Wine-Searcher)
- Ferguson Crest by Fergie – Yes that actually is the name of this winery, owned by ‘Fergie’ of The Black Eyed Peas, along with her father. They’ve been in business since 2006, so someone’s buying this stuff – though we’ve heard the wines themselves range from acceptable to awful. Given that you can order signed boxed bottles at $140 dollars and up, we suspect those buyers are Fergie’s fans – not that there’s anything wrong with that. None of the wines come cheap, so, if you’re going to go for one of these, we suggest, on name alone, the 2011 FERGALICIOUS Red Blend (56% Syrah, 25% Merlot, 13% Grenache, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon) (Find them @ Wine-Searcher)
- Duck Commander Wines by the Robertson Family of Duck Dynasty – OK, the wines aren’t actually produced by the Duck Dynasty Cast. They just licensed their name to Trinchero Family Estates, a large wine producer in Napa Valley. So far they’re offering up a red blend, a Chardonnay and a pink Moscato. The Reverse Wine Snob gives the three decent ratings, so check them out if you’re a fan! Apparently not everyone is a fan of them lending their name to wine. (Find them @ Wine-Searcher)
- Mike Ditka Wines – We’re just going to resist making any bad jokes about Da Coach’s line of wines (does that count?). As non-Chicagoans we were unaware that the Chicago Bear Tight End turned Coach turned Broadcaster owns a chain of steakhouses. Ditka partnered up with Terlato Wines owner Bill Terlato to offer up branded wines at said steakhouses. Why the partnership? “Mike Ditka has known Bill Terlato for nearly 20 years, brought together by their enthusiasm for sports, food & wine, and a good cigar.” Current offerings include “The Player,” “The Coach,” “The Hall Of Famer,” and “The Legend.” The Legend line includes “The Icon,” a Cabernet Sauvignon, and “The Champion,” a “rich, smooth” Merlot/Cab blend. Don’t be modest Mike! And if you’re wondering, yes, almost all of the wine labels feature portraits of Da Coach. (Find them @ Wine-Searcher)
- Yao Family Wines by Yao Ming – Yao Ming, the former 7’6″ NBA All-Star hailing from China is the owner of a respected line of California wines. Quoting Robert Parker in October 2013’s issue of Wine Spectator: “I am aware of all the arguments that major celebrities lending their names to wines is generally a formula for mediocrity, but that is not the case with Yao Ming. These are high class wines. The two Cabernets are actually brilliant, and the Reserve bottling ranks alongside just about anything made in Napa.” And now we hear that Yao is making a higher volume play for China’s rapidly growing middle class. Speaking of China, don’t miss our visualization of 2013’s largest consumers of wine. (Find them @ Wine-Searcher)
- Dan Akroyd Wines by Dan Akroyd – Mr. Akroyd offers up five wines and an Icewine (he is Canadian after all). Oh yeah, he’s also leant his name to a line of vodka that comes in a crystal skull shaped bottle. We can’t speak to the quality of the wines – though they do appear to be fairly cheap, assuming you can find a bottle in the US. On that note, Dan is up front about his involvement: “I come from the marketing and promotion side, but I do have a good tongue.” If you find a bottle on your next trip to Canada (or live up north), and can grab a bottle, let us know.
- Barrymore Family Wines by Drew Barrymore – Barrymore Wines currently offers up a single wine, an Italian Pinot Grigio. The bottle, which features a family crest designed by Shepard Fairey (of the Obama ‘Hope’ poster fame among other things) recently took home a Gold Medal at the annual Challenge International du Vin in France. Stateside reviewers haven’t been so kind…Google it if you’re interested. At around $18 per bottle, the wine is widely available, if not particularly cheap for what you’re getting. (Find it @ Wine-Searcher)
- Palagio by Sting – The best-selling singer offers up three wines produced at his Italian estate, Il Palagio, as well as honey and olive oil. “Sister Moon” is an IGT Toscano. The other two wines, “When We Dance” and “Casino delle vie” are Sangiovese blends. The blends – Casino delle vie & When We Dance – are on the affordable side, while Sister Moon will set you back at least $50 dollars. Worth it? BuzzFeed’s blind celeb tasting was positive on the wine.
- Anta Banderas by Antonio Banderas – Let’s start this off with a quote from the man himself: “I always wanted to produce my own wine, but it requires time that I do not have. Then I found Anta Project.“ While some of our listed celebs proclaim questionable involvement in the production of their namesake wines, Señor Banderas’ honesty is refreshing. The Spanish wines for Ribera del Duero? Well there’s a wide range here, from sub-$20 bottles to the “A16,” which will set you back around $40 dollars. Reviews are hard to come by, but the few we could find weren’t very positive (to be charitable!).
- Jeff Gordon Cellars by Jeff Gordon – The 4-time Nascar Champion is the producer of some mid-range to rather expensive wines. The cheapest bottle currently on offer at his official website starts at $35 dollars. The ‘flagship’ Joie De Vivre, a Napa Valley red blend will set you back $65 dollars. The wines themselves are well-rated and, like the stock car champ himself, tagged up with awards. (Find them at Wine-Searcher)
- Fifty Shades of Grey Wine by E L James – The author of the infamous books designed for discrete reading on a Kindle offers two wines, “Red Satin,” a red blend, and “White Silk,” a white blend. Both go for $17.99 per bottle. The official website opens things up with this quote: “‘If you spill the wine, I will punish you, Miss Steele.’ – Christian Grey.” The wines themselves are produced by Mendocino Wine Co., which has also pushed out bottles for Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, and The Grateful Dead. The wine is easy to find (via Wine-Searcher). Whether you want to risk spilling it out? That’s up to you.
- Château de Tigné by Gerard Depardieu – The actor is French so he’s got that going for him…but unless you’re a fan you might not be able to bear to look at those bottles produced at his Loire Valley vineyard. The actor, known for his nose, gets straight to the point on his official website: “A wine can have “nose” but it especially has to have taste, frank and natural taste, which can express itself through a myriad of sensations, an explosion of subtleties in its generosity, rigour and rustic character. Yes, the truth – whatever that is – is at the bottom of a glass and truth is made to be shared.” Nose, truth, whatever that is – we’re thinking something might have been lost in translation – is available in red, white and rosé. The bottles are difficult to find in the US, but if Cellar Tracker’s tasters are to be trusted, it probably isn’t worth the effort.
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Our list of Celebrity Wines is far from complete, as, after all, these folks are brands not mere actors and musicians! We wanted to highlight twelve interesting wines – a bottle for each night of Christmas. Some of these should make nice gifts for fans, while others are nice gifts for anyone who enjoys a good glass of wine. Hint – if you want to send us a bottle of the Jolie-Pitt & Perrin Côtes de Provence Rosé Miraval, please do! The Fergalicious red blend…not so much.
Finally, we couldn’t put together any list of celebrity wines without mentioning Francis Ford Coppola and his eponymous winery. The mass market wines are many folks’ introduction to wine. How many? In 2007, he claimed to Vanity Fair that his business ventures (the winery among them) brought in half-a-billion dollars annually. The wines range in quality from good to not-so-good, which makes sense given an estimated annual volume of 1.25 million cases. He’s also owned the Inglenook Vineyard since the 1970s, where he produces his higher-end ‘Rubicon’ wine.