The world of wine is becoming entwined in the American culture, one glass at a time. To many, the wine business is a rarified, luxurious velvet-roped world. In reality, it’s a dichotomy of rural living, mad science and simple complexity that’s right a conundrum. Given our thirst for pop culture in the U.S, it’s no surprise even the world of wine is drawing in celebrities be they from film, television, sports or other entertainment. Important to note that many stars are applying their well-established marketing and business skills and becoming serious vintners. In fact, Charles Communications had the pleasure during the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival of pouring right next to Drew Barrymore who was mobbed by the public and paparazzi. Another validation of this growing trend is that this year the established & renowned Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition devoted an entire 2 days of judging to a judging panel, unprecedented in previous years! A couple of these winners included: Jane Seymour's Santa Barbara Pinot Noir (Gold Medal) and professional car racing driver, Jeff Gordon's Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Red Blend (Silver Medals).
This growing category targets a broader market, which should ultimately encourage more people to enjoy wine. Hey, any way that gets this sometimes underappreciated beverage in one’s hand, I’m all for it. Below is a list of wines both new and established, at various price points.
Summer Sippin' - Drew Barrymore’s ‘Barrymore’ Pinot Grigio ($18.75) is surprisingly good. Although the story is a bit cliché (from our family to yours), this could definitely be my go-to summer wine pick.
The Up & Coming Vintner- Kyle MacLachlan’s ‘Pursued by Bear’ Cabernet Sauvignon, $60. He was the guy with the great apartment in the show Sex and the City and the guest speaker at the International Pinot Noir Conference in 2012. This actor seems to know what he’s doin’.
Message in a Bottle- The legendary Sting has an Italian estate and produces a red blend called “Il Palagio Sister Moon”, $56. He’s hired biodynamic expert Alan York to tend his vineyardsin keeping with Sting’s yogic outlook on life. I’m a fan of anything this man does.
Wine is Bottled Poetry- Dave Matthews was one of the first celebs to embrace wine as he was a UVA graduate inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s attempts to grow grapevines in Matthews’ native Charlottesville. He has explored the wine wonders of the Virginia state with his brand, The Dreaming Tree. Producing several varietals, he’s also on to the red blend trend, and makes a great one for only $15.
The Ultimate Pairing- It’s hard to believe they could do anything else right, but the celebrity power couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, have not only taken the bold step of entering the wine industry, they’ve made a Rosé called Miraval, $25. Some are surprised by this whimsical statement, but anyone that enjoys drinking pink wine is powerful (and confident) in my book. From what we hear, the entire first release production sold out within weeks of release. If only most wineries had that problem!