Being a celebrity has its advantages. The most obvious of these is making money. There are plenty of products and services these days that use the charms of celebrities to boost sales. Usually we see them on TV (think Jamie Lee Curtis and Activia), at the grocery store (Lil’ Romeo Rap Snacks), radio and print ads, touting whatever latest thing someone is looking to sell you. Some of these celebs decided they wanted to add wine to their portfolio. Others signed licencing deals to make a little extra cash. Some wines are good, others atrocious…you make the call.
1. Savanna Samson (Sogna Uno, Italy)
Apparently, this one is good. Mr. Robert Parker gave this wine 91 Points. Maybe he was charmed by her good looks. Maybe Savanna (Nee Natalie Oliveros) is looking to make people happy in a different manner. She has been putting herself out there traveling with wine reps to sell her wine. Something tells me sales for this Vivid girl will be a little easier than they are for your every day wine representative.
Retail Price for Savanna Sogno Uno Lazio $45 per bottle
2. Dan Aykroyd (Diamond Estates, Canada)
Dan Aykroyd, singer, actor, screenwriter, Blues Brother, Ghostbuster, SNL alum…wine maker. Something tells me he does not have a oenology degree from U.C. Davis. Did you know he is also responsible for Crystal Skull Vodka, the official vodka of The Rolling Stones…you know, the one that comes in the Crystal skull that you see in every wine shop every Halloween? He is also part owner of the company that distributes Patron tequila in Canada. Sounds like he’s got the market covered.
Retail Price for Dan Aykroyd Cabernet Merlot 2011 $14.99 per bottle
3. Antonio Banderas (Anta Banderas, Ribera del Duero – Spain)
If you want to see the best of his career, check out his acting in Almodovar films. He was also Armand in Interview, and the (rumored) voice of Nasonex. Banderas now owns 50% stake of a winery in Villalba de Duero, Burgos, Spain, Anta Banderas. Great region for wine…who knows, maybe you’ll be surprised.
Retail Price for Anta A 4 $9.99 per bottle
4. Madonna (Ciccone Vineyard and Winery, Michigan)
Madonna, Madonna, MADONNA! Feminist Icon, Queen of Pop, Wine Diva. Yup, Madge is now helping out her dad (who is the vintner at Ciccone Vineyard). The Material Girl is a true entrepreneur and marketer.
Retail Price for Ciccone Pinot Noir 2011 $17.99 per bottle
5. Lil Jon (Little Jonathan Winery, California)
He was so dorky when he was young…imagine Steve Urkel with bigger glasses. Then some craziness happened and he became a big old mess of tattoos and piercings and diamond grills. The site for the wines is down, but their facebook page is still up…something tells me it was Moscato, which may be a perfect pairing for Lil’ Romeo Rap Snacks.
Retail Price for Lil John’s Chardonnay $15.99 per bottle
6. Charles Woodson (Twenty Four Wines)
Oakland Raiders safety, Charles Woodson is now in the wine industry. I’ve heard some good things about the wines. He paired up with Rick Ruiz of Robert Mondavi Winery, and Gustavo A. Gonzalez in this venture. Even better, they are donating $10 of every bottle sold to the CS Mott Children’s Hospital & Von Voightlander Women’s Hospital in Michigan. Love it when celebs use their power for good (and a tax write off).
Retail Price for Twentyfour Sauvignon Blanc 2012 $20.99 per bottle
Retail Price for Twentyone Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Autographed) $250.99 per bottle
7. Nancy Pelosi (Zinfandel Lane Vineyard – Napa)
Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi may still be speaker of the house without this secondary occupation. Maybe she should give it up since her vineyard only supplies grapes for other wine makers.
8. Olivia Newton-John (Koala Blue Wines, Australia)
Leave it to an Australian to have her hands in critter wines. Olivia is just as cute as the Koala on the lable. Olivia may be the star of Grease, but maybe she should leave this to Yellowtail (and remember – friends don’t let friends drink Yellowtail).
Retail Price for Koala Blue Chardonnay 2002 (scarry, I know) $6.99 per bottle
9. John Lasseter (Lasseter Family Winery, Glen Ellen, CA)
John Lasseter’s name attached to a brand makes a difference. He’s the guy from Pixar that brought us Toy Story and other very well known kiddie films. At least it’s not a critter wine with Woody and Buzz on the label.
Retail Price for 2010 Amoreux Malbec Blend, $45.99 per bottle
10. Martha Stewart (Collaboration with Gallo)
Martha’s limited run of Gallo wines, added to her massive portfolio: Martha Stewart Living, K-Mart, insider trading, wine. The wine originally sold for $17.99, but as you can see below, it has since dropped.
Retail Price for 2006 Martha Stewart Vinate Chardonnay, $5.99 per bottle
11. Carlos Santana (Supernatural Rose, Napa, CA)
Did you know he also puts his name on shoes? I used to sell a ton of them when I worked at the shoe department. They’re kinda hot. Carlos has now put his name on Mumm’s sparkling rose. If it is anything like Mumm’s sparklers, this bottle should be delicious.
Retail Price for Supernatural Rose is $65.99 per bottle
12. Sofia Coppola (Blanc de Blancs)
Sofia Coppola is the “it” girl when it comes to fashion. She is the epitome of elegance. But sipping wine, (specifically sparkling wine) from a can through a straw? Really, is this what the world of wine is coming to? On a more serious note, her father’s (Francis Ford Coppola) wines are off the hook delicious.
Retail Price for Sofia’s Blanc de Blanc is $22.99 for a 4 pack
Retail Price for Coppola Director’s Cut Cabernet is $29.99 per bottle
13. Pope Leo XII (Vin Mariani)
Okay, this story is incredibly “old-school”, but it has never failed to grab my attention. His Holiness promoting wines. The Church isn’t really encouraging alcoholism, but they do enjoy their sacramental wine.
14. Bruce Willis (Seagram Wine Coolers)
I like Bruce Willis. He’s one of the best actors/action stars I’ve ever known. His performance in Pulp Fiction blew me away. But ever since I saw his video dancing and singing to his heart’s content about Seagram’s Wine Coolers, I can’t think of anything else.
15. Paris Hilton (Rich Prosecco)
All right, we all know that Paris Hilton can be…shall we say tasteless? Something tells me this canned sparkler will be the same. I say head over to Carl’s Jr, pop open a can and enjoy yourself a burger.
Retail Price for Rich Prosecco $3.00 per can
16. Kiss (Kiss This)
I love Detroit Rock City. Damned good movie. As a matter of fact, I rather like Kiss. Kiss wine, that’s another story. Kiss Fire is described as “KISS Zin Fire is a bold and fruity California Zinfandel — the result of a cool, long growing season that promoted fantastic flavor and a rich, jammy aroma. A brazen blend of blackberry and pepper gives the wine a hard-rocking kick and spicy smooth finish”. There’s no vintage on the site, ageing notes…I think I’ll pass on this one.
Retail Price Zin Fire $44.99 per bottle
17. Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn Wines, CA)
Poor Marilyn. She is the 3rd highest money-making dead celebrity. ” In 2011, she netted $27 million, losing out only to Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. Her face (and body) have been used to shill everything from mugs, to notebooks, and now wine. It could be because Monroe’s estate lost the right to charge for the use of her image, that’s right, you too can use Marilyn’s face to sell whatever you want. The wine boasts of a “peel and peek” feature where you can see Monroe’s most intimate parts as you drink the wine. Simply sad.
Retail Price Marilyn 2007 Velvet $139.99 per bottle
18. Whitesnake (Whitesnake)
♬ Is this wine, that I’m drinking? Is this the wine, that I’ve been searching foooooooor? ♬ Just could not help it. A little 1980′s hair band called Whitesnake is now making wine. It is required that you wear spandex, aqua net, and a Whitesnake tee shirt while drinking this wine. The wine is described as “a bodacious, cheeky little wine, filled to the brim with the spicy essence of sexy, slippery Snakeyness … I recommend it to complement any & all grown up friskiness & hot tub jollies”.
Retail Price Whitesnake 2009 Cabernet $40.00
19. Barry Manilow (Manilow Wines, Italy)
That winery site seriously needs a remake. On another hand, Barry has sold over 75 million records, and is one of the most respected artists of our time. Add to that a philanthropist. Manilow created this line of wines to raise money for the Manilow Fund For Health & Hope.
Retail Price Manilow Pinot Grigio $13.99 per bottle
20. Wayne Gretzky (Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery, ON)
Wine is not the first thing I think of when I see Mr. Gretzky . I can see say foot powder or grills or sneakers, but it wine? I guess since the guy’s retired already it’s cool. After all, we all need a hobby.
Retail Price No. 99 Cabernet Merlot 2010 $15.95 Per bottle
21. Yao Ming (Yao Family Wines, Napa)
Baller, humanitarian, really tall guy, and now winemaker. Yao Family Wines are made from grapes sourced in the Napa Valley which are then aged up to 18 months in 100% French oak barrels. Only the best lots were used in the final blend. Could be a slam dunk.
Retail Price Yao Ming Cabernet Sauvignon $128 per bottle
22. Drew Barrymore (Barrymore Wines, Venezie)
You know you love Drew. She went from child actress, to enfant terrible, and eventually became America’s sweetheart (Lindsay Lohan – it is not too late – please clean yourself up). Drew was inspired by her travels to Italy and decided to wine to honor her family. The bottle proudly sports the family crest.
Retail Price 2011 Pinot Grigio $18.99 per bottle
23. Jeff Gordon (Jeff Gordon Cellars, CA)
Four-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jeff Gordon sources grapes for his wines from Napa and Sonoma in California. He has brought on Napa’s August “Joe” Briggs as his wine maker. His wines do ok, 87 – 89 point ratings, so it may be ok for you to pick up a bottle. Just remember not to drink and drive.
Retail Price 2010 Leo Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir $56.99 per bottle
24. Dave Matthews (Blenheim Vineyards, VA)
I would have thought that Matthews would have been more into herb planting, maybe the vineyards are just a cover up. On a more serious (and crunchy note), the vineyards were designed to have as little impact as possible on the environment. Kristy Harmon who learned wine making at UC Davis and has a degree in biology is currently the wine maker.
Retail Price 2012 Vioignier $20.00 per bottle
25. Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt (Château Miraval, Côtes de Provence)
We hear this stuff sells like hot cakes. The vineyard is organic, and was once a recording studio where artists such as the Cranberries, Pink Floyd, and Gypsy Kings recorded music. It is now owned by Jolie & Pitt who paired up with the Perrin family to make this summer blockbuster. (90 points from Wine Spectator – not bad) ***Update – tasted the wine and it is good.
Retail Price Chateau Miraval Rose $22.99 per bottle
26. Adam Carolla (Mangria)
It’s Sangria, for him. Forget the pink beers and mommy wines, this time it is all about the fellows. Leave it to Adam Carolla to keep the men in mind. Man-gria is made with “premium” California wine and “all natural” flavors. Does it pack a punch? ABSOLUTELY…unlike your regular wines that measure in at 13% to 14.5%, Mangria hits an all time high of 20.9% so you can make sure to get a buzz on (and a sugar high).
Retail Price Mangia $17.99 per bottle
27. Kyle MacLachlan (Pursued by Bear Wines, Walla Walla, Washington)
Golden Globe Award-winning and two-time Emmy Award-nominated actor Kyle MacLachlan known for his role as Special Agent Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks) and as the mayor of Portland in Portlandia, is now known for his Cabernet Sauvignon which was named by Fred Savage (you know, Kevin Arnold in The Wonder Years) after the Shakesperean line in The Winter’s Tale. The wine is a collaboration between MacLachlan and vintner Eric Dunham. Guess Kyle knows about wine making, the wine recently received 92 points from Wine Spectator.
Retail Price Pursued By A Bear Cabernet 2009 $69.00 per bottle
28. James Bond (Bollinger Champagne)
James Bond and Bollinger have had a long time love affair. Yes, I know that he is a fictional character, but I just could not resist. Bollinger has been featured over and over again in Bond films. Here’s a list of all the Bollinger Champagnes that have been used in his movies:
007 Live and Let Die: Bollinger
Moonraker: Bollinger RD ’69
Octopussy: Bollinger RD
A View to a Kill: Bollinger ’75
The Living Daylights: Bollinger RD ’75
Licence to Kill: Bollinger RD ’79
Goldeneye: Bollinger La Grande Année 1988
Tomorrow Never Dies: Bollinger La Grande Année 1989
The World Is Not Enough: Bollinger La Grande Année 1990
Die Another Day: Bollinger ’61 & La Grande Année 1995
Casino Royale: Bollinger La Grande Année 1990
Quantum of Solace: Bollinger
In 2012, as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Bond, Bollinger released a limited edition Bollinger 002 for 007 which comes a Bond inspired box (it’s got a lock so you can make believe you’re Mr. Bond himself) and which contains a bottle of Champagne Bollinger 2002.
Retail Price Bollinger 002 for 007 $190 per bottle
29. Hillary Clinton Victory White 2012 (Seyval Blanc, NY State)
Clinton Vineyards loves the Clintons. They love them so much that in they came out with Victory White in 1992 to celebrate Bill Clinton’s election. In 1996, they repeated the vintage to celebrate his re-election. And again in 2008 for Hilary’s bid for the White House. They love her so much, they hope the 2012 vintage will convince her to run one more time. That better be some amazing Seyval Blanc…and apparently it is, it received Double Gold Medal at the Annual Hudson Valley Wine and Spirits competition.
Retail Price Clinton Victory White Seyval Blanc 2012 $18.50 per bottle
30. Nicki Minaj MIX Moscato
The fabulous Nicki Minaj has taken the most popular varietal in the “Urban” market and has put it out in 3 flavors: coconut, peach, and moscato, just in case you need that headache masked by sugar. You can check out its debut in Nicki Minaj’s ‘High School’ video featuring Lil Wayne.
Retail Price Nicki Minaj MIX Moscato $9.99 per 4 pack
31. EL James - Fifty Shades of Grey (California)
Yeah, because wine was “such an important” part of the book, we’ll be submitted to the torture of Red Satin and White Silk (cheese anyone?). If you’re really into kink, you can purchase the gift set which comes in a “Deluxe black gift box contains one bottle each of Fifty Shades of Grey White Silk and Fifty Shades of Grey Red Satin” for $45.99 ($10 bucks more for a silly black box,).
Retail Price 2012 White Silk $17.99 per 750 ml bottle, 2009 Red Silk $17.99 per 750 ml bottle