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Bia Sasta

No whining about celebrities here!

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019 3:46pm

Bon Jovi played in Dublin last week to great acclaim and it reminded me that frontman Jon Bon Jovi is just the latest celebrity who has ventured into the wine business.

Hampton Water is a rose wine targeted at women (according to their own website) and is made in the south of France.

Graham Norton also joined the long list a few years ago and offers red, white and rose wine as well as a sparkling version. I have tried the red and it isn’t half bad to be honest. The label on the bottles is always a play on his name and it is easy recognizable – showing clever marketing has its place.

I read recently that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt also bought a vineyard in France and even after their split remain co-owners. Their first rose made it on the 100 List of Wine Spectators in 2013.

If memory serves me right, French actor Gerard Depardieu was the first celebrity to own a vineyard – with many people joking back then that he only got into winemaking to fulfill his zest for the grapes! He is well known in France for his passion of food and wine.

But it seems he started a trend that hasn’t stopped yet. I am always skeptical when I see the name of a celebrity on a label, not believing for one minute that Sarah Jessica Parker carries baskets of freshly picked grapes to the vat to crush them with her bare feet!

We live in a society where the name of a well-known celebrity can sell almost anything - including wine. Before we all start judging the book by its cover (or the bottle by its label), let’s have a look on why we should embrace the wines of celebrities as much as any other ‘normal’ wine.

Not one of them grow the grapes, harvest and prepare the juice that becomes the wine. But what they do is give a struggling vineyard the financial stability to continue producing wine.

Yes, they might be losing their original name but the wine is still made by experienced experts and deserves our consideration when choosing a wine.

A survey showed that most consumers choose their wine by the label, so choosing it because of the name of a celebrity is just the same.

Saying all that, wines like Barolo and Amarone get me awfully excited. They are worth the price tag, although only for special occasions (until I win the Lotto).

I also like a good riesling and in my mind the best comes from Germany.

France, Spain and Italy make amazing reds but Austria and Germany make the best white wines – that’s just my own humble opinion and I am sure many wine experts will not agree.

Over the years, I have learned one thing about wine – if you like the wine you are drinking, it’s your wine no matter what name is on the label or how high the price tag is.

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