Have you had Snookie’s Silvaner, Flava Flav’s Furmint, or the New Bachelorette’s Beaujolais?
Not yet, but with the way things are going they will soon be at your neighborhood shop with a proper label from a high-powered marketing team.
They may come with a large, cartoonish clock, or be as simple as a new sexy wine marketing term like clean wine. Minimalist labels will have the celebrity’s name front and center with typography that is SO perfectly on-brand. Bonus: they will almost always have a winemaker from a notable winery “making” the wine to add a sliver of market viability (or a questionable veneer of substance).
Celebrities are crossing the rubicon in droves to not just drink on Instagram live, but lend their names to wines and build brands to add to their expanding portfolios. It’s easy to picture the marketing meeting that led to most of these celebrified wine projects.
Just a few months ago, I read that a certain celebrity wants to “create the defining brand of rosé Champagne,” and I laughed out loud. Then I looked into who is involved and it just made me sad.
I will always give any wine a fair shake, but I can’t look out into a multi-layered, under pressure beverage marketplace during this pandemic and not shiver at the reality show wines appearing on shelves in large quantities. I get the allure – these wines bring easy sales or there may be some new customers that call. But I ask you, what has happened to your conviction? What are you left with?
The moment Nate Ready makes a Napa Cabernet for Elon Musk (Flamethrower Cabernet?), I will concede. There might even be short term positives to the celebrification of wine, but there will no doubt be a hefty price to pay.
Sadly, I believe these reality show wines are in large part another symptom of a segment of the wine world that wants reality show wines of low substance, high celebrity, and barely-there soul.