Rarely does a story write itself. But it was bound to happen when I found myself attending a celebrity-wine tasting by Jasper Russo, the fine wine buyer for Sigels in Dallas, during the same weekend that Christy Lemire, a friend and the film critic for the Associated Press, was staying at my house.
Jasper planned for three flights of wines for a total of 27, which we tasted blind. Before we began, I asked Christy what she anticipated the persona of these wines to be. Interestingly, I discovered she wasn’t too far off on several once I started tasting them.
Jasper and I talked about how celebrity names often sell wine to people who don’t usually buy it. There is also a group of collectors who buy only for novelty.
When I first began collecting wine, somehow I managed to acquire 10 years of Marilyn Merlot wine. One day I opened them and wondered why the heck I gave these bottles so much shelf space.
Ironically, Christy’s quote for the Marilyn Merlot 2010 was, “So potent it will make you feel like your skirt is flowing up on a hot summer night.” Or not.
We kissed a lot of frogs during our tasting that day. Below are the best quotes or wine highlights.
Andrea Bocelli, Bocelli Family Selection, Prosecco Extra Dry NV
Christy: Very flowery. A light dessert wine to drink when socializing with friends not worried about taste.
Me: I am a big fan of Andrea’s prosecco. It is evident the Bocelli family has a winemaking background and is not just banking on his stature.
Christy: You can feel good about getting drunk because all the proceeds will go to the children they have yet to adopt.
Me: I really wanted to hate this Brangelina wine, but I couldn’t. In fact, it was in my top three. If you read my blog much, you know I am not a huge fan of rose.
Drew Barrymore, Barrymore Pinot Grigio 2011
Christy: Washes across your palate, and you will forget about it.
Me: Not a lot of there, there.
Reds, Beyond Just Cabernet
Maynard James Keenan, Arizona Stronghold Cabernet/Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2010
Christy: It will alter your DNA. (Tool fans will get it.)
Me: One of my favorites of the flight. Go Arizona.
Adam Carolla, Sledgehammer Zinfandel 2010
Christy: Direct, full-bodied with little nuance or subtlety.
Me: My second favorite of the flight. Changed dramatically in the glass. An interesting wine.
Sting, Tenuta Il Palagio Sangiovese, Cabernet, Merlot 2007
Christy: I hope that someone gets his message in a bottle.
Me: And it tastes better when they do. I do think this wine is better with food, so I’d be willing to give it another shot with some wines more in its genre.
Nigel Lythgoe, Villa San Juliette Syrah, Cabernet, Merlot 2011
Christy: It’s a little pitchy here and there, but he made it his own, and you look so pretty tonight.
Me: The package was pretty.
Charles Woodson, Twenty Four 2008
No quote from Christy, who didn’t know enough about Woodson to make a joke.
Me: I adore this wine. Had it on Valentine’s Day. It’s a splurge, but man it is good.
Drew Bledsoe, Doubleback Cabernet 2009
No quote from Christy. We tried a Saints fan, who gave us something we couldn’t use for a family publication.
Me: Drew clearly hired a great winemaker and is letting him do his thing. My second favorite of this flight.
Mario Andretti, Andretti Cabernet 2009
Christy: It will get your drunk very, very fast.
Me: And like a flash on the palate, it’s gone.
So, of the 27 wines tried, I marked down seven, which means 75 percent of these celebrities should keep their day jobs.