When celebrities get involved in winemaking, it frustrates me.

In Uncategorized on May 10, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I’m not hating on anybody who is passionate about wine. And I do recognize that, as a general rule, anything that generates additional interest in wine amongst the general public is, in theory, a good thing.

Today I read that Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas has bought a vineyard in California. That means she is joining the likes of Maynard from Tool, Drew Bledsoe, Arnold Palmer, Dave Matthews Band, and I don’t even know how many other celebrities by getting involved in wine.

Before I voice my complaints, I would like to say that I am not asking these people to stop being involved in wine. I feel like I’m bitching here a bit.

My two primary complaints have to do with the way in which the celebrity influences the market. Drew Bledsoe has lent his name to a winery in Washington. I haven’t tasted the wines, and for all I know they are quite good. My complaint comes from the fact that people who come looking for the wines seem to do so because they like him as a football player, and therefore want to taste his wine. That just doesn’t make sense to me. I mean, come on, what does football or music or acting have to do with winemaking? Further to the problem is that, at least in the short term, the interest in the specific wine made by the celebrity doesn’t often translate into an increased interest in wine in general. Again to the Drew Bledsoe wines, if somebody comes looking for them, and I don’t have them, they’re not generally interested in other Washington wines that might be similar. That is very frustrating, because I want to help people find the things they want. If you took a vacation to Sonoma and you had a Pinot Noir that you really liked, I might not have the one you actually tried, but I have many others that you might also like. I you’re just a Fergie fan and you want to try wine from her vineyard, it’s not like I can say “Well, I don’t have that, but this other one is owned by Gloria Estefan, so it’s similar.”

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