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That Brangelina rosé? Cray cray


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard by now that a certain superstar movie couple has released a wine, a rosé, made from grapes grown at their Provence estate.

The wine is called Miravel. It is a Grenache-Syrah-Cinsault blend. On the back label it says Jolie-Pitt. I have a Google alert for the word “wine” and I can tell you that, over the past 2 weeks, I’ve received more notices about the release of this wine than for anything else, ever, over many years.

The world’s media has jumped on this like ants on honey. Now, I couldn’t care less about about a celebrity wine, whether it’s from actors or athletes or some billionaire like Donald Trump. I don’t like the celebrity-worship aspect of our culture; it’s tacky, although I realize that, since we don’t have monarchs like a lot of other countries, the incomplete nature of our national psyche needs to put somebody on  a pedestal in order for us to feel whole or connected to something bigger than ourselves. Why that should be movie stars, I don’t know–but I do think that something about wine lends itself to this celebrity worship.

I mean, we worship certain wines, don’t we? Mention Romanée-Conti in a roomful of Burgundy lovers and everything goes all quiet, as recently happened during a seminar at the World of Pinot Noir. A hush fell over the crowd, for a second, and then, immediately following it there arose a low murmur of exaltation. The Logos had been invoked, that which, although unpresent, represents the highest, most perfect. Religious metaphors and connections are unavoidable.

Romanée-Conti may be God incarnate in wine, but wine is not a monotheism. There are many deities in the kingdom of wine; as in Hinduism, there are lesser gods, but gods or goddesses nonetheless. Lafleur, Harlan Estate, Domaine Leroy, Lafite, Quinta do Noval, each rules over its domaine, each has its acolytes who would go to considerable lengths to please the goddess, although one would hope self-flagellation or animal sacrifice are not required.

Since there is something in wine that prompts this worship, and since we worship our celebrities, the combination of the two is irresistible. Celebrity Wine! These two words sum up the culture more than most others. Future historians might look back at our era and write treatises on the semiotics of Celebrity Wine. So many strands of thought and attitude come together to produce the phenomenon.

Even as I write these words comes the bulletin that “First Jolie-Pitt wine vintages sells out in hours.” Six thousand bottles, offered online, and poof! Gone. (Another 100,000 bottles had been pre-sold to merchants and restaurants.) And all that without social media! Brangelina didn’t tweet or Facebook or blog or do anything, so far as I know, although Perez Hilton did let his followers know all about it, calling the near-instantaneous selloff online “cray cray.”

Cray cray. I like that. Lots of things are cray cray these days. Have a nice weekend and don’t do anything cray cray and if you do, don’t get caught.

  1. Did WEWAWS review the wine before it sold out? Though I didn’t buy any, the first place I heard about it was Twitter. I can’t say anyone did buy because if SM, but how do you think a wine sells out online with no major pub review? There was tons of tweets about it before it was offered. To say no social media was used is ignorant and defying fact. Sure, 100,000 cases was wholesaled, but how do you think potential consumers are going to hear about it?

  2. Used to be called Pink Floyd Rosé but now they don’t need that very marketable name! It sold out before this vintage too, just not as fast I guess.

  3. Steve, Thank you for writing a post on Rose and not mentioning White Zinfandel once!

  4. Dear Doug Wilder, I didn’t mention white Zin but you did! Thanks.

  5. Rose and even dry white sins need to be mentioned more often! Steve, what CA roses do you find most interesting, why, and why don’t roses receive the attention (I think) they deserve?

  6. Should say white zin, but white sins is nevertheless funny…

  7. Oh my Gosh, it’s all so thrilling!

    Now that I’ve previously purchased some Heinekin beer, travelled to Japan to purchase some Edwin Jeans and to China to drive a Cadillac, I can now add some of his and Angelina’s Rose’ to my portfolio of products that make me feel so wonderful!

    Thanks to the marketing wisdom of celebrity endorsements, they make people feel so much more important, loved, envied and idolized. It doesn’t get any better than that!

  8. You mustn’t use “cray cray”, you simply mustn’t.

  9. i want to see some pictures of angelina scrubbing tanks. preferably in short shorts

  10. I had just a micro bit of interest in this wine when it was called Pink Floyd because.. well. Pink Floyd. After that so what? who cares?

    I understand it did get some mainstream pub as it was included in Oprah’s Stupid Celebrity Plonk of the Week Club along with Dennis Rodman’s Tuscan blend from his new Chateau in Pyongyang.

    Kyle, I’m sure Steve has many more but I can stongly recommend Rosé from the following California producers:

    Robert Craig
    Notre Vin
    Radio-Coteau (under the County Line label)
    Lagier Meredith
    Tablas Creek

    All are fantastic!

  11. george kaplan says:

    Gabe has the right idea, but I’d lean to Angelina stomping grapes in the classical manner, or for that matter Brad and Angelina… well, don’t let the Hosemaster get ahold of this.

  12. george kaplan says:

    And speaking of The Logos, who designed the bottle?

  13. george kaplan, I don’t know who designed the bottle but it sure is pretty.

  14. Samantha: I promise. Never again.

  15. I’m with Kyle, I heard about this (MANY times) via SM before the PR stuff started hitting my Inbox (days before, in fact).

    And about that DRC… I wanted to be a skeptic, but after attending the NYC tasting for the 2010 vintage, I can tel you that it really is *that f–king good* (to me, anyway!).

  16. 1WineDude, well, you knew where you were and what it was.

  17. Let’s just say it was totally cray cray 🙂

  18. K Gardner says:

    We’re it only so easy for those who actually make wine.

  19. WineKnurd says:

    Steve, I believe the wine is labeled Miraval, not Miravel. A lifetime ago I used to rep that wine and no one wanted to buy it because rose did not sell for $30+ in my market. Then l I told them about the recording studio and Pink Floyd. And they still would not buy it.

  20. K Gardner, as JFK said, life isn’s fair.

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