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.