Thursday 11 July 2013

Celebrity Wines - The Sediment Selection

So in a desperate attempt to make some money, I have decided (I haven't told PK yet) to get into the online celebrity wine retailing business. And no, this has nothing to do with the Francis Ford Coppola range, or the Ernie Els range, or (tragically) the AC/DC range, or indeed anything that might actually involve growing grapes or making wine or getting anyone's consent. 

No, the idea came to me, like the smell coming off a rubbish tip in July, to take the cheapest wholesale grog I could find and simply append any name to it which has a slightly wine-flavoured resonance – to the credulous, inattentive and hard of hearing, at least – and at once quadruple the throughput of interested parties to the retail website.

How does it work? You ask. 

Well, take a look at these examples:

Mel Blanc, a dry white, made of absolutely anything (Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc) as long as it embodies the cheeky comedic brilliance of the late Mel Blanc, The Man Of A Thousand Voices - among them Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Barney Rubble. A fun-loving, often hilarious wine, bright, with a subtle nose and a crisp finish, perfect served chilled as an apéritif, or just to while away those balmy summer evenings. Online price: £5.99 a bottle, or £4.99 if you buy more than two.

Robert Graves 2010, another white, but a very different beast from the Mel Blanc. This comes from the workbench of Luc Grenouille - one of the Bordeaux region's most exciting wine makers - a classic yet modern Graves, dense with peachy overtones and grassy undertones, a fine wine to accompany a reading of I, Claudius or The White Goddess, but not, on balance, Goodbye To All That. Complex, occasionally unsettling, the Robert Graves 2010 is a wine that will get people talking. Online price: £10.99 a bottle, or £11.99 if you buy a case, as the cardboard's surprisingly expensive.

Nick Cave: a selection of thunderous, doom-laden reds (Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Shiraz, mainly) and grinding, industrial whites (mostly Sauvignon Blanc, some paraffin) from this Australian cellar, which has been turning out spectacular wines for over thirty years. The Nick Cave range is not for the faint-hearted, nor for the inexperienced. Mature drinkers, though, will find much to enjoy in these wines, ranging from £1.49 to £149.99 a bottle, all presented in uniformly unlabelled black glassware. Not to be confused with Nicolás Cava, a different drink altogether.

Merle Oberon: a tribute to the lovely, late, movie actress, this soft, velvety Merlot, with keynotes of berries and plums, is made from grapes grown all over the world - a gesture to the international, jet-setting, sometimes tragic, lifestyle of the star of such classics as Aren't We All?, First Comes Courage and All Is Possible In Granada. It's an easy-drinking, quietly glamorous red, with a picture of Miss Oberon as Lady Blakeney from The Scarlet Pimpernel on the label. Best enjoyed at room temperature, with one's hair in a chignon. Online price: £7.99 a bottle.

Vin Diesel - a range of reds, white and rosés specifically aimed at the younger, blockbuster movie crowd. Any one of the Vins Diesel will be certain to delight, stimulate and intoxicate its consumer, leaving his or her ears ringing and with a head like a cement block. No-nonsense, lock-and-load, take-no-prisoners reds are Shiraz with 10% Mourvèdre; no-nonsense, lock-and-load, take-no-prisoners whites are Pinot Gris with 10% Viognier; no-nonsense, lock-and-load, take-no-prisoners rosés are dilute Red Bull with 20% antifreeze. Online price: £4.99 a bottle, £3.99 by the case. The safety catch is off with these bad boys! (Proof of age required)

You get it? In the confusion that invariably attends buying anything online, I can simultaneously befuddle authentic wine purchasers, littérateurs, movie buffs and music fans into paying for something they neither need nor want, merely by making my assets work harder. I would also add that I welcome further suggestions in this line (no Ron Burgundies or Freddie Mercureys, please, we want to keep it real) with a share in the profits for any workable ones. Remember, though, the idea's mine.



  1. vin diesel could also be a particularly petrol-y reisling

    1. Good idea, but wouldn't it be lost on the target audience?

  2. Quincy, a bottle of Loire Sauvignon with a picture of the crime-fighting doc on it.

    1. Ah, but I'm only stealing the identities of real people - but now you mention it, how about Quincy Jones?

  3. Who, apart from perhaps Ozzy Osbourne in his bat eating days, would EVER order a bottle of Vin Diesel?

  4. Terrific post! Just a great idea! And a laugh . . .

  5. An animated exchange on Twitter – thanks @Bob_ByTheBottle @RVimmerstedt @GeordieClarke and @ebottle – came up with the following further suggestions:

    Ralph Fines
    Morgon Freeman
    Julienas Assange
    Beaujolais Jackson
    Fats Dominus (and the Spanish version, Placido Dominus)
    Marcel Meursault
    Brigitte Bordeaux
    Kaye Syrah
    Danny La Rouge
    Kate Wineslet & Ray Winestone

    1. I would just add that these are very well (or some of them are) but we must be scrupulous and stick to real or professional names, otherwise where are we? Chris de Bourg? Dame Margaux Fonteyn? And if we allow those, what next? Movie titles (Sauvignon Private Ryan)? Bestselling fiction (Fifty Shades of Pinot Gris)?


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