For some time now, members have been asking if we could take a look
at wines endorsed by celebrities. It’s a huge market but is it a gimmick to
make a fast buck or is there actually something in it? There are well over
100 celebrity wines to choose from, we took a look at a few in our
November Wine Club Meeting.
Our first wine was from one Kylie Minogue’s selections, a Pink
Prosecco. Like Kylie herself, this has a great following, with over 7
million bottles sold last year in the UK! Very drinkable and went down
well with most members. Think fresh and frothy raspberries with
pear but not too sickly!
We then moved on to Graham Norton’s Sauvignon Blanc. This is a wine
that was already established in 2008 by two Kiwi wine makers. One day
whilst visiting London they decided to “invite” themselves on to the
Graham Norton Show, with the offer of some free wine…..a few bottles
later and Graham accepted their offer of endorsing the wine! This is well
made and shows all the characteristics of a good New Zealand SB! With
over 2 million bottles sold a year, we would tend to agree.
We left Graham and headed over to South Africa, for a Chenin Blanc
called Big Easy – a reference to Earnie Els, once the worlds number one
golfer. He teamed up with Louis Strydom, an infamous wine maker in
South Africa to produce to exceptional wines. Mainly, some would say
because Louis only signed up on the basis that Ernie stuck to his golf and
he took care of the wines! The result is a lovely fresh wine full of early
spring jasmine and topical peaches. Try is as something different to kickstart your dinner party this Christmas.
We next went to James Martin’s Chardonnay Marsanne blend. My Favorite
wine of the evening although it was not to everyone’s taste! 80%
Chardonnay gave the wine both floral and fruity citrus notes but with a
balance of Marsanne, you get some buttery notes. Time has been taken to
allow this wine to ferment in barrels with some aging on the lees (the yeast
and stems that are found with the wine during fermentation), giving it
more complexity and a sophisticated taste.
You can’t have a celebrity wine evening without a wine from Brad and
Angelina’s Miraval estate. This was a Rose, Cotes de Provence. As is well
documented, their split several years ago means neither have too much to
do with the wine but it still gets 89 points in Decanter. This wine is very
good with savory red fruit and peppery spice, accompanied by a pounced
prickly acidity – well what else would you expect!
Next we tried an organic wine by Gary Barlow. He has several in his range.
This wine comes from central Castilla region and is very pleasant,
displaying notes of small hedgerow fruits, herbs and dark cocoa. If you are
having a meat board or tapas then this wine is well worth a try!
We moved on to a wine from Gordon Ramsay, called Intenso Rosso. Like
Gordon, you would expect it to pack a punch and we were not
disappointed! Made by Alberto Antonini, it comes from Tuscany and is a
blend of grapes that produces a dark fruit taste with herbs and spices but a
crisp acidity. Complex and really good value for money, this was well
received by the members.
For our final wine we went back to Erney Els and his Major Series wines
from Stellenbosch. 100% Cab Sauv, this was not a Bordeaux classic but it
stood out in its own right, with aromas of warm blackberry crumble
pudding and sharp ripe cherry, finished with a touch of oak.
This month also saw the sad passing of a hugely loved Wine Club member
and a great supporter of our Village, Simon Powell. We raised a glass to
Simon with a very kind donation by Hilary of some 1966 vintage Taylor
port. Like Simon, this wine was exceptional and will never be forgotten!
We did only try a few celebrity wines over the evening but for some there
was more than just a name behind the wine and with the amount of wine
consumed by the younger population falling, it may well be that this is just
one way of keeping wines going – it would be a shame to loose such variety!
If you would like to come along and try our Wine Club then please go on to
our website for more details www.uptonwineclub.co.uk