Celebrity Wine: Brad Pitt’s Rosé Triumphs in “War of the Rosés”

celebrity wine

With the height of rosé season upon us and celebrity wines flooding the marketplace, this week I hosted a virtual “Celebrity Rosé Deathmatch” to determine which celebrity rosés were worthy of the vinous A-list.

With 471 households logged in via Zoom, I instructed the group on how to evaluate rosé wine and then presented the seven contenders. Under scrutiny were the pink drinks by Pitt & Jolie, John Legend, Francis Ford Coppola, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, and Post Malone. Attendees purchased the wines in advance of the tasting.

Participants voted through Zoom’s online polling system, and the results were as follows:

1] Miraval Rosé 2019 (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie) (29%) (winner)

2] tie) Hampton Water Rosé 2019 (Bon Jovi) (20%)

2] tie) LVE Cotes de Provence Rosé 2018 (John Legend) (20%)

4] tie) Maison No. 9 Rosé 2019 (16%) (Post Malone) (16%)

4] tie) Sofia Rosé 2019 (Francis Ford Coppola) (16%)

6] Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio Ramato 2019 (Mary J Blige) (8%)

7] Invivo X Rosé 2019 (Sarah Jessica Parker) (7%)

The Miraval was prized for its zesty, delicate personality and notes of red berry, melon, and tangerine. One could argue that this gorgeous rosé is one of the best things to come out of Brangelina’s marriage. Jon Bon Jovi and John Legend’s pink rosé also fared well in the competition.

I also asked participants to vote for the best rosé packaging. Francis Ford Coppola’s Sofia Rosé, named for Coppola’s movie-director daughter, won the day with its long, bowling-pin bottle shape and floral label. Close behind were the squat, cognac-shaped designs of John Legend and Pitt & Jolie. Also performing well was the slender, bat-shaped bottle and gothic design from relative upstart Post Malone.

1] Sofia Rosé 2019 (Francis Ford Coppola) (24%) (winner)

2] tie) LVE Cotes de Provence Rosé 2018  (21%) (John Legend)

2] tie) Maison No. 9 Rosé 2019 (Post Malone) (21%)

2] tie) Miraval Rosé 2019 (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie) (21%)

5] Hampton Water Rosé 2019 (Bon Jovi) (16%)

6] Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio Ramato 2019 (Mary J Blige) (11%)

7] Invivo X Rosé 2019 (Sarah Jessica Parker) (3%)

Despite some experts’ disdain for celebrity wine, all of these rosés had charm and refreshment value, even the ones ranked lower.

The next celebrity wine tasting happens on August 18th, when I hosts a “Celebrity White Wine Showdown” in which the white wines of Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Dave Matthews, Sting, Lisa Vanderpump, and Zac Brown will battle it out for supremacy.

Next week, on August 11th, I also host “Mind of a Wine Fraudster” with Peter Hellman, author of the award-winning In Vino Duplicitas. We will discuss Hellman’s research into the motivations behind the crimes of notorious wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan

These virtual tastings are free to those who register. To sign up or to see a full listing of virtual wine tastings, please visit this page.

Red Obsession review: Why All Winemakers Need an “8” on Their Labels

Red Obsession review: Why All Winemakers Need an “8” on Their Labels

red obsession

The moment in the captivating new movie Red Obsession when Chinese wine enthusiasts sprint to a tasting like oligarchs storming the entrance of Art Basel Miami or Gaga fans hurdling into a concert hall, you know you are witnessing a particular degree of infatuation.  Opening last week in in New York, this Russell-Crowe-narrated documentary transports the viewer inside the patrician world of Bordeaux wine and among the money-is-no-object Chinese collectors who have now supplanted their American counterparts as the leading importers of investment-grade Bordeaux.

The movie packs deep flavor into its 78 minutes, encompassing lush aerial sweeps of Bordeaux vineyards, candid commentary by wine pros such as the UK’s Oz Clarke and China’s Jeannie Cho Lee, and a front-row seat to the Chinese frenzy for prestige wine as both a tool for investment and a symbol of their newly-won wealth.

The movie also reveals a certain Bordelais ambivalence towards their voracious patrons in the East, some of whom are snapping up vinous treasures for pure speculative purposes, with no intention of ever wetting their lips.  China’s most coveted Bordeaux premier cru, Château Lafite Rothschild, however, evinces no hesitation; aware that “8” is a lucky number in Chinese culture, the estate shrewdly embossed the symbol for 8 on each bottle of ‘08 Lafite.  The price of that wine shot up almost 20% days after the labeling was announced.

The film also shows us the darker sides of this consumptive ardor, particularly the market bubble that has already begun to deflate and the growing scourge of counterfeiting.  And we learn that the Chinese aren’t content to merely buy; they are fiercely interested in cultivating their own vines and beat the French at the own game, converting vast stretches of their homeland with the aim of eventually becoming planet’s largest producer of fine wine. Indeed, visiting Shanghai a few months ago, I tasted a fruit of these new efforts and documented it in this video.

Red Obsession is the rare grape flick with broad appeal, a fast-paced swirl of the economic and social implications that attend China’s explosive demand for fine wine.  Ultimately it is about passion: the devotion that Bordeaux vintners have for their storied terroir and their determination to exploit the demand for it wherever they can, as well as the compulsion felt by China’s new rich to embrace symbols of Western success.

In one of the film’s funniest moments, we see how fervor for wine can take over for more carnal inclinations.  Explains Peter Tseng, sex-toy billionaire and irrepressible wine collector: “When I was younger, I preferred sex.  Now I prefer wine.”

“Red Obsession is currently in limited release in select American cities; check your local listings.  You can also download it now via iTunes and Amazon.