Celebrity Wines are Gaining Acceptance, Critical Acclaim

The Academy Awards are coming March 7, so it’s the perfect time to mention wines bottled by celebrities and the food that might complement them well at an Oscar party. They include:

Fess Parker Winery — They were not exactly born on a mountaintop in Tennessee, but after the “Davy Crockett” actor began to make wines decades ago, he led a trend that continues in earnest. Parker’s wines, particularly his 2006 pinot noir “Clone 115” have sold well around the country.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery – “Godfather” director Coppola bought the former Inglenook winery and started to make wine in 1978. Now located in the Alexander Valley, his 2001 Niebaum Coppola Rubicon Proprietary Red was extremely well regarded. It goes for about $125 at fine restaurants and retailers.

Dan Aykroyd Wines – Niagara wines produced by the Canadian funnyman are new to the U.S. and quite inexpensive, but his 2005 Cabernet-Merlot has people north of the border talking positively. It sells for about $20 online.

Lorraine Bracco – The “Sopranos” actress received universal praise for 2003 Brunello di Montalcino, her version of one of the classic wines of Italy. It’s a bargain at about $20 in finer restaurants, retailers and online.

Mick Fleetwood – The Fleetwood Mac rocker’s 2001 Chardonnay has been called a “classic.” It’s available for about $30 online and at larger retailers.

GTS Vineyards –George Thomas Seaver used to produce fastballs; he now puts out small amounts of high-end wine, like Nancy’s Fancy cabernet sauvignon, named after his wife. Some have said Tom’s 2005 version is, well, terrific. It sells for about $65, online and through the winery.

Other celebrity winemakers include:

Mario Andretti

Nick Faldo

Jerry Garcia (yes, the late Grateful Dead musician)

Vince Neil (Motley Crue)

Olivia Newton John

Greg Norman

Smothers Brothers (Remick Ridge Vineyards)


Celebrities who do not own vineyards, but whose names are used on wines:

Celine Dion

Bob Dylan



Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn Merlot)

Rolling Stones

Elvis Presley (Graceland Cellars)

Barbra Streisand


Toasting a cause: Charity Wines pair athletes, others

Brevardian Tim Wakefield was among the Boston Red Sox players whose names first appeared on Longball Cellars wines in 2007 in conjunction with wines sold to benefit charitable organizations endorsed by the . Since that time, its umbrella organization, Charity Wines has bottled “Baseball,” “Football,” “Hockey” and “Wrestling” wines endorsed by various stars. For more information, go to: www.charitywines.com


Want a quick, no-bother go-with for those celebrity wines on Oscar night? Head for the cold-cut counter at your local supermarket or butcher shop.

Try to serve meat and cheese that complement the wines with which they’ll be served – mild flavors with other mild flavors, spicier or bolder flavored meats with full-bodied wines, and wines from geographical areas with fruits, meats and cheeses from there too.

Some combinations that can be served on bread or crackers:

–Mortadella and cheddar or double Gloucester (with chardonnays/cabernet sauvignons)

— Prosciutto and rose (pinot grigios, pinot noirs)

— Serrano ham with Manchengo (sherries, tempranillos)

— Rare, lean roast beef and gouda (perfect with Sangiovese)