Growing crowd of celebrity wines take spotlight
FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2012 file photo, Brad Pitt, left, and Angelina Jolie arrive before the 84th Academy Awards, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Jasper Russo, the fine wine buyer for Sigel's wine and spirits store in Dallas, recently held a tasting of celebrity wines, including Miraval, a partnership between Jolie and Pitt and the Perrin French winemaking family. Miraval retails for about $24.99 and is made from grapes grown at Chateau Miraval, Pitt and Jolie's place in the south of France. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)
Fancy having Brangelina, Drew Barrymore and Dan Aykroyd over for dinner? No problem, they'll even bring the wine.
OK, maybe the stars themselves won't show up, but their wines will appear with just a wave of a credit card. You might start with an aperitif of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's new Miraval rose, move on to a light pasta dish served with Barrymore Wine's pinot grigio, then perhaps finish up with a glass of Aykroyd's cabernet franc ice wine for dessert.
It's hard to put a number on celebrity wines, a category that includes singers, sports stars, chefs and more. But Danny Brager, vice president for alcoholic beverages at market research firm Nielsen, says there's close to 100 on the market at the moment. "It keeps growing all the time," he said.
FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2013 file photo, Drew Barrymore arrives at BVLGARI's event celebrating Elizabeth Taylor and her magnificent BVLGARI jewel collection at BVLGARI Beverly Hills, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Fancy having Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Barrymore and Dan Aykroyd over for dinner? You might start with an aperitif of Jolie and Pitt's new Miraval rose, move on to a light pasta dish served with Barrymore Wine's pinot grigio, then perhaps finish up with a glass of Canadian Aykroyd's cabernet franc ice wine for dessert. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File)
With thousands and thousands of wines out there, having a recognizable name on the label can help. "Just breaking through the clutter can be hugely difficult and I think that's where a recognized name just in and of itself can help break through that clutter," said Brager.
Interestingly, the average price for all 750-milliliter bottles of wine in the Nielsen database is $9. Average price for celebrity wines: $20. That could be due to a number of factors, including the type of wine the celebrity is selling — some are drawn to high-end efforts. Still, "it's a significant gap," Brager points out.