Slapping their name on a wine bottle is common practice among musicians and actors, and practically a rite of passage for pro golfers. For others, wine requires more than a rubber stamp. “I’ve always discounted celebrity wines,” says Drew Bledsoe, a former Pro Bowl quarterback and, since 2008, the owner of Doubleback winery. “Wine is not a candy bar. What’s in the bottle should drive the value, not what’s on it.” We recruited Patrick Cappiello, wine director at Pearl & Ash, a New York Bowery restaurant with a 3,000-selection wine list, for a blind test of more than a dozen bottles made by stars who get their hands dirty. Here are the six best.
The Wine: Blenheim Cabernet Franc, $18
The Celebrity: Dave Matthews, Dave Matthews Band
The Story: In 2000, the first vines were planted in Matthews’ Blenheim Vineyards, outside Charlottesville, VA, and managed by his brother. Matthews added a copper-roofed winery that he co-designed, another vineyard in 2007, and a third this year.
Cappiello's Bottom Line: "This is a wine for the fall. It’s earthy and has an autumn-harvest spiciness. It’s a wine that’s not too overpowering — an impressive effort."
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