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: Cabernet Sauvignon, $89
The Celebrity: Drew Bledsoe, Pro Bowl Quarterback
The Story: Bledsoe, his wife, and Leonetti Cellar’s Chris Figgins make up the full blending committee at Doubleback, in Walla Walla, Washington. Bledsoe is also the general manager, but Figgins is “head coach and quarterback,” says Bledsoe.
Cappiello's Bottom Line: "This is a hearty winter wine. There’s structure in the wine and tannin — good for fatty meats. But it’s a bit overpriced."
Credit: Steven Senne / AP