Bigwig booze and celebrity sauce

After a weekend that I can only describe as ‘nocturnal’, my attention has been captured by the rising trend of brewing, distilling and winemaking by celebrities, from A list to Z list. As with perfume, this is an opportunity for some superstars to bolster their personal brand by plastering their name all over something that they’ve had very little to do with at consultation or production level. But for others, it’s the chance to turn an idle pastime into a money making venture.

One such success story is Vida Nova wines, made by Sir Cliff Richard on his Algarve estate, Adega Do Cantor, which won 3 gold medals at last year’s Challenge for the Best Wines of the Algarve having been judged by a panel of highly acclaimed critics. According to the official website, “Sir Cliff is very much involved in producing the wine. When in Portugal he is often seen getting his hands dirty in the vineyard or indeed his feet dirty in the winery.”

‘Congratulations’ (love it) Sir Cliff, but you ain’t the only one. Drew Barrymore, via Barrymore Wines, has a gold medal-winning Pinot Grigio. And Gerard Depardieu, known most recently for being obnoxious and incontinent on board a flight from Paris to Dublin, regularly sticks his impressive snout into a glass or two produced from his numerous vineyards in Bordeaux, Languedoc, Algeria, Argentina, Morocco, Spain, Sicily and the US.

Turning our attention from vino to some stronger stuff, Rapper P. Diddy has his own vodka label, dubbed CÎROC. Apparently, what makes this vodka stand out is the fact that it’s made from grapes, rather than the typical grain or potatoes. Celebs owning vodka brands has become pretty commonplace, since the spirit is easy to make but requires a fair amount of marketing success to break through. Marilyn Manson surprised the drinks world when he released Mansinthe, an Absinthe label that has been lauded for its complex flavours. Rock UR Party reckons that, not for novice drinkers, this stuff is heavy on the herbs, anise and alcohol content. Like his music, you might want to approach it with caution. We might advise the same with regards Paris Hilton’s fascinating Prosecco in a can effort (see image above).

If beer is more your bag, according to Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, Elbow’s ‘build a rocket boys!‘ is worth a look. Cask ale enthusiasts themselves, the multi-platinum selling Manchester band were involved right from the initial tasting at Robinsons Brewery in Stockport to the official launch at Manchester’s Food and Drink Festival 2011, where the bearded musicians appeared behind the bar pulling pints for music and beer fans alike.

We reckon, in the name of brand research, some of these are probably worth a taste. We’ll get back to you with the results… *staggers off, stage right*

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