Are celebrity wines any good?

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by Nishelle Turner, CNN

azfamily.com

Posted on July 5, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 5 at 12:20 PM

Poll:
Have you tried any 'celebrity wines'?

(CNN) -- Celebrity wines -- sublime or swill? I talked to the experts -- and the public -- to find the answer.

From Brad and Angelina to Sting and Drew Barrymore more and more celebs are pouring their star power into wines.

"Let's face it, some of them are in it for the money. But I think the serious ones really love the product,"
Wine Spectator magazine's executive editor Tom Matthews said.

And the public is guzzling it down.

"They want a little piece of a celebrity and a bottle of wine is a nice way to get that,"
Matthews said.

But let's keep it real: are any of these wines any good?
Wine Spectator magazine's expert taster James Molesworth poured us a few, starting with Brangelina's rose.

"We gave this wine 90 points," he said. "We thought the quality was there, the flavors are beautiful, it's fresh, it's delicious, it's an excellent wine".

Molesworth gives high marks to wines from Sting and Francis Ford Coppola. And he says South African golfer Ernie Els really hit a hole in one with his cabernet.

"Black currant, plum, it's dark, it's smoky. There's a lot of richness here, but despite all that power and depth, it's got a nice silky feel to it," he said. "Very stylish, very long."

What about the other celeb wines, though? What does the typical wine-drinker make of them? We found our answers at a blind tasting of celebrity wine at K and L Wines in Hollywood.

Rocker Dave Matthews' cabernet was a hit, as was Italian tenor Andreas Bocelli's prosecco. Drew Barrymore's pinot grigio also had some admirers.

"Good minerality to it, but also a really sort of richness, a rich flavor to it," one taster said. "I liked it."

But not all fared so well. Some found ex-porn star Savanna Samson's sangiovese unappealing.

"I'm not enjoying eight at all," one taster said.

And what about Brangelina's highly sought-after rose?

The reviews were mixed.

"It was pretty unremarkable, yeah," one person said. "It didn't have much of a nose for me and wasn't real flavorful."

"Oh, I love it, I love it. It's lighter than what I expected, but it's really sweet and nice. Refreshing," came another opinion.

Fergie's "Fergilicious," a red blend, also polarized the tasters.

"Terrific. The red blend, full-bodied, lovely, actually," said a fan. "Great job, whoever did that one. Spot on."

"I was able to swallow one sip, but I quickly dumped the rest. It tasted like evil," said another taster, who was less than impressed.

"It just kind of smacked you and punched you in the face," agreed another woman. "Do I have a black eye? Just wondering."

By and large, most of the people we talked to were underwhelmed.

"Throwing money at wine doesn't make good wine seemingly. If all these are made by celebrities, none of them have stricken me as, 'Whoa, that's incredible,'" one taster said.

"Maybe the celebrities should taste the wine before they put their name on the label," one taster put it bluntly.

Sounds like sour grapes.

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