Celebrities have long been involved with the beverage alcohol industry, and the volume of celebrity brands continues to grow exponentially. On this episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” co-hosts Adam Teeter, Joanna Sciarrino, and Zach Geballe reflect on why celebrities get involved in the industry, and how their products resonate (or don’t) with the public.
For the Friday tasting, the three try out a popular celebrity wine — Snoop Dogg’s 19 Crimes Cali Red. Was it a celebrity wine worth buying again for the group? Tune in to find out.
Additionally, Teeter sits down with Sovereign Brands CEO Brett Berish for a conversation on his successful partnerships with celebrities like Jay-Z and Rick Ross. Berish talks about his approach to celebrity brand partnerships, why he doesn’t look at market research, and what it takes for a celebrity-backed product to find success.
Tune in, and learn more about Brett Berish’s Sovereign Brands at https://www.sovereignbrands.com/.
OR CHECK OUT THE CONVERSATION HERE
Adam Teeter: From VinePair’s New York City headquarters, I’m Adam Teeter.
Joanna Sciarrino: I’m Joanna Sciarrino.
Zach Geballe: And in Seattle, Washington, I’m Zach Geballe.
A: As a very iconic singer would say, “It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday.” Dude, what happened to Rebecca Black? Come on, Rebecca. Well, she’s on TikTok now. Anyway, she’s a celebrity, and what we’re going to talk about today is celebrities. We are going to talk about celebrity alcohol.
Celebrities have always been involved in alcohol, whether as spokespeople, whether as consumers, et cetera. Alcohol is a sexy space for celebrities to be a part of. They’re premium products. They’re lifestyle products. They’re fun. It feels like, in the last decade or even five years, the amount of celebrities getting involved in alcohol products has absolutely exploded.
Some have been massively successful. Some have been massive failures where someone came out with it and then you never heard about it again. What do you both think about celebrity spirits, wines, and beers? If a celebrity is involved with something, are you more or less likely to consume it or try it?
J: I find it just so curious how it’s been such a recent development and how many there are. I don’t find it more appealing when a celebrity is attached to a brand. I probably actually feel the opposite, because I’m really suspicious of the quality of it. That’s my take. I think it’s so interesting how it’s evolved from celebrities being spokespeople for a brand to being involved and having a cut of it.
A: There are definitely different ways you can go about it. You can either be the spokesperson that makes it seem like you have a lot to do with the brand. Matthew McConaughey is a great example of that. He’s the creative director of Wild Turkey. Wild Turkey’s already owned by Campari, though. He may have a stake in it. I have no idea at this point. I think he has his own line, too, with Wild Turkey. That’s a little different than starting the brand yourself a la The Rock or Conor McGregor, who then sold to Proximo. I was going to use Ryan Reynolds as that example, and then a lot of people on our team have reminded me that Reynolds didn’t actually start the brand. He came onto the brand a few years in, but then they cut him in and made him an owner of the brand.
J: Is that still the case?
A: Diageo owns it now.
Z: They sold it.
A: It sold for, like, $700 million. Clooney started Casamigos. Zach, what do you think? Are you more or less likely to buy because there’s a celebrity attached?
Z: I think there are maybe a couple different genres of celebrity alcohol products. In wine, you think of Francis Ford Coppola or someone like that. On the one hand, they never hid who was behind the winery. His name is on the bottles. The cachet of the product is, in part, that it’s a wine nominally made, or at least owned, by a famous director. At the same time, you could look at the winery and say, “OK, presumably Coppola was really into wine and decided he wanted to have a winery.” He was not hesitant to put his name all over it, but like —
J: He actually was. He didn’t want his name on it.
Z: Oh, that’s true. You guys interviewed him. Somehow, marketing people were able to get him over that. You don’t have to dig to figure out what celebrity is behind that.
Z: Then, there are these other things that fit into this weird middle ground. That’s like McConaughey with Wild Turkey. Obviously, Wild Turkey existed long before Matthew McConaughey was born. What a creative director does is hard to say. But, there’s obviously something more than just an endorsement going on there. Then, there are also the run-of-the-mill endorsements.
I don’t know that I have an answer to your question, Adam, other than to say that as a buyer at a restaurant, we certainly had Aviation Gin and Wild Turkey. We didn’t have a lot of these other products that are so clearly branded with a celebrity imprimatur.
What is fascinating to me is this: You think about this especially with hip hop music. We went from name-checking luxury brands as a way to prove your status — like saying “I can buy a Cristal” — to name-checking a brand that you own or are heavily involved with. That’s a whole ‘nother level of flex. It’s like saying, “I can’t just buy a Cristal, I also have my own Champagne.”
That kind of cachet and the way that it motivates consumption is fascinating. Maybe people still think, “I’m going to buy Ace of Spades because that’s what Jay-Z drinks and I want to be like Jay-Z.” That money’s going to Jay-Z, you know? It’s a great move. It’s savvy. Why should Roederer, who dissed you, get that money for Cristal when you can get that money. That’s pretty brilliant if you’re an entrepreneur. What I want your guys is opinion on is, are we getting to a point now where there are so many celebrity products that they no longer stand out?
J: Yes. There are so many of them. There’s this ranking that Aaron Goldfarb did in Esquire of 63 of them. That’s a lot, and it’s not even all of them.
A: He only did spirits. He didn’t even touch Cameron Diaz’s clean wine. Vera Wang has a Prosecco. John Legend has a wine. There is a lot. What’s interesting with these brands is that the only way they’re successful is if the celebrity actually lives and breathes them and feels very committed. Then, the brands actually do grow. Where they grow is not on, but off premise. They become huge off premise. A lot of these brands are massive off-premise brands. It’s people who love MMA and Conor. He drinks his whiskey in every press conference. He’s talking about Proper Twelve all the time. So, when they watch an MMA fight, they drink Proper Twelve. They’re not going to the bar looking for it. At the bar, I would guess Proper Twelve has still had a very hard time unseating Jameson, which is basically its direct competitor.
Same with Teremana. A lot of people probably have Teremana at home. Ken Austin, who created both those brands with Dwayne and Conor, told us when we interviewed him a few months ago that his belief is that if you don’t live the brand and are not fully committed, that he doesn’t want to do it with you because it will fail. A lot of times, there’s the belief among a person’s team that, “We’ve done this with perfume. We’ve done this with other things. Why would this not work with alcohol?” Alcohol is such a different beast.
When I’ve talked to some of the top executives at Diageo, Campari, and others, they’ve all echoed this. The only successful partnerships they’re ever had are when the celebrity is fully invested. Cîroc was, and is, successful because Sean Combs has a piece of the brand, is very connected to the brand, and really controls how it shows up in public. People know his attachment to it is authentic. Same with Matthew McConaughey. It’s a very authentic connection to Wild Turkey. People don’t see him as just this paid spokesman who’s trying to trade on his name. They really, truly believe he loves that bourbon.
Z: That’s the difference. You have to believe that the celebrity drinks the thing that you’re buying. In the luxury realm, if someone has a sponsorship with Burberry and they wear Burberry a lot, it probably helps. But, no one expects that’s the only clothing they’ll ever wear.
With beverage alcohol, it has to be plausible that the celebrity would actually drink this stuff. You can’t fake that. People’s detectors are good enough on that kind of stuff, that a product that does not align with a celebrity’s public image in any way would have a really hard time.
A: I think that’s 100 percent on point. It’s why Kendall Jenner got so much crap when she released her tequila. Everyone thought, “Drinking 1942 doesn’t mean that you know how to make tequila.” That’s great that she loves that product. It’s a great product, but that doesn’t mean she should be making tequila. That doesn’t mean people should believe she has any connection to it and that she’s going to be someone people believe is passionate enough about this, that she’s going to make a great liquid, which she probably is not.
Z: There’s also this cultural appropriation element to it, too. It’s going to be much more pertinent with something like tequila than with gin, say.
I have one other question in this space for both of you: Do you think that this social media age that we’re in now is part of the reason why this works? Celebrities just have such incredible followings. These days, that following is so unfiltered. You can literally follow them on whatever social media platform. It gives them that direct access that must be like a slot machine going off in a beverage alcohol company’s brain. They don’t have to pay for placement in a magazine or on TV this way.
If the celebrity’s got a piece of it, they’ll want to post about it because it’s money in their pocket. They can live it through social media, which is the only way any of us ever access them anyhow, and it feels authentic. Ten years ago, no matter how passionate someone might have been about a product, it was going to be very hard. You had to play ball with publications to get that message out. It was uncertain whether you’d reach your audience. Now, you know you can reach your audience because your audience is hanging on your every post.
J: I don’t follow Cameron Diaz on Instagram, but I peeked at her Instagram recently. It was all Avaline. She lives it.
Z: On social media, at least.
A: Why don’t we listen to this interview I did with Brett Berish of Sovereign Brands. He’s created Ace of Spades, D’USSE, Luc Belaire, and a bunch of really amazing brands with a bunch of very famous people, including Jay-Z and Rick Ross.
CONVERSATION WITH BRETT BERISH, FOUNDER AND CEO OF SOVEREIGN BRANDS
A: I am super excited to be talking to Brett Berish, who is the founder and CEO of Sovereign Brands. Brett, thank you so much for joining me.
Brett Berish: Thanks, Adam. Happy to be on.
A: Can you give me a little bit of background on yourself and on Sovereign?
B: Yes. I grew up in the liquor industry.
A: Are we talking about being born into it?
B: Born into it, in different capacities. I like to think that we’re third generation. My grandparents on my mother’s side were distributors in Madison, Wis. My dad worked for the same liquor company for 45 years. I have three older brothers and what we all remember best about being christened into liquor was when we were in first grade. We walked to school with bottles in our hands to take them to teachers as gifts.
A: That’s amazing.
B: We were always around it. I grew up in this industry based on my father. That’s all he ever talked about. He has a true passion for it.
A: That’s awesome. You’ve created some pretty famous brands. I’d love it if we could chat about that and what made you start Sovereign. You started Ace of Spades, which a lot of people are very well aware of now, thanks to Jay-Z. There’s D’USSE, which is his Cognac. How did that happen? How did you start creating these brands and how did you do it with someone like Jay-Z?
B: I’m in the liquor and wine space, so that’s all I know. I’m a fan of music. I’m a fan of sports. I couldn’t do music. I couldn’t do sports. All the brands were created for the industry, though. It’s based on me and my team thinking, “Can we make a product better? Can we do better in the Champagne category? Can we do better in the rum category? Can we do better in the gin category?”
The basis of all the brands are based on that. How we then roll them out and put ourselves into lifestyle, that’s organic. If I use a brand, like our Bumbu rum, it’s the No. 1 rum in Canada. No one from my company, and I, have never been there. With Jay or anybody else, everything is organic for me. I don’t want to force brands into anybody’s hands. I’m the guy who wants to discover things, and I think consumers want to discover things.
A: How did you get into collaborating with artists? There’s so many brands that want to be able to do that. There’s not a lot of people who’ve really ever done it and done it to your level of success. Someone may have done one brand with an artist and the brand doesn’t work for one reason or another. I have to assume, prior to Ace of Spades, you had done other things. How did that come about?
B: It’s such a tough question to answer. If you think about it, there are so many celebrities that have had brands and wine and spirits is one space. For so many celebrities, it hasn’t worked. I think that I’m fortunate in that the brands we create, there’s a place for them. They should exist.
When we worked with Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Post Malone, or A Boogie, it’s not like I knew these people. There wasn’t a relationship that I had with them before the brands. The relationship exists because of the brands. They found them. They drank them. They pursued them. It was something they already saw. Rick Ross was the biggest fan of Belaire, but Belaire was out for two years before I ever met Rick.
A: Oh, wow. I didn’t realize that.
B: It’s that way with all the brands. Sometimes celebrities get involved. I used to say that Martha Stewart was a huge fan of Ace of Spades. She has nothing to do with the brand but she loved the brand. It almost takes on a whole persona, but that’s what you want. That’s a good brand.
A: Right. In terms of something like Ace of Spades, was that something that you created initially and then got connected with Jay-Z, or was that something that you created together? In the legend of Ace of Spades, everyone tells that story of how Jay-Z decided to start drinking or making that Champagne. Is that legend true? Was it because he really didn’t want to drink Cristal anymore and wanted his own thing? And did he come to you?
B: One has nothing to do with the other. I was developing a brand. So, if I had you at my office, I would let you taste it and show you everything I’m doing. I like getting people’s opinions and reactions. We don’t do market research. It’s just very organic. Like a lot of things I do, people hear and talk about it. Ace of Spades existed, the Armand de Brignac, and Jay and his team heard about this brand as many other people did. They wanted to see and experience it. Fortunately, I didn’t give any bottles, because they’re expensive. He bought bottles, became familiar with it, and loved the brand. That’s normal in everything we do. People find it and discover it, just like my Canada example. They’re finding it, discovering it, and holding on to it. That’s what I hope for all our brands.
A: How much do you think packaging has to do — and how striking so much of the packaging of the brands that you create — with the finding and discovering process? A lot of times we want to believe packaging isn’t as important. We say, “Oh, it’s all about the liquid.” A lot of what makes your brands pop is that packaging. It’s what causes someone to take it off the shelf in the first place. How much do you think about that?
B: It’s huge for me. There’s two things, and they go hand in hand. There are gorgeous packages, designs, and bottles out there. If the liquid isn’t good, no one’s ever going to come back. There are brands that have tremendous liquid. What’s in the bottle is fantastic. If the package doesn’t stand out though, you may just never notice it.
To me, both sides matter. I’m the little guy. I’m competing against the Diageos and the Bacardis. I don’t have their money. Package becomes even more important because it’s the most important thing you have to try to stand out. I think we’ve done a good job. Again, it’s all organic. It’s all developed in house. We’re creating, what I always hope, is an iconic image and feeling. My goal is always that I want you to buy two bottles — one to put on the shelf and one to open. That’s my goal.
A: Nice. Do you try to have a relationship with someone attached to the brand in each brand you create? Do you want some of the brands you create to live without an association with Rick Ross or Jay-Z?
B: I’m not smart enough to know what works and what doesn’t. I can go back to my example that there are major celebrities in every single industry, and brands don’t work. For everybody who thinks that their next video they put on Instagram is going to go viral, it never does.
The way I build brands and the way I think about it is that my product is better than what I’m competing against. My job is to get people to taste it and see where it goes. I’ll give you an example in our industry that you’ll appreciate. There’s an expression. You sell it on premise to bars and restaurants to then sell at retail. That’s what everybody thinks. That’s the norm.
A: Right. On premise is what makes you famous, then you want everyone to buy an off premise. Totally. That’s the standard model that everyone uses.
B: Had I thought — for Belaire, for example — that it had to be an on-premise brand and that’s the only way it would ever work, I wouldn’t have realized the reality, which is what happened. We’re 10 years in and we’re 98 percent retail.
B: Everything is just about letting things breathe. See where a brand works and where it achieves success. Build on that. I think of that with everything I do. I’m not smart enough to know where it should go. I have a North Star. I know where I want to go, but how I get there is going to change every day.
A: It seems like you have a little bit of a specialty, right? You’ve done two Cognacs. You’ve done a bunch of sparkling. Is that because you love those products? It’s a sweet spot? How much are you looking at data to see where the opportunity is? I am always so curious how much someone like yourself, who is truly an alcohol entrepreneur and launching different brands, is looking at data and the market to figure out what that next brand is.
B: I look at no data.
A: Oh, wow. OK.
B: Nothing. I consume my brands. I was never a rum drinker until I started drinking rum. I was never a gin drinker until I started drinking it and learning about it. There’s no category that I’m not interested in. I just have to consume it and become familiar with it. Then, it becomes a question of, “Can I come up with a better product than exists? Can I come up with a story that’s better than something else out there that exists?” Because of my dad, I know whiskey so well. It’s easy to me. Only in the past year or so have we come up with what we think is going to make a difference, but I can’t force it. I’m not going to put out a brand just to put out a brand. The second thing I’d say is that the only thing I do look at is if everybody’s running one way. I don’t want to go that way. I want to go somewhere else.
A: So, everyone is circling around premium tequila right now. Is that what you’re saying?
B: Correct. A perfect example is rum. Bumbu is the single largest premium rum now in the U.S. It’s No. 1 in the U.K., Canada, Latvia, Czech. When we launched that five years ago, our industry told us, “Don’t do it. You should go to tequila. Tequila’s the hot thing.” To me. it’s not about that. I want to do things that we feel really good about what we created. It doesn’t matter the category. I think I can compete. It doesn’t matter the category as long as I have a discernible difference in a product.
A: Interesting. I’m curious about your thoughts. As someone that has launched so many great brands, done well, and has sometimes done it with celebrity partners, what do you make of this massive celebrity tequila movement? Do you think it’s a bubble that’s going to burst anytime soon? Do you think there are things about the spirits industry that people don’t realize who are getting in right now?
B: I’d love to give you a thoughtful answer. To me, it’s still about the product. It has to be a good tasting product. It has to have a story. I don’t drink brands because of somebody. I’m drinking the brand because I have a connection to it. I like the taste. That has longevity. It’s hard for me to answer because I don’t think like that. I only think about it from the perspective that it’s all about the brand. It’s not about who’s tied to it. It’s all about the brand.
A: The only person I think that is probably also as well known as you for launching brands like this is Ken Austin. He has said to us before — and it seems like you’re giving a similar answer — that it’s about the brand and for a lot of this, it’s about being all in. I think a lot of people who get involved in the alcohol world don’t realize how much of a grind it is and how much authenticity really matters. Do you agree with that?
B: Oh, completely. It’s history, authenticity, the taste profile, the look and feel. It has to have a connection. I remember 30 years ago, being at a club in South Beach with my dad, and someone ordered a bottle of Ketel One. I’d never heard of it before. I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. That became the brand I wanted to consume.
Consumers need a connection. They need a real connection to the brand. If you’re banking on celebrity, to me, that’s not it. I don’t know how to build brands that way. For every Conor McGregor, there’s 1,000 other ones that didn’t make it. I don’t know why his brand made it. No clue. I couldn’t give you an answer as to what’s the recipe for that.
A: Interesting. There’s a lot of noise from marketing executives that millennials and Gen Z aren’t brand loyal. They don’t care about brands anymore. Do you buy that?
B: No. Brands just have to have meaning to you. They have to have a soul. They have to have a connection. When we first did our brand with Ace, we didn’t have social media. It was built based on traditional block and tackling articles, magazines, newspapers, and blogs.
When we did Belaire, Instagram started coming. We thought, “Wow, that’s kind of neat. You get to see how people react to your brand.” Now, take Bumbu. Bumbu has more followers on Instagram than any brand of rum — more than Captain Morgan and Bacardi. They have billion dollar budgets. I don’t spend any money on advertising. I’m connecting with the consumer. To me, that means something. My brand has a meaning to them, just like it has a meaning to me. I tell people all the time, the way I think about our brands is that they’re my children. You’ve got to get them to learn to walk, talk, and position them. You need to see where they need help and where they don’t need help. That’s how I do it. Sometimes, not having a plan is a really good plan. As long as you can pivot constantly, you’ll get there.
A: It’s really interesting. When you have the idea for these brands, where do the names come from?
B: For the names, the bottles, and the icons, I’ll see something. I’ll have an idea. I’ll think of something. Then, I park them. Take Bumbu. When we were learning about rum, I ended up learning that in the 14th century, when merchants who traveled the West Indies drank rum, they didn’t like the taste of it. That was called grog. That was their normal rum. They started blending their own and they called it bumbu. It’s almost like you’re birthing an idea from that. You get it. That’s where the inspiration came from.
Villon’s story is just so cool. In the 14th century, there was a poet named François Villon in France. He was an iconoclast who went against the grain. He fought against bad cops and the government. He was kicked out of Paris. He ultimately was killed by a monk. Some people think the word villain comes from Villon. That’s the brand’s soul. It’s going against everybody else in this category. The names, bottles, and designs are all done in house. They’re all critical to me in how you build that loyalty with a consumer.
A: That’s really fascinating. Well, Brett, it has been really interesting to talk to you. I really appreciate you taking the time to tell us a little bit more about yourself and the brands that you’re building. I think all the people who listen are familiar with at least one, if not many of them. I love the way that you talk about how you’re thinking about the brand, how it fits into people’s lives, and that attachment. I think a lot of people who listen are probably pretty jealous that you don’t spend any money on advertising. So, congrats to you for all that success. Thank you so much again for joining me.
B: Thanks, Adam. Really appreciate being able to talk about our industry. New brands are the lifeblood of the industry, so I love it.
THE VINEPAIR TEAM TRIES SNOOP DOGG’S 19 CRIMES CALI RED WINE
A: That was a super-fun interview. Brett was really great. Let’s jump into this, though. There’s a lot of celebrity wines we could have chosen to taste today, but the one we all have in front of us is Snoop Dogg’s. It’s just been everywhere recently. It’s called 19 Crimes. This is a perfect example of a collaboration. I don’t think Snoop has any ownership in this. He probably gets paid very well.
Z: Treasury folks, I know you listen, if you want to let us know exactly what you’re paying him, that’d be cool.
A: Seriously, Treasury. Hook us up. It jumped every other 19 Crimes, which was already wildly successful. This is what I see now, everywhere. I think he’s come out with a rosé, too, which also proves that this has got to be the most successful in the entire line. I’m standing for this.
Z: Is that out of respect, or what?
J: He’s only associated with his picks, right? Like, the Snoop Cali Red?
A: Yeah. The other 19 Crimes with a guy from Australia is how the brand started and then they connected with him. I think that this is way more successful than anything else. Don’t quote me, if you want to email me and tell me, Adam, you’re wrong, cool. I think it is very successful. I’ve never had it before.
Z: Let’s talk a little bit about this. Everyone has seen this bottle, presumably, if you’ve ever been in a grocery store before.
A: It’s full black. You can’t see the wine in it.
Z: It’s definitely a matte finish, a little translucent. It fits the broader 19 Crimes look, but it’s also very distinctly its own thing. That’s in part because it’s got Snoop Dogg’s face on it, which is pretty recognizable.
A: Literally the foil around the whole neck says “Snoop.”.
Z: The cork, if you haven’t gotten it open yet, has his visage on it as well, which is cool. That’s going in my cork collection.
A: It’s a little weird quirk at the top.
Z: I’m actually mildly surprised that this wine has a cork. This might have been a thing that would have made sense with a screw cap.
A: Oh, my gosh. It’s hilarious. As you’re pulling the cork out, it’s his face.
Z: Oh, yeah. Snoop stares at you. We’ve been doing this whole recording with him kind of glaring at me. It’s mildly intimidating.
A: It’s kind of cool.
Z: It’s very, very dark in color, unsurprisingly.
A: It’s very purple.
Z: Joanna, have you tried it yet?
J: I have not.
Z: And Adam, you have not tasted it yet, right?
A: I have not tasted it.
Z: OK. Joanna, do you think this wine will be sweet or not?
J: Oh, I don’t think it will be sweet. Is it sweet?
Z: Well, taste it and tell us.
A: Are you quizzing everybody or just Joanna?
Z: OK, do you think it will be sweet, Adam, or not?
A: I think it’s going to be sweet, but deceptively so. It’s going to have sugar, but it’s not going to be in your face like Moscato. Now, do I taste it?
Z: Yeah, go for it.
J: It’s sweet.
A: It’s sweet, but like I said, it’s deceptively so. This wine is very well engineered.
Z: Oh, yeah.
A: This is a flavor lab, we’re going to figure out how to deliver this at exactly—
J: Like blending? Is that what you mean?
A: Oh, they are doing a lot more than that.
Z: Oh Joanna, you sweet summer child.
A: This wine is sweet. It’s almost no tannin.
Z: And almost no acidity. It’s very, very smooth.
A: This is what someone thinks of when they say they want a smooth wine. It’s super dark. This is like crushed velvet.
Z: My thinking on this wine when I first tasted it is that their inspiration for this wine was, “How do we make a $12 bottle of the Prisoner?”
A: That’s 100 percent what that is.
Z: The Prisoner is not this sweet. It has more tannin, but it has that very smooth blended fruit character. I interviewed the winemaker, Chrissy Wittmann, a while back. She talked about how one of the huge things for Prisoner is that they know that their drinkers want to drink the wine right away. They’re not going to age it. The tannins have to be very supple and integrated. They go for a lot of fruit ripeness, and that’s what they’re going for. Maybe all of 19 Crimes is trying to piggyback a little bit on that vague esthetic. But, this feels to me like, “What can we make that we can sell that’s basically the Prisoner, but we can sell it in every gas station and grocery store around the country?”
J: Maximally appealing.
Z: It’s not bad. My wife was very curious to try it. She said, “This is the kind of wine that if someone invited me over to have wine and chocolate, this is the wine they should serve me.”
J: Oh, interesting.
Z: I think it’s a good point. It’s a good wine for that kind of thing.
A: It has a little acidity, but you’re right. There’s not a lot of oak either.
Z: The other thing about this … there’s almost no aftertaste to this wine. It’s gone almost instantly. What does that make you want to do? It makes you want to fill the glass and drink again. It’s a drink-the-whole-bottle kind of thing.
A: This wine is so engineered. It’s crazy. Wow, this is awesome. I feel like we didn’t hate it. I would not buy it, but I also really understand why people love it. I didn’t think it was disgusting. I don’t hate it. Zach, I think your wife is right. If you had a wine and chocolate event, I could get down with this. It’s an interesting beverage. To me, is it an interesting wine? No. It’s an interesting beverage, though.
J: Maybe I’d mull this wine.
A: Ooh, yeah.
Z: I think it could be a great wine for sangria. It’d be a great wine for making a New York Sour, a cocktail with red wine.
A: Or a Kalimotxo.
Z: It’s cool stuff. Glad I finally had an excuse to try it. I’ve seen it sitting out in the grocery store for years now.
A: Me too. Well guys, talk to you Monday.
J: See ya.
Z: Sounds great.
Thanks so much for listening to the “VinePair Podcast.” If you love this show as much as we love making it, please leave us a rating or review on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever it is you get your podcasts. It really helps everyone else discover the show.
Now, for the credits, VinePair is produced and recorded in New York City and Seattle, Washington, by myself and Zach Geballe, who does all the editing and loves to get the credit. Also, I would love to give a special shout-out to my VinePair co-founder, Josh Malin, for helping make all this possible and also to Keith Beavers, VinePair’s tastings director, who is additionally a producer on the show. I also want to, of course, thank every other member of the VinePair team who are instrumental in all of the ideas that go into making the show every week. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll see you again.
Ed. note: This episode has been edited for length and clarity.