All products featured on Bon Appétit are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Can you even call yourself a celebrity these days if you don’t have your own wine label? From Bon Jovi’s Hampton Water rosé to Boyz II Men’s Harmony label, musicians, athletes, and actors are slapping their names on bottles faster than you can say, “Although we’ve come to the end of the road, still I can’t let go.” But are any of these celebrity wines actually worth buying? Much of that has to do with which winemaker the celeb chooses to partner with, because we’re pretty sure Cameron Diaz is not determining which pruning techniques to employ for her “clean” vegan wine brand. When the juice is good—as in the case of designer Rosie Assoulin’s Vivanterre wines, which are produced by natural wine heavy hitters Patrick Bouju and Justine Loiseau—it’s because the A-lister lending their name to the brand has had the good sense to tap a legit expert. Below, sommelier André Mack weighs in on three celebrity wines that deserve a spot on your table—and for his dunks on the bottles that didn’t make the cut (sorry, Snoop), watch the full video below.
Of all the celebrity wines tasted, Three by Wade wins Mack’s top spot. It’s a California white wine—specifically, 95% Chenin Blanc with a smidgen of Viognier. Chenin Blanc, most often associated with wines from the Loire Valley, is a versatile grape with good acid that Mack says, “all the cool kids are drinking these days.” For his label, Wade has partnered with Napa winemaker Jayson Pahlmeyer. “He has serious people on his team,” Mack notes. “These are real ‘wine legend’ people.” Three by Wade is refreshing and aromatic with notes of honeydew melon, honeysuckle, and a hint of chamomile on the nose. “It’s a great expression of Chenin Blanc in America,” says Mack. “This is wine for people who want to experiment with something different.”
Emoji Rating: “Three basketballs 🏀🏀🏀, because this one is ballin’”
This is a Lambrusco—a sparkling red wine from the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy—by Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan. “Lambrusco gives you all of the benefits of red wine, but it’s served chilled and has a little bit of frizzante, which kind of acts like a scrubbing pad on your palate,” says Mack. Licataa has an earthy aroma with good tannins and notes of blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, and black currant on the palate. Mack deems it luxurious, multidimensional, and a great pairing for charcuterie boards. “Quality-wise, it’s in the top tier of Lambruscos,” he says. “This feels like Raekwon to me. The easy thing would have been to go to Champagne, but to go to a different region [for sparkling wine] shows an exploratory side, a resourcefulness.” The flashy blue bottle and its fuzzy velvet top makes Licataa a stunner.
Emoji Rating: “Smiley face with stars in the eyes”
Mack calls this out as a “great quality wine” for its price point. Pinot Grigio originates in the Friuli region in Northern Italy. If you’re wondering why this wine isn’t exactly white in color, that’s because it’s made in a traditional style called ramato, whereby the skin of the crushed grapes macerates in the juice producing a beautiful orange color and a more complex, dimensional liquid. Sun Goddess has a floral aroma with notes of peach, nectarine, and cantaloupe. “The skin contact gives this wine texture and soul,” says Mack. “Mary J. didn’t invent this technique, but I think the fact that she was willing to work with someone who was doing this is cool, and I respect that. It feels authentic to me.”
Emoji Rating: “Loudspeaker or megaphone 📣, because I want everybody to know about it”