When you think of a fine wine, do you think of aging rockers spending late nights in five star hotels with scantily clad, drug-addled groupies? Conversely, when you think of rock and roll, do you conjure up images of khaki-clad oenophiles bantering over the merits of a particularly expressive Sauvignon Blanc? Whether you associate rock with wine or not, there are a hell of a lot of rockers pushing their own wine labels these days. Are these famous musicians even wine lovers or are they just cashing in on their already cemented fame? Are they actually involved in the wine-making process, and does anyone care if they are? For the answer to these questions, let’s look at three aging rock stars who’ve entered the wine game.
One of the best known rockers involved in wine making is the cerebral metal heavyweight and all around weirdo, Maynard James Keenan. Keenan is best known for his work in the band Tool and is also a sincere wine lover. Keenan, along with his business partner, Eric Glomski, founded Caduceus Cellars in 2004 in the rugged wine country of Arizona. Since then, they’ve been making killer wines that have been well regarded by both fans of his music and fans of wine. He is clearly in the wine game because of his passion for it and it shows in the final product.
Not all musicians who enter the wine industry have a deep-rooted love for the product. A prime example of this would be shock rock superstars, KISS. KISS released a wine through a company, called Celebrity Cellars, that specializes in putting a band’s logo on bottles of wine. After doing some research, we can’t even be sure where the grapes come from, but the website does let us know they have an office in L.A. so they must be totally legit. The fact is, these aren’t as much wine as they are marketing tools. Gene Simmons probably inked this deal sometime between a lovely appetizer and a visit to the crapper in an L.A. restaurant where the manager can’t stand him. It is a product for the fans and the fans only. Those fans likely purchase it by the case and leave it unopened on their shelves next to their complete set of KISS Pez dispensers and a worn-out DVD of Detroit Rock City.
Somewhere in between these two extremes is David Coverdale, front man for Whitesnake and drifter born to walk alone. When you can actually hear what Coverdale is saying through the shrubbery of hair, he sounds like a legitimate wine lover. He has revealed a fondness for some of the classic wine-making regions and seems to have a connection to the vino. That being said, we are extremely skeptical of a wine named Whitesnake Zinfandel. Why Whitesnake? Dude, you were the front man for Deep Purple… DEEP PURPLE!
In the end, we always recommend blasting your favourite band when drinking, even if their wine is shit.
By Jeff Jamieson