Login | December 12, 2019

Celebrities are deep into liquor, wine with their own brands

This combination photo shows "Breaking Bad" actors Aaron Paul, left, and Bryan Cranston at the Los Angeles premiere of their film, "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie," in Westwood, Calif. on Oct. 7, 2019, left and a bottle of their new artisanal Dos Hombres mezcal. Celebrities are deep into the liquor and wine business with their own brands that are particularly gifty for drink-loving fans. (AP Photo, left, and Dos Hombres via AP)

LEANNE ITALIE
Associated Press

Published: December 3, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — From Kate Hudson's new vodka to Dylan Sprouse's Brooklyn-made mead, celebrities with their own brands of spirits and wines can make drink-loving fans happy at the holidays.
You can find other pillars of culture with bottles, including TV shows and the high-brow auction house Sotheby's. Whether your gift recipient is into Florida Georgia Line or Diane Keaton, there may be a bottle out there ready for you to buy and wrap up.
Some ideas:
HUDSON: Her just-launched King St. Vodka is gluten-free, non-GMO and distilled in Santa Barbara, California. It's inspired by memories of her former home on King Street in New York City. At select retailers and online at kingstvodka.com. $24.99.
SPROUSE: The former child star is co-founder of All-Wise Meadery. It uses an apiary in upstate New York. Mead, by the way, is a honey wine fermented with yeast and water. Among the company's flavor profiles is a variety infused with oolong tea. At select retailers and online at allwisemeadery.com. $35.
KEATON: She has a collection of wines, The Keaton. All are sourced from the north coast of California. A percentage of proceeds supports the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Widely available. $14.49.
RYAN REYNOLDS: First, he tasted Aviation Gin, then he acquired a piece of the company. It's highly rated even by some wine aficionados. Wine Enthusiast called it a clean, neutral profile with "bewitching hints of caraway, juniper, grapefruit and a dry, faintly spicy finish." Widely available. $30.99.
BRYAN CRANSTON, AARON PAUL: They debuted their artisanal Dos Hombres mezcal in twin Instagram posts last July, and fans thought they were getting the "Breaking Bad" band back together. It's made in a remote part of Oaxaca in Mexico. At select retailers and online at reservebar.com. $65.
BRAD PITT AND ANGELINA JOLIE: Post-divorce, they still jointly own the Miraval estate and vineyard in France's Provence. In partnership with the Perrin family, Miraval is known for roses. Its Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose has an aroma of fresh fruit and spring flowers. $27.99. Chateau Miraval Studio is a pale pink with notes of fresh fruit and citrus fruit. $18.99.
SOTHEBY'S: Sotheby's Wine, a branch of the famed auction house, has curated a collection of 12 bottles. Part of the mission was to provide good wine at reasonable prices, which range from $16.95 to $39.95. Available at the Sotheby's Wine retail store in Manhattan and online at SothebysWine.com.
JAY-Z: He's a partner with Bacardi Limited in D'Usse cognac. D'Usse XO has notes of ripe blackberry and apricot and D'Usse VSOP includes hints of spices, almond and cinnamon. They're made at the Chateau de Cognac in France. Widely available. D'Usse XO goes for $199 to $229 and the VSOP for $49.99 to $54.99.
DRAKE: He created Virginia Black Decadent American Whiskey with spirits entrepreneur and sommelier Brent Hocking. It's a collection of bourbon rated highly by some in the industry. It sips with notes of oak and vanilla, finishing with a hint of toffee. Widely available. $39.00.
FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA: Call him the, uh, godfather of celebrity wine. The director bought his first California vineyard in 1995 and a second, the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, in 2009. Bottles from the latter include Diamond Collection Oregon Pinot Noir ($21), with flavors of boysenberry, cherry and mocha, and Director's Cut Cinema ($44), a blend of cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, sirah and petite sirah. Shop around.
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE: The country music duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley put out Old Camp. It's a smooth peach pecan whiskey with hints of caramel and a light spice, aged a minimum of two years in white American oak barrels. Widely available. $19.99.
DOWNTON ABBEY: Highclere Castle, the face of the British TV drama and movie, just launched Highclere Castle Gin in the United States. It's inspired by botanicals from the estate's herb gardens originally planted in the 9th century. $48.99. Available offline in 15 states and online at caskers.com.
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY: He partnered with whiskey giant Wild Turkey on Longbranch, made in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. It's refined with Texas mesquite and oak charcoals, honoring his roots in Kentucky and Texas. The flavor offers notes of caramel, pear and citrus. Widely available. $39.99.
CONOR McGREGOR: The MMA champion launched Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey last year. It expresses his love of all things Ireland. The whiskey has hints of vanilla and a honey-like sweetness. $24.99. A portion of proceeds goes to first responder organizations. Shop around.
STAR TREK: There are wines from the Star Trek Universe. A two-bottle pack goes for $110 at startrekwines.com. There's also the James T. Kirk Straight Bourbon Whiskey from Silver Screen at silverscreenbottling.com. $60.
SARAH JESSICA PARKER: She recently ventured into wines with Invivo & Co. for her namesake Invivo X SJP. That includes a new sauvignon blanc. Parker took part in every step of the winemaking process, even hand painting the blue "X" on the label. In select shops and online at wine.com. $18 to $20.
THE WALKING DEAD: Spirits of the Apocalypse The Walking Dead Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a limited-time only alliance between Diageo and Skybound Entertainment, the company behind "The Walking Dead" comic series upon which the show is based. At select retailers. $34.99.
SNOOP DOGG: He's a shareholder in Cuca Fresca Cachaca, including Prata, direct from Brazil. Cachaca is produced from sugar cane like run but with a different distillation process. Brazil stole Snoop's heart in 2003, when he filmed his "Beautiful" video there. In select shops and online at totalwine.com. $19.99.
DAN AYKROYD: Dan Aykroyd and artist John Alexander created Crystal Head Vodka in 2008. It's produced in Newfoundland, Canada, and comes in skull-like bottle intended as a symbol of life, power and enlightenment. $49.99. Shop around.
NICOLE MILLER: This half-French fashion designer launched a namesake rose this summer. It's a dry and aromatic blend made at Chateau Auguste in Bordeaux. Available online at misterwrightfinewines.com. $16.99.
METALLICA: The rock band's whiskey, Blackened, comes with shtick: Each batch has its own Metallica playlist used to "sonically enhance the whiskey during finishing." As it rests, the brand says, the "music is played to the barrel causing the whiskey inside to move and interact with the wood." OK. At select retailers online and off. $49.99.
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This story has been corrected to spell the name of Dan Aykroyd.


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