Like it or hate it (personally, I love it), celebrities are everywhere these days. Stars’ scandals dominate our news cycle, their faces back the beauty brands we use and — now more than ever — their names are also behind our favourite boozy sips.
With that idea in mind and a long-weekend friends’ trip on the calendar, I decided to give my boozy beverage consumption a bit of star power. Valiantly, I sought out as many bottles of celebrity-adjacent wine as I could find.
While the selection available in the Vancouver area was somewhat curtailed by our recent liquor shortage, I was able to find five bottles of “celebrity” wine (all under $25 each). Using a totally subjective and unscientific ranking system, me and three of my friends sipped, savoured and judged wine linked to Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe, Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, domestic icon Martha Stewart and her good friend, rapper Snoop Dogg.
Behold: our rankings and reviews of the five bottles of celebrity wine I could find after visiting four liquor stores in and around Vancouver.
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#1: 19 Crimes Snoop Dogg Cali Rosé — Snoop Dogg
Do you like rosé? Do you like your wine a little sweet and very fruity? Then you, like my group of taste-testers, will likely also be surprised and delighted by the 19 Crimes Snoop Dogg Cali Rosé — our top pick of the group.
The 19 Crimes website describes the offering as having “ripe strawberry notes along with delicate floral and rose petal aromas,” along with fruit-forward notes featuring raspberries, strawberries and cherries. Put simply by one rosé-loving friend, “this is what a rosé should taste like.”
As much as we enjoyed the wine’s taste, however, we also love an experience — and the cool look and yummy smell of the Snoop Dogg rosé set it apart with a little extra oomph. Aesthetically, the bottle features a slightly frosted look and a bold label with a large image of the rapper, which makes it clear to all that this is Snoop Dogg wine.
- Aesthetic and design: 8.5/10
- Taste: 9/10
- Price I paid: $20
- Overall score: 17.5/20
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#2: Spade & Sparrows California Rosé — Kaitlyn Bristowe
Seeing the other rosé on our list in second place, you may be asking, “Wait, do you just really like rosé?” Well, the answer is yes, I would stress that this rosé, while also pink in hue, is a very vibe from the last.
While also showcasing a mix of strawberry and floral flavours, the rosé offering from Off The Vine podcaster and Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Spade & Sparrows brand is smooth, dry and less sweet (which I personally prefer). Our testers noted a stronger strawberry flavour, and would pair the rosé with patio drinking situations.
Visually, my testers found the bottle’s look — pink and rose gold — to be ultra pretty and romantic. Perhaps it could add to a date-night tablescape aesthetic?
- Aesthetic and design: 7.5/10
- Taste: 6.5/10
- Price I paid: $24
- Overall score: 14/20
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#3: 19 Crimes Martha’s Chard — Martha Stewart
Taking the bronze medal in our experiment, the 19 Crimes Martha’s Chard won our testers over with its design — a true testament to the celebrity factor.
But first: the flavour. While the wine’s taste was (characteristically for a chardonnay) quite oaky, smooth and a bit buttery, the scent was on the stronger side and took away a touch of its appeal. Notably, though, chardonnay wasn’t the go-to wine variety for any of our testers.
Where the wine really racked up the points was in the aesthetic. Similar to the Snoop Dogg rosé (also by 19 Crimes), Martha’s Chard featured a bold photo of Martha herself on the bottle. This, several testers noted, would catch their attention on the shelf. Smaller details like a graphic of Martha’s face on the cork further elevated the experience – and our points.
- Aesthetic and design: 8/10
- Taste: 5.5/10
- Price I paid: $21
- Overall score: 13.5/20
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#4: Spade & Sparrows California Pinot Grigio — Kaitlyn Bristowe
While this white wine, also from Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Spade & Sparrows, was my personal favourite of the bunch (I couldn’t stop sipping the crisp, dry flavour and the fruity notes of apple, melon and citrus), the pinot grigio still ended up closer to the bottom of our rankings.
While my testers agreed that the wine was light and smooth, they felt that the bottle (though quite similar to the rosé) lacked the star power of some of the others on the list. While the bottle’s design is pretty, testers noted that they would have liked more of an indication that it was, in fact, a celebrity wine (considering the price point was a smidge higher than the other bottles on our roster).
- Aesthetic and design: 5/10
- Taste: 7/10
- Price I paid: $21
- Overall score: 12/20
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#5: Wayne Gretzky Estates Cabernet Franc Syrah — Wayne Gretzky
No offence to number 99 — this red blend (which combines a Cabernet fruit essence and Syrah spice) from Wayne Gretzky Estates likely suffered from the circumstances of our tasting (the day was incredibly hot, and so sipping on a slightly spicy red just wasn’t really the vibe. In fact, one tester who usually eschews anything red and wine begrudgingly noted that she “really thought I would hate this, but didn’t.” Another tester with more of a taste for red recommended the Cab-Syrah as “a good baby red, if you don’t usually like red wine.”
As for the bottle’s aesthetic? While the logo appears to be puck inspired (perhaps a cute homage to Gretzky’s sport?), the consensus was generally less-than-excitement when it came to the bottle’s design.
- Aesthetic and design: 5/10
- Taste: 5/10
- Price I paid: $19
- Overall score: 11/20
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