Say My Name: Wine Named After People

Thursday, April 11, 2013

This weekend I’m hosting the next meeting of the Winey Women. I’ve created a top secret theme that I’ll share with you all after the party (the invitation copy reveals some clues).

On the invitation, I asked everyone to bring a bottle of wine that is someone’s name. I did a little research to serve as thought starters and there are actually a lot of wines out there named after a person. Here are a few I found and of course I’ll learn more this Saturday!

·       Robert Mondavi: This dude is super important in the US wine world because he created marketing strategies and technical improvements to the wine making process that brought worldwide recognition for the wines of Napa Valley (thanks, Wikipedia!). Bob, as I call him, was the one that pushed for wine makers to label wines by grape variety rather than generically. Oh and Bob was a frat boy – he’s a member of Phi Sigma Kappa. Maybe they should think of that next time they reach for the Franzia for frat parties.  

·       Francis Ford & Sofia Coppola Wines: You likely know of this father, daughter duo. Both are famous Hollywood directors. Francis has a rather large collection of award hardware for movies like The Godfather, but what you may not know is that he released Peggy Sue Got Married, which stared his nephew Nicolas Cage! With George Lucas, he worked on Captian EO featuring Michael Jackson. Sofia is pretty rad too – she won an Oscar for Lost in Translation and was the first American woman nominated for an Oscar for Best Director. And she made the movie Marie Antoinette – which was rather awesome.

·       Charles Shaw: Chuck’s name is on the line of extremely cheap wine sold at Trader Joe’s. Fondly referred to as Two Buck Chuck because of its $1.99 price tag, in 2013 the retail price went up to $2.49. The company that makes Charles Shaw is actually headed by Fred Franzia – formerly of Franzia Brothers wines…and I know you’ve heard of Franzia!  The urban legend is that this wine is so cheap because of a bitter divorce between Charles and his wife, so she set the price cheap to tarnish his name. However, my research shows that the wine is really cheap due to an overabundance of California grapes. And the fact that the company is run by a Franzia!

Do you have a favorite wine named after a person?