Wine News: From Rock Stars to Sommeliers
Celebrity Wines Doctors and dot-com millionaires are already making their own wines in Napa; now more sports and music stars are joining in. Guitar god CARLOS SANTANA teamed up with Mumm Napa for Santana DVX ($55), and football legend JOE MONTANA, a longtime wine collector, enlisted Beringer's Ed Sbragia to help make the 2001 Montagia Howell Mountain Cabernet ($80). The strangest-marketing-ploy award goes to colorful Mötley Crüe singer VINCE NEIL, who reportedly tattooed the label for his new Vince Vineyards wines on his arm (2003 Vince Vineyards Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, $23).
Sommeliers Talk Shop Top sommeliers are showing a decided entrepreneurial streak. In Manhattan, former Daniel wine director Jean-Luc Le Dû took over a spare space in the West Village for LE DÛ'S WINES, while Ralph Hersom, former wine director of Le Cirque 2000, started RALPH'S WINES & SPIRITS in Rye, New York. Philippe Buttin works at Atlanta's Joël restaurant even as he's running JOËL'S MARKET, which has wines from Joël's list as well as rare bottlings.