The Oscars are coming next Sunday, and here I’m recommending wines from the cinema idols themselves. If you want them for a “Hollywood and Vines” Oscar night party, google their websites to buy them.
In some cases the stars take serious interest in their wineries. In others, they’re probably merely lending their names in simple endorsement deals.
I’ve tasted some of these wines but not all, so I’m not including tasting notes this time.
Francis Ford Coppola: In 1975 this film director (“Godfather” series, “Apocalypse Now”), seeking a family refuge from La-La Land, bought the historic Inglenook winery in California’s Napa Valley. He took a major role in the winemaking, and this columnist compared one of his early red blends called “Rubicon” to helicopter rocket fire from his Vietnam movie. The wine is more subtle today – a blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot and merlot – but still powerful, and $155 a bottle.
In 2005, Coppola bought a second winery, Souverain, in Sonoma County, and renamed it Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Here he turns out a “Director’s Cut” series of wines including one he calls “Cinema” – a blend of cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel and petite sirah – for $20. Coppola also makes a light and fizzy sparkling wine called Sofia Blanc de Blancs, in tribute to his daughter, Sofia, who directed 2003’s “Lost in Transition.” A blend of pinot blanc, sauvignon blanc and muscat, it comes in a can with its own sipping straw, at $5.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: “Brangelina” in 2012 partnered with France’s veteran winemaking Perrin family to make a wine called (www.miraval-provence.com ) Château Miraval Rosé, at the couple’s 1,200-acre estate in Provence. A blend of cinsault, grenache, syrah and rolle grapes, it’s $28.
Drew Barrymore: The actress fell in love with Italian white wines on her trips through the country, and now has put her family’s name on one. She chose a pinot grigio made by Northeast Italy’s winery Vinicola Decordi. Called Barrymore Pinot Grigio, IGT Delle Venezie, it’s $20.
Antonio Banderas: The dashing “Zorro” star in 2009 bought half interest in a 600-acre vineyard in Spain’s famous Ribera del Duero area north of Madrid. He named it Anta Banderas. The winery makes a chardonnay and several blends of tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon and merlot priced at $16 to $45.
Madonna: The Material Girl’s parents, Silvio (Tony) and Joan Ciccone, run the Ciccone Vineyard and Winery in Sutton’s Bay, Mich., within sight of Grand Traverse Bay. They make cabernet franc, pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot grigio gewürztraminer, dolcetto, pinot blanc, riesling, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, muscat and malbec, as well as cold-weather hybrids Marechal Foch and De Chaunac, for $13 to $17.
Fess Parker: Famous for his “Davy Crocket” and “Daniel Boone” TV roles in the 1950s, the late star bought 700 acres in California’s Santa Ynez Valley and established the Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard. Today it makes award-winning pinot noir, syrah, chardonnay, viognier, priced at $15 to $50.
Fred MacMurray: The dashing romantic and comedy star of films like 1940’s “Remember the Night” with Barbara Stanwyck and 1961’s “The Absent-Minded Professor,” bought 1,700 acres in Northern California as a refuge for his family, and never planted a grape on it. After his death it was sold to the wine behemoth E&J Gallo, which planted 450 acres and sells wines under the “MacMurray Ranch” label. The actor’s daughter, Kate MacMurray, lives in a cozy, upscale cabin there and learned enough to promote the wines. The winery makes chardonnays, pinot gris and pinot noir from $15 to $36.
Sam Neill: Born in Northern Ireland but raised in New Zealand, the actor hit it big in Hollywood as Dr. Alan Grant in 1993’s “Jurassic Park.” He fell in love with pinot noir when he shared a glass of Burgundy with actor James Mason. And, in 1993, he bought five acres of land in southern New Zealand’s wine country and founded Two Paddocks winery. Today he has 42 acres of riesling and pinot noir priced at $32 to $70 a bottle.
Richard Gere: The “An Officer and a Gentleman” star is launching “Le Lucere,” a Tuscan red brunello made by Italy’s Tenuta San Filippo di Montalcino. It’s $125 a bottle.
Emilio Esteves: The Staten Island-born star of 1980s films “The Breakfast Club” and “St. Elmo’s Fire” and his fiancée, Sonja Magdevski, run Casa Dumetz at their Malibu estate, turning out syrah, gewürztraminer, grenache, viognier and a sparkling syrah called “Sonja’s Suds” in the $30 range.