What famous American teetotaller owns the biggest vineyard in Virginia, the 1,300-acre Trump Winery?
Oops, we gave it away.
We have never tasted their wines, but Vanity Fair described them as “Welch’s Grape Jelly With Alcohol”.
Many of them have just allowed their names to be associated with the product (for a fee, of course), but at least as many have also become fully involved as partners of professional winemakers.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of these wines are not available in Canada at this time, which is not totally surprising with so many different wineries worldwide.
Still, it is fun to read about them, so here are some of the better-known participants making wines (some better than others).
The ubiquitous Jay-Z has the Armand de Brignac Brut Gold Champagne associated with his name and, at a retail price of $300 a bottle, we hope that it lives up to the hype as it is reported to do.
A relative newcomer to the scene is the American singer, songwriter and actor, Mary J. Blige, who found immediate success with her duo of affordable (around $20 a bottle) Sun Goddess wines from northeast Italy, a Pinot Grigio and a Prosecco.
But who expected American rapper Post Malone to crash the party with his Maison No. 9 Rose from France which, has received very good reviews!
A more conventional participant is Gordon Sumner (aka Sting) with his enormous (700-plus acres) Villa Palagio estate in Tuscany where he is involved with all aspects of winemaking. His wines are available in Canada from time to time, and his Sangiovese blend, “Message in a Bottle”, retails for approximately $25.
The LVE by John Legend is a diverse line of wines which retail at around $25 a bottle and are produced by the singer in conjunction with the well-known Raymond Family wine operation.
True to her father, an Italian immigrant (her mother is of French-Canadian descent), Madonna has joined forces with her father, Silvio Ciccone in wineries in her native Michigan and Napa Valley.
Other musicians in the wine business include Train, Boz Scaggs, Olivia-Newton-John and Mick Fleetwood.
Drew Barrymore famously recorded a two-minute video about wine that suggested wine was made from peeled grapes. She might actually be a complete stranger to the topic notwithstanding she has an eponymous line of wines.
Gerard Depardieu is well known as a prodigious imbiber of fermented grape products and actually owns wineries in eight different countries.
Francis Ford Coppola has earned an enviable reputation as a winemaker but it is less well known that his successful filmmaker daughter, Sofia Coppola, has joined him in producing a new line under her name.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt continue to own a producing vineyard together although they sell only limited amounts of wine to the public under the Miraval label.
Well known actor Sam Neill, OBE, is probably better known in New Zealand for his winery, an admirable feat in a country where wine is taken quite seriously.
And, Sarah Jessica Parker has become quite involved with the respected winemakers at Invivo in launching her Invivo X Rose at $16 a bottle.
But some of the real pioneer actor/winemakers who made very good wine are no longer with us – Fess Parker (aka Davey Crockett), Raymond Burr (aka Perry Mason) and Fred MacMurray.
The former Captain of the French National Rugby team, Gerard Bertrand, has become one of the largest producers of good quality but affordable wines in the South of France. His products appear regularly on Canadian shelves.
Of course, the Wayne Gretzky's partnership with the Peller family has proven immensely successful with their products widely available in Canada although the Great One does not appear to be overly involved in the winemaking side.
Former England football captain, David Beckham and his equally famous wife Victoria are involved with their own winery, but do not sell their wines to the public.
The golf industry has produced numerous participants including Greg Norman, Ernie Els and announcer Jim Nantz. Canada’s Mike Weir had a partnership with a Toronto sportscaster but an apparent conflict between the two proved irreconcilable and their winery ceased operations.
Two all-star NFL quarterbacks, Drew Bledsoe and Joe Montana, top race car drivers Jeff Gordon and Mario Andretti, and World Series-winning pitcher Tom Seaver have all made serious commitments to winemaking.
Most surprising to us was that many NBA basketball players are really serious interested in wine, like Dwayne Wade, who produces Wade Cellars Three Blanc which retails for $24 a bottle.
Lastly, Virginian Thomas Jefferson, American President, was formerly the U.S. Ambassador to France where he gained his well known love of wine over 230 years ago.
Of the four U.S. candidates in the upcoming election, only Kamala Harris is not a teetotaller.