Home Wine News Articles Shop for Wine Accessories About Links Downloads Contact

Good Grape Wine Company

Left side of the header
Right side of the header

The Surreal Life:  Wine Edition

Is it me or does it seem like there has been an exponential increase and a raft of celebrities hawking their own wine over the course of the last year or two?

I can count 15 celebrities that easily come to mind and no doubt there are many more that that. 

Ironically enough, most of these well-known wine pushing folks have undoubtedly had their Q Score, a way to measure the familiarity and appeal of a brand, celebrity, or television show, much higher during the salad days of their career.  I’m talking about folks like race car driver Mario Andretti, figure skater Peggy Fleming, crooner Barry Manilow, golfer Arnold Palmer, 80s rock star Vince Neil and a host of others.

This got me thinking, since I’ve been on something of a television-related blog post run lately, that all of these celebrities that have decided to come out with a wine line would make a fine line-up for the VH1 television show “The Surreal Life.”

The premise of the show is classic reality television—take five or six diverging personalities and throw them into a house for a while and film the results.  The Surreal Life adds the extra element of having faded glory celebrities as their houseguests instead of alpha personality everyday people.  Think Peter Brady from the Brady Bunch, Ron Jeremy, porn star, Tammy Faye Baker, or Mini-Me from the Austin Powers movies.

It all adds up to something pretty close to watching a train wreck in slow motion. 

Usually, The Surreal Life sucks me in on a Saturday morning marathon instead of the aggressive day of yard work or errands I had previously planned.

I did a review of all 6 seasons of the The Surreal Life and came out with his approximation of the casting—which generally seems to fit into archetypes from season to season.

Cast members generally fall into one of the following six categories:

Sex Appeal:  Models, former Playboy Playmates, et al
Reality TV celebrity: Generally somebody less famous than the faded glory B-list stars in order to create tension about who is more famous, think alumni from Survivor or The Apprentice
Nostalgia TV celebrity: A much beloved figure from TV days gone by examples like Erik Estrada from C.H.I.P.S and Dave Coulier from the TV show Full House
Sideshow tent/Curiosity/Person of interest:  Tammy Faye Baker, Ron Jeremy, Verne Troyer (a.k.a. Mini-Me), Flavor Flav
Career Recovery celebrity:  Somebody just out of the public consciousness interested in re-establishing themselves like Vanilla Ice, or just simply trying to rub two nickels together based on faded glory
Musician/Musical Artist:  CC Deville, Vince Neil, “Pepa” from 80’s rap group Salt N Pepa, et al

As I reviewed this simple casting categorization, I submit for your approval, my own suggestion for season 7 of The Surreal Life:  Wine Edition—all folks that have a wine label with their name associated.

Sex Appeal:  Savanna Samson, porn star with her Sogno Uno label
Reality TV Star:  I’m still waiting for Rob & Amber to come up with something, in the meantime, we’ll go with Lorraine Bracco from the Soprano’s and her Bracco wines
Nostalgia TV celebrity: Dan Akroyd, late of Saturday Night Live and a bunch of movies that haven’t stood the test of time.  He has a line of Canadian wine
Side show tent/Curiosity/person of interest:  Tommy Lasorda, former LA Dodgers manager and general pitchman from the 80s.  He has a line of wine due this summer.
Career Recovery celebrity:  Jeff Bridges has partnered on a line of wines to benefit charity
Muscian/Artist:  Vince Neil, a veteran of the first The Surreal Life, gets another reality show chance to promote his Vince Vineyard wines

Folks that didn’t make the cut:  Mick Fleetwood, Mario Andretti, Joe Montana, Larry Bird, Jeff Gordon, Barry Manilow.

I think it would be compelling television and since they always do manufactured drama and have some sort of game element on these shows, I recommend a double-blind tasting of everybody’s wines to see how bad they fail at identifying their own vino.

What do you think?  Did I miss anybody?


Posted in, Good Grape Daily: Pomace & Lees. Permalink | Comments (4) |


On 04/12, brad wrote:

From what I’ve read I think Akroyd would win hands down, he’s the only one I can think of that has the chops to hold down an interview with a wine magazine. The others are likely to be publicity flops. Cheers on the great site.

-Brad Maier

On 04/12, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Hmmm… wondering why Manilow didn’t make the cut for you…? For me, he didn’t because he doesn’t fit the B-list niche. True, Barry’s taken a lot of harrassment over the years, but a guy can accumulate a LOT of harrassment in a 30 year career! That seems to be long ago now. In the past two years, Barry has had two albums hit Billboard at the number 1 & 2 spot repectively, is currently the priciest ticket in Vegas where he’s the house act at the Hilton… and still making the top 10 Vegas shows list consistently week after week. Not exactly on par with Peter Brady.

Reason #2: I have to agree with Brad… Manilow’s decidedly less likely to have anything really insightful to say about wine. What it takes to get a decent performance out of an American Idol contestant, maybe, but not wine.

On 04/13, Jeff Lefevere wrote:


Yes, you’re pretty much spot-on.  I think Manilow would want to stay above the fray, plus he’s probably got pretty decent wine chops.

Plus, as something of a product of the 80’s, and a die hard Motley Crue fan 20 years ago, I’d enjoy watching him as opposed to Manilow.  grin

Thanks for commenting and for reading my blog!


On 05/04, TN Pas Cher wrote:

st ticket in Vegas where he’s the house act at the Hilton… and still making the top 10 Vegas shows l


View More Archives