By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Clearly not content with some wank Surreal Life spot or fronting a reunited Crüe, our boy Vince Neil has embarked on an even more ambitious enterprise: his own wine label with spirits entrepreneur Russ Dale, entitled Vince Vineyards. That's right kids, his sweet juice is now for saleand the blond, bloated one has already scored himself a slammin' new Vince Vineyards tattoo to commemorate the occasion. Who knew that in between all those years of boffing Playmates and magic-markering groupie breasts, little Vincent was quietly cultivating a finer appreciation for Napa Valley Cabernets? In a statement surely not issued from a P.R. flack's pen, this hard-livin' oenophile has said "I have enjoyed great wine for most of my life and wanted to create something other wine lovers could experience and appreciate." Regarding the first two releases, a 2003 Cabernet and Chardonnay, he "can't imagine enjoying fresh seafood or grilled steak with anything else."
Indeed, dude, indeed. Show 'em that the Remaking of Vince Neil is about more than a VH1 comeback opportunity or making nice-nice with back-from-the-dead losers like Nikki Six. Tommy may have Pamela, the better sex tape, and the chance to continue his college (coed) education on NBC's dimebut hell, who's got the wine, man? True, nothing can beat the past glory of a groupie peeing in a litter box just to hang with your sorry assbut this comes pretty damn close.
However, just to ensure you aren't passing off some soured Welch's schwag under your own respectable name, we ran bottles of Vince Vineyards' first offerings by two seasoned wine lovers. Although, we imagine if Sammy Hagar can make a good tequila, anything is possible.
Oyster Bar at
Grand Central Station
One if by Land, Two if by Sea
Museum of Modern Art
Lenell's Fine Wines in Red Hook
Columbus Circle Wines
Grande Harvest Wines
Grand Havana Club
Tony's di Napoli, 43rd St.
Tony's di Napoli, 2nd Ave
Don's Bo Gam Koreatown
Vince 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
What the tasting notes say:
"This 2003 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep ruby red hue accentuated by aromas of rich black cherry, spice, and toasty oak. This compellingly layered wine tastes of ripe dark cherry fruit, rich coffee-mocha, pepper, and spice. This wine is complex yet approachable, with firm tannins that provide structure and fade to a smooth finish."
Vince 2003 Sonoma County Chardonnay
What the tasting notes say:
"Our 2003 vintage Chardonnay is made in a light and elegant style that showcases bright pineapple, pear, and tropical fruit aromas, mingled with toasty oak. You will also find a creamy background layer of sweet vanilla that comes from barrel aging. The wine finishes with a rich and round mouth-feel."
Ellisa Cooper, the co-owner of Discovery Wines, comments:
"The upside with the Chardonnay is that they showed restraint with the oak, so it's not too buttery or creamy. Overall, lumped in with the world of wine, these wines are better than average, but not extraordinary. The biggest flaw is a distinct bitterness in the palate that is distracting."
Geoffrey Mears, manager of Punch & Judy, comments:
"Pretty good Chardonnay, actually. It has a medium body, great bit of fruit to it. Pineapple, pear, I'd agree with. It's a little lighter than most Chardonnays from California, has a light oak finish. Both of these wines can be very OK, but they have a light touch. Surprisingly, I like it."
Elvis Presley: Blue Suede Chardonnay, Jailhouse Red Merlot, The King Cabernet, and "All Shook Up" Sauvignon Blanc, courtesy of Graceland Cellars.
Bob Dylan: His Planet Waves wine, named for his 1974 album, is a collaboration between the singer and Italian wine label Le Terrazze. The Montepulciano and Merlot blend is currently sold through Italian Wine Merchants.
Mick Fleetwood: The drummer's first offering from his Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar label was a 1998 Cuvée.
Jerry Garcia: The Grateful Dead singer lends his image and name, posthumously of course, to J. Garcia Wine of Sonoma County.
Willie Nelson: His brand of small-batch bourbon, Old Whiskey River, is made from grains bought strictly from independent farmers.
Sofia Coppola: We've all seen the Sofia Blanc de Blanc mini cans, the latest big pitch from Francis Ford Coppola's esteemed winery.