Oenophiles Taste 50 Shades Wine


Nothing works up the senses like a little wine and a Lothario.
Earlier this week Vanity Fair reporter Alex Beggs gathered a panel of sommeliers to taste and rate author E. L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey wine, a product named after the writer's sultry novel. Reviews were a quiver of opinions replete with tongue-in-cheek metaphors.
“I haven't read Fifty Shades of Grey, or its sequels, but apparently it's quite the tale” Beggs wrote. Talia Baiocchi, editor of a wine and spirits website and author of a popular book on sherry, said the wines – red and white were tasted – were quite the tease, leaving the drinker in a handcuffed state of averageness.
“Hoping for a better wine is probably unreasonable,” she wrote of the red. “But if I am going to buy myself the Fifty Shades of Grey wines, I at least want a a back label with more innuendo than the run-of-the-mill “black cherry” and “rich chocolate”.
Baiocchi said the white wine, named “White Silk”, showed more promise.
“It, too, is ordinary, but successful in its attempt to mimic a Bordeaux blanc-style wine,” she wrote. “Fresh thanks to Sauvignon Blanc and pleasantly floral courtesy of Gewürztraminer, but it, like the red, had a clinical mass-produced quality to it.”
Crown Group Hospitality Corporate Wine Director Jess Levine wasn't so diplomatic in her answer. 
She noted the Fifty red was “a guilty pleasure at best” and “for masochists only” but that “the soft vanilla and caramel notes soften the ripe, dark berries.”
Jessica Certo, wine director at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, said the wine is definitely a friend with benefits.
“Overall, this wine was unexpectedly delightful,” Certo said. “The red being smoky and sultry, lends itself to the text of the book. The flavor was complex and the wine went down easily, much like a table wine from Italy.”
Commenting on the red wine, Pearl & Ash wine director Patrick Cappiello said “It's very musky; it felt very masculine … Then the finish was very intense, a lot of heat.”
NoHo Hospitality Group's beverage director Joshua Nadel was generous in his calloused lashings of both the red, and white, as well as the wine's label design.

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