In what is perhaps the strongest evidence yet of wine's power to unite, fans of upper-crusty period drama "Downton Abbey," sci-fi classic "Star Trek" and the proudly down-home show "Duck Dynasty" can all buy wines bottled under license to their favorite show.
The Downton Abbey wines, a white and a red (retailing at $16.99), come from Wines That Rock, a company that makes wine under the names of rock groups, including the Rolling Stones. They're made by Dulong Grand Vins, a Bordeaux winery, which makes sense since the show has featured a number of wines from that famous French wine region.
Wine has been a big part of the British series, with butler Mr. Carson taking great pains over which wines to serve with dinner. One of the wines served at the big dinner party in the second episode of the fourth season was a 1919 Chateau Coutet, a big thrill for the family that now owns the southern Bordeaux winery.
Producers of the show, who are known for their faithful attention to detail, approached the family and asked for permission to use the name, then made a prop bottle to use in filming.
Meanwhile, "Duck Dynasty," the A&E show about a family business that makes products for duck hunters, primarily a duck call, might not seem such a seamless fit for the wine world.
But Bob Torkelson, chief operating officer of Trinchero Family Estates, the Napa Valley winery that makes the Duck Commander wines, says the Trincheros and the Robertsons have a lot in common in terms of running family businesses. Willie and Korie Robertson visited the winery and contributed to decisions on blending and packaging.
The wines, released late last year and retailing for about $10, are available in a red blend, a chardonnay and a pink moscato.
And what of "Star Trek?" Is there a space-wine continuum?
Yes, actually, there is, says Peter Messa, spokesman for Vinport, which handles marketing for the Star Trek wines.
"Star Trek has many wine references in it, the most famous probably being Klingon bloodwine," he said. In fact, food and drink plays a big part in the series, with toasts often raised to celebrate interspecies diplomacy and other milestones.
The Star Trek wines are based on the original series, or TOS to its baby boomer fans. The wines feature labels based on poster art by Juan Ortiz, who made posters of the iconic series.
The first release of the wine was made in California's Sonoma County and is a red blend of merlot, sangiovese, cabernet franc, dolcetto and tinta cao. The bottles cost about $25 and were produced in a limited-edition release of 1701 cases, the registry number of the original Enterprise.
The wine was released under three labels commemorating the shows: Trouble with Tribbles, Mirror, Mirror and City on the Edge of Forever, which is, of course, the greatest Star Trek episode ever made.
Not a Trekkie? Or a fan of mansions or mallards? Not a problem. For you, there's a "Game of Thrones" beer from a partnership between HBO and Brewery Ommegang in New York — Take the Black Stout.
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