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Celebrity Champagne - Can Fame & Fortune Buy Good Taste?

Tasting the Stars: what makes a celebrity wine worth the hefty price tag?


Words by Lucy Edwards


These days it seems that every celebrity and their dog is releasing a beverage brand. Whether it's Kendall Jenner's problematic tequila brand 818, or Kylie Minogue's every growing range of rose wines, everyone's doing it.

In Champagne this is not new, with Jay-Z's launching his own brand in collaboration with Cattier in 2006 after feeling the sting of Cristal's CEO Rouzaud's comment on their wines being purchased by rappers.


Since then, there is a string of celebrity champagnes, each more expensive than the next. But are they worth the investment? Or are they just a marketing exercise?


Here is a selection of the most notable, and my humble opinion on what to splurge on, and what to take a rain check on.


 

Armand de Brignac - Jay-Z

Premier Cru


With 50% stake recently acquired by Moët Hennessy from Shawn Jay-Z Carter and usually spotted in clubs, The Ace of Spades with its gold plated bottle is the OG celeb champagne.


Owner of the brand - Jay - Z and LVMH

Winemaker - Jean-Jacques and Alexandre Cattier

Blend - 40% Pinot, 40% Chardonnay, 20% Meunier

Time on Lees - 4+ years

Dosage - 9.5g/L

Price (€) - 289


Would I buy this?

I have been told by champagne insiders that Jay-Z has an excellent palate, and is well versed in champagne. However I'm not sure my pockets are deep enough to pay for the extra hype here.



 

Le Chemin du Roi - 50 Cent

Grand Cru


50 Cent is no newby to the beverage industry, have previouly launched Effin Vodka and Branson Cognac, and his champagne certainly made waves online when it was launched.


Owner of the brand - Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson

Winemaker - Champagne Castelnau

Blend - 60% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier

Time on Lees - 48 months

Dosage - 8g/L

Price (€) - 106


Would I buy it? Based on the fact that there is very little transparency, and that their insta account recommends mixing with grenadine and apple juice... highly unlikely. Especially as Jackson says he would rather drink ginger ale....



“First I’ll pour drinks from a bottle of Champagne for everyone who is in VIP with me. When the bottle is empty, I’ll give it to one of my guys and have him quietly refill it with ginger ale,” he writes. “For the rest of the night I’ll have that bottle in my hand. I’ll take swigs every now and then just to keep the vibe right, but I’m not drinking anything but Canada Dry.”

 

Porte Noir - Idris Elba

Grand Cru


After tasting a Provence rose on his wedding night, Idris decided to put his name to a wine. First edition was a cru classe of Cotes de Provence made with Chateau Sainte Marguerite. He then ventured into champagne and teamed up with the students of Avize Viti Vini Sanger school. He launched the Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs vintage 2010 in the UK, and has since opened a bar in London with the same name and followed up with a NV: La Petite Porte.


Owner of the brand - Idris Elba & David Farber of Connaught Cellars

Blend - 100% Grand Cru Chardonnay

Time on Lees - 6 years

Dosage - 4.5 g/L

Price (€) - 100 Number of bottles: Unknown



Would I buy this? Initially, I was a little concerned about Idris' choice of glassware, but after researching the project I am very much intrigued. I believe it is reasonably priced for a 2010 Grand Cru, which is more than can be said for others on this list, and if it follows in the footsteps of its Provence sister, then it will rack up the points and medals. Short answer: YES.



 

Leo de Verzay - Scott Disick

Premier Cru


Scott Disick who is mostly known for being Kourtney Kardashian's ex, has been working on "a new champagne from Europe, for about a year already".


The Leo de Verzay brand has been around since 2019, and even made an appearance in a Sean Paul clip, but Disick has been officially "branding with" the company since last week, and will be dropping a limited release of 1,000 bottles in the US adorned with a Swarovski crystal.


Owner of the brand - Scott Disick, Brad Turk & Charlotte Chaudron Castagne

Winemaker: Champagne Chaudron

NV Blend - Unknown

Time on Lees - Minimum 5 years

Dosage - Unknown

Price ($) - 150 Number of bottles - 1,000 with Swarovski, but total unknown.


Would I buy this?

Do I trust Disick's judgement of a "fine luxury branded champagne". Not for a second. And the fact that he can't even pronounce the name, doesn't help his case. If you're in it for the wine, don't fall for the hype, and go directly to the source. If you think Disick is in it for the wine ... I recommend drinking it out of their custom crystal tumblers.

 

Mod Sélection - Drake

Grand Cru

A partnership between Canadian Rapper Drake and Brent Hocking (founder of DeLeón Tequila and partner in "Champagnepapi's" Virginia Black Whiskey project) led to producing these eye catching handmade bottles. To date he has released a Reserve, Rose, 2008 Vintage and 2008 Rose.


According to Hocking, each bottle features “delicate symbolized patterns and embellishments handcrafted and applied by the finest artisans in Champagne, ensuring no two bottles are ever alike.”


Owner of the brand - Drake & Brent Hocking

Winemaker: Champagne Pierre Mignon

NV Blend - 10% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 5% Meunier

Time on Lees - 3 - 4 years

Dosage - 8 to 9 g/L

Price ($) - 400


Would I buy this?

Do I need another champagne ornament for my home? No, probably not. If I was interested in this wine, I would go straight to the source, making sure my money goes to the winemaker and not on the extra bling.


 

Champagne Telmont - Leonardo DiCaprio


Founded after the riots of 1911, Champagne Telmont was bought by Rémy Cointreau group in 2020. Earlier this year, it was announced that Leonardo DiCaprio had invested in the business as their green ethos aligns: "Champagne Telmont, together with its partner wine-growers, has set its sights on producing 100% organic champagne, ensuring a completely sustainable production lifecycle in the coming years. From protecting biodiversity on its land, to using 100% renewable electricity, Champagne Telmont is determined to radically lower its environmental footprint, making me proud to join as an investor." say Leo.