When the first news of the Graceland Cellars wines came out, I winced a little, “Gee,” I thought, “haven’t we gone far enough with the marketing of Elvis?” My worst fear was that they would put some kind of low-grade junk in those bottles, based on the assumption that Elvis fans would never open them. Well, maybe I was wrong.
Earlier this week, elvis.com posted a link to the “Cheers To Wine And Food” website, which contained a very complimentary article on Graceland Cellars wines. It noted that Wine Business Monthly magazine named Graceland Cellars one of the hottest small wine brands of the year. Of course, that has to do with sales. I was still curious about quality.
Then I read that the 2001 Jailhouse Red Merlot won a gold metal at the 2004 International Eastern Wine Competition. I checked out their website, too, and sure enough, Jailhouse Red Merlot was one of five gold medal winners in the “Merlot To $15” category. There were 22 silver and 36 bronze winners, so the Elvis wine beat out a lot of competitors.
Another link led me to the whole metaphor wine description thing issued in press releases. Listen to this: “The 2001 Jailhouse Red Merlot is young and lively, with aromas of berries and fresh herbs. Oak aging is evident from toasty vanilla flavors and the supple tannins of a classic Merlot.” Sounds good to me.
© 2005 Philip R Arnold