I always forget how much I love Elvis Presley’s music until I hear it, then it instantly transports me back to my childhood. My parents weren’t huge Elvis fans but my dad did like to pop in a cassette tape every now and then on road trips.
Well, Elvis is back and here in the UK! Well, not entirely true, Elvis wines are trying to break into the UK wine market. Yup, an entrepreneurial Swede by the name of Dan Samson has already brought “The King” to Sweden and the Netherlands. Dan has teamed up with Signature Wines and their Graceland Cellars range to help bring Elvis to the masses again. Actually, it’s like the Marilyn Merlot brand of wine. Neither Marilyn nor Elvis have anything to do with the wine but their visages peer out at you and if it makes your nearest and dearest Elvis fan happy, what’s the harm? The Winesleuth (me) had the chance to speak with Dan at the recent California Wine Trade Show here in London, watch the video to see what he had to say about Elvis in the building…
I have to admit, I was rather dubious when I saw the wines but on tasting them all my doubts vanished. These were not just gimmick wines but also well made wines. I sampled the Jailhouse Rock Merlot and the Blue Suede Shoes Chardonnay. Both were approachable, easy drinking wines. The merlot was soft and fruity but had a bit of structure to it and the chardonnay, while it did have oak on it, was not too oaky and had some nice ripe tropical fruit on the nose and palate. The wines have won numerous awards in the States at various competitions so the quality is certainly there. They’re not yet available in the UK but Dan believes that they’ll retail for around £8 – £10, reasonable for a Califoria wine in Europe.
The grapes are sourced from the Santa Rosa Valley, in Northern California, near Sonoma Valley and all are made with 100% of the varietal. Currently, they are producing a Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. The labels are what draws’em in, so to speak and the winery has promised that although the vintage or “edition” may change, the label “feel” won’t, hence:
…“Blue Suede TM Chardonnay” will always have presentations (or labels) from classic early 50’s footage. “Jailhouse RockTM Merlot” and “Blue HawaiiTM Riesling” will always have60’s/movie presentations. “Stuck On YouTM Shiraz” will always have presentations from the 1968 Comeback Special. “The KingTM Cabernet Sauvignon” will always have a presentation from the iconic performances of the 70’s….
Will Elvis make it in the UK? I don’t see why not, it’s just a matter of getting him in the shops. Watch this space to find out more or drop me an email.