Strike while the iron's hot -- it's a well-used expression, and one
that applies to a few celebrities who have started to look beyond the
Two in particular have started their own unique spirit lines, and hope to capitalize on their fame by drawing in consumers to their respective brands.
Lorraine Bracco, known as Dr. Jennifer Melfi on the hit show "The Sopranos," started Bracco Wines in 2005; Vince Neil, front man for the seminal '80s band Motley Crue, founded tequila line Tres Rios in 2006.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to an English mother and Italian-American father, Bracco was always around wine at large family get-togethers. Her exposure to fine wines continued in her teens and twenties while living in Europe as a model and actress for ten years.
For her own label, Bracco set out in 2005 to the vineyards all over Italy, where she personally handpicked eight outstanding wines. "The more I learned, the more fascinated I became," says Bracco.Her selections included Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2004 ($13), a fruity wine produced from grapes grown in the Italian Alps; Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2002 ($13), a deep-purple vintage produced in Abruzzo; and Primitivo 2003 ($28), which consists of handpicked grapes grown in Puglia, then aged for one year in oak barrels and an additional three months in the bottle.
Bracco also picked two Chianti wines: Chianti Classico 2003 ($27), which has its roots in the most prestigious area of Tuscany, and Chianti Classico Reserva, ($39), an intense wine with a spicy aroma, hailing from the village of Panzano. (There are only 10,000 bottles of this wine available in the U.S.)
Also on her label is Barolo 2001 ($48), a red wine produced by blending grapes from three specially selected vineyards. It's then aged in the barrels for at least three years and then bottled for an additional three to five years (7,500 bottles available).