Devil's Advocate #2 - Harry, Meghan and... Wine

Robert Joseph wonders if the attention surrounding the new Netflix documentary may lead to 'royal' wine hitting the headlines, or maybe even the shelves...

Reading time: 1m 25s

Robert Joseph - with horns
Robert Joseph - with horns

As millions of television viewers in the US and elsewhere tune in to watch the first three programmes of the Netflix Harry & Meghan documentary series, will the media once again pick up on their relationship to wine? And will any wine businesses seek to exploit it too?

Before her marriage to the then Prince Harry, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex had a lifestyle blog called ‘The Tig’ that was reportedly named after Tignanello, her favourite wine. On the site’s ‘about’ page, she said about the Super Tuscan, 

“It wasn’t just red or white — suddenly I understood what people meant by the body, legs, structure of wine. It was an ah-ha moment at its finest. For me, it became a ‘Tig’ moment — a moment of getting it.”

In December 2020, The UK tabloid, the Mirror, and others reported that “Aldi sell Meghan Markle’s favourite wine for £125 ($152) less than you’d usually pay” following the German discounter’s listing of a ’Super Tuscan’ blend - with no other connection to the Antinori superstar - for £9.99 ($12.20).

The following year, the popular Mail Online site breathlessly headlined the news that the formerly-royal couple were “ripe to start winemaking”.

“EXCLUSIVE” yelled the bold-type text in April 2021, “We heard it through the grapevine! Harry and Meghan could become the next celebs to dip their toes into wine-making as neighbors urge them to create a 'Brangelina-style' label in Santa Barbara”

This story that appeared elsewhere, including on Woman & Home, was based on the - even by tabloid standards - thin grounds that Penny Bianchi, one of their neighbours in Santa Barbara in Southern California, had told a journalist that “It seems to be a very popular thing to do around here so I wouldn't be surprised if Harry and Meghan did the same.”

Did any real-estate agents looking to sell vineyards in the region use the vague suggestion that a buyer might end up growing Pinot Noir next to royalty? Who can say?

But I’d be surprised if the attention Harry and Meghan are getting right now doesn't tempt a canny marketer or two to jump on the royal wine bandwagon.

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