HBO's New Jersey mob drama, which famously went dark in June 2007, is extending its brand into a new series of Italian wines that will retail from $12 to $30 and include Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir varieties. The fit is obvious, as Italian food and wine were an integral part of the show's storylines.
The wines are being marketed via a licensing agreement between HBO and Vesuvio Import Co., a wine importer named after an Italian restaurant from the series.
Where's the Bordeaux?
Curiously, the line does not include any Bordeaux-style blends of the sort Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini, spent much of the show's final season swirling and sniffing his way through. In one memorable scene, Tony and his nephew Christopher (Michael Imperioli) swiped 10 cases of 1986 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, which sells for about $160 per bottle. Christopher later boasted that he sold his half of the heist for $300. Tony was often spotted in his basement tending to racks full of the stuff throughout the remainder of the series.
HBO has previously licensed the Sopranos name for several different products including "The Sopranos" gaming slot-machines, CAO cigars and "The Sopranos" cookbooks, but this is its first wine effort. "We feel that these quality Italian wines are the perfect complement to all of our other carefully planned product extensions for 'The Sopranos' brand," James Costos, an HBO spokesman, said in a statement.
The new line is unrelated to Bracco Wines, launched by cast member Lorraine Bracco in 2006.