First came the novel, then casting for the upcoming film. Now the "Fifty Shades of Grey" marketing roller coaster has been extended to include wine, being sold with the tag line "You. Are. Mine."
Initially, author E.L. James has launched two wines, Red Satin and White Silk. They have been "personally blended by E.L. James, along with winemakers in California's premium North Coast appellation," a press statement said.
"Wine plays an important role in 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' adding to the sensuality that pervades a number of scenes," said James. "I've always had a penchant for good wine, so combining two of my passions to blend Red Satin and White Silk was a natural extension of the series."
More than 90 million copies of books from the Fifty Shades trilogy have reputedly been sold worldwide, in 52 different languages. In other words, there is a ready market for the wines.
The 2009 Red Satin is described by its makers as a "decadent" blend of petite sirah and syrah, aged in French oak, with flavors of "black cherry, cocoa powder, creamy caramel and vanilla, leather and clove spice."
The 2012 White Silk is less conventional. While you might expect a splash of pinot gris in keeping with the grey theme, the blend is an uncommon combination of gewürztraminer and sauvignon blanc. Rarely blended together, these unusual bedfellows produce "a delicately playful experience," with floral aromatics of lychee and honey, tempered by crisp grapefruit, mineral and lush pear, the brand's marketing team claims.
Information being released to retailers states: "You are sure to see your sales surge with our provocative, eye-catching point of sale." To begin with, the wines will only be available via the Fifty Shades wine website, but they will go on sale in U.S. stores during October. The wines have not yet been tasted by any critics, a spokeswoman said.
James has expressed the hope that "my readers will curl up with a glass as they enjoy the romance between Anastasia and Christian." A former TV executive, the author lives in London.
Her website lists the wines drunk in the course of the three Fifty Shades books, including 1999 Bollinger Grande Année Rosé (numerous mentions), 2006 Alban Estate Roussanne and Grenache, 2006 Domaine de la Janasse Vielles Vignes, and 2004 Klein Constantia Vin de Constance.