Downton Abbey branded wine launched

I somehow missed this story here in the UK … I fear this is either (or both) a missed opportunity, or what the Americans love to call “jumping the shark

Lacking Breeding?

Lacking Breeding?

I understand that if a “popular” TV show like Downton Abbey decides to link its brand with wines, these ought to be affordable, but the wines and branding should reflect well on the brand to help grow it and not risk damaging it, surely?

So WHAT were the TV rights / brand owners thinking allowing others to manage their online communications? The TV series is all about storytelling and characters, a PERFECT vehicle for saying something interesting about the wine, which appears to have been followed through to some extent on the labels, and instead they create a website (http://downtonabbeywine.com) that any primary school student could probably improve on.

Has anyone tried it?

Sadly, it seems from the reviews I have come across, that I am not wrong to be worried. Even the show’s ardent fans aren’t convinced:

http://winecurmudgeon.com/downton-abbey-claret-wine-merchandising-for-dummies/
http://armchairsommelier.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/youre-invited-to-luncheon-at-downton-abbey/

UPDATE:
Here’s a bit more background on the licensing deal for this project: “The firm – which already produces Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd-branded wine – was tasked by Knockout Licensing to recreate the rich Bordeaux wines imported by the British aristocracy from France in the early 1900s.”

And in case it has whetted your appetite, you should know that there are more branded items on the way: “Knockout Licensing has agreed a deal with Fifth Sun for a range of screen-printed Downton Abbey t-shirts, fashion tops, thermal, and fleece as well as seasonal specialty apparel for distribution through select retail tiers.”

  • wineybrett

    Thanks for this article which will, of course, be ignored by true Downton Abbey lovers!
    And I believe Chateau Bandwagon will be hitting the shelves soon…