Chris Brook-Carter

Bowled over

By: Chris Brook-Carter - 1 October 2003 17:23

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Someone somewhere must be buying these things, because another celebrity wine will be hitting the UK shelves this month - this time courtesy of those 1970s and 80s cricket stars Ian Botham and Bob Willis.
According to Tesco, which will be stocking the wine on its website, "producing wine is a fast growing trend among wine-loving celebrities." Amazingly it appears that buying the stuff is also a fast growing trend - Cliff Richard's wine brand is still Tesco's fastest ever seller.
I can remember finding Paul Newman's face staring back at me from a bottle of salad dressing rather an odd experience when I was a child. However, I suppose his Hollywood sex-symbol status was an ideal marketing tool for those aiming at the housewife market.
But quite who is persuaded to buy wine by the mugs of Shane Warne or Olivia Newton-John, let alone Botham and Willis is, I will admit, a mystery to me.
And if you were in any doubt about the nature of this whole project, I give you David Clements of Tesco.com, whose quote in the press release sums up this sorry affair.
"We were hit for six when we heard that Botham and Willis - once the scourge of the Aussies - had produced a range of Australian wines, but when we tried them we were bowled over."
On top of this, the owners have seen fit to abbreviate Botham Merrill Willis Wines to BMW - pure class.
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