"Downton Abbey," the British import television series and imaginary country estate, is putting its imprint on a wine. French, of course, which is what the aristocracy was drinking in that era, and specifically Bordeaux. By the time Season 4 rolls around in January, Downton fanatics should be able play butler and uncork a bottle of "claret" to sip while watching the latest installment of the PBS series.
But get this. The project comes from Knockout Licensing in collaboration with "Wines That Rock," described as "the Official Wine of Rock 'N Roll" on the company's website.
If Mr. Carson and the Dowager Countess could time-travel, I'm quite sure they would be horrified to find their wines lumped in with reds from the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Grateful Dead. Maybe they'd feel better if they knew that the Downton Abbey wines won't be blended by a dude in earphones listening to a pounding soundtrack. Their wines -- a Bordeaux claret and Bordeaux white -- will come from a wine estate of long provenance, or at least one that was in business during the same era depicted in the series.
"We are working with the Dulong Grands Vins De Bordeaux vineyards, which have been in the same family for five generations," said Bill Zysblat, co-owner of Wines That Rock, in a statement. "They have over 130 years of experience in creating the world's best wines, so these are wines the Crawley family would have been proud to serve at Downton."
Dulong Grands Vins de Bordeaux, though, is not some small, charming estate, making handcrafted wines. According to the Drinks Business, a European trade publication, Dulong "makes red, white and rosé Bordeaux blends on a grand scale, with a production capacity of 25,000 hectolitres." That's some 2,500,000 liters and well over 3 million bottles.
The market for this wine? Potentially huge. The series has 120 million viewers in over 200 countries. And, according to PBS, the show has 24 million viewers in this country alone.