Pop Culture

How to Taste the Wines of the 2021 Emmy Awards

Napa Valley’s Sterling Vineyards and several Franciacorta wines will make an appearance at the award show

Janice Williams By September 13, 2021
Photo illustration by Pix

Red carpet luxury will be in full swing when Hollywood’s elite gather together for the 2021 Emmy Awards on Sept. 19. The indoor/outdoor ceremony will be held at Los Angeles’ Event Deck at L.A. LIVE, for what is sure to be a sparkling celebration of the entertainment that helped viewers get through one whirlwind of a year.

The event will be limited, as only four invitations were given to each nominated team that received more than three nominations — looking at you “Lovecraft Country” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” — in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, the Emmys are expected to be as lavish as always, and there certainly won’t be any limits on the amount of wine being poured at the annual shindig. 

Sterling Vineyards wine and Emmy award.

Sterling Vineyards wine and Emmy award. Photo courtesy of Sterling Vineyards.

The sparkling stars

This year, the Emmys partnered with the Consorzio Franciacorta to serve multiple sparkling wines from Franciacorta, a region in northern Italy that has long been recognized for this style of winemaking. In fact, the region was the first in Italy to be classified as DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) in 1995 for the many wines made in the area that are produced using the same method the French use to make Champagne, which requires wines to undergo a second fermentation in the bottle and a long aging period, ranging from a minimum of 18 months up to several years.

“Franciacorta represents an Italian excellence, so we are proud of this partnership, as the Emmys are a celebration of excellence with the awards given to the most talented artists of the television industry,” a Consorzio Franciacorta representative said in a statement to The Drop. “The Franciacorta wines showcased at the Emmys come from many different wineries of our wine territory.”

Wines from Franciacorta, like Berlucchi ‘61 Brut Rosé and Castel Faglia Monogram Brut Blanc de Blancs, among others, are expected to be poured for Emmy nominees.

The still wines

For the sixth consecutive year, Napa Valley’s Sterling Vineyards will serve as the official wine partner for the 2021 Emmy Awards season. Founded in 1964, the winery released its first vintage in 1969 and soon after became synonymous with quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay within the region. Nominees and guests will sip on Sterling Vineyards’ signature Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay during the ceremony, and award winners will receive a special customized bottle of Sterling Vineyards Iridium Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016.

What’s even better about the wines making an appearance at the Emmys is that viewers can experience them too. Many of the bottles are available for retail sale, which means “Ted Lasso” and “WandaVision” fans at home can fill up their glasses with the same wine Emmy nominees, like Jason Sudeikis and Elizabeth Olsen, may potentially be drinking at the awards show. Below are a few of the wines that will be served at the event that are also currently available to buy. 

4 Emmy wines to try at home:

bottle of Castel Faglia Monogram Brut Blanc de Blancs

Castel Faglia Monogram Brut Blanc de Blancs ($37)

Toast to your favorite actors and shows with this blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco that comes from the Cru centennial vines owned and maintained by Castel Faglia within the Franciacorta. This sparkling wine exudes rich and intense aromas of fresh fruit and citrus that carry over to the palate. The wine’s refined bubbles are as persistent as Emmy nominee Olivia Colman’s performance in the award-winning Netflix series “The Crown,” also up for multiple Emmys this year.

bottle of Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Berlucchi ‘61 Brut Rosé ($38)

Throwing an Emmys watch party? This sparkling wine, produced by Berlucchi, is the perfect aperitif to pair with all the anticipation for red carpet arrivals. An intensely pink blend of Pinot Nero and Chardonnay, this wine is booming with fragrances of fresh-picked berries and crusty bread hot out of the oven. The palate expresses flavors of wild berries and a hint of sweetness, while the bubbles are refined.

bottle of Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 ($45)

Ripe fruit and soft tannins make this full-bodied and structured Cabernet Sauvignon as approachable as Sandy Kominsky, the character Michael Douglas plays on Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method,” for which he’s also nominated for an Emmy. Scents of plum, mocha, and oak spice permeate the glass while the sip is full of blackberry, black cherry, and raspberry flavors that reveal the wine’s warm and layered complexity.

bottle of Sterling Vineyards Reserve Napa Valley Chardonnay

Sterling Vineyards Reserve Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017 ($60)

Bright citrus takes center stage in this Californian Chardonnay. The classic Chardonnay nuances — ripe stone fruit, toasted caramel, vanilla — are all there too, providing outstanding support, while a touch of minerality, light acidity, and a dash of oak spice are all there to the lingering finish.