An Open Letter to Cameron Diaz

Dear Cameron:

Let me be among the first to congratulate you on your new wine project, Avaline. This is very exciting news in our little world of wine where fellowship and “you’re the asshole on Twitter” are the front and back labels of our public face. You’re one of us now and you can rest assured you’re among friends.

In the spirit of that fellowship, and to protect you from assholes, I want to warn you about a few bad actors on the fringes of our ranks. As you may know, there is always an underside to every endeavor — a handsy co-star, for instance, or an abusive director. In our world it’s the vinous crusader decrying industrial wine, the natural wine sycophant, or the overzealous marketer whose secret creative goal is to resurrect the Thunderbird brand for Gallo.

Make no mistake, there are those among us who will stop at nothing to shame you. They have already drawn the battle lines. The marketing conceit of “clean” versus “dirty” is a real trigger point for these hysterical crazies. They will even argue that a “clean” wine is a physical and chemical impossibility, given that alcohol is proven to be toxic to the liver and brain.

Oh the irony. They refuse to acknowledge the stinky wines they peddle are toxic in ways we’ve yet to discover.

Even worse, the environmental wing of this self-righteous movement will crow that organic agriculture is the bare minimum they expect from you. They will push you to consider soil regeneration protocols, biodiversity programs, water conservation techniques and even demand that you supply living wages to your workers. 

Don’t listen to them. Their interests are not aligned with yours.

While some will criticize you for your capitalist instincts, I commend you for honing in on Spain, Catalonia in particular, for your supply of grapes. It’s quite simply a stroke of genius to avail your brand of the cheapest grapes possible and at the very moment growers are striking against Big Cava for more money.

Imagine that, they want more.

I say — and I think you will agree — to the bold, go the spoils. At $24.95 per bottle on the back end it’s a total win-win. As much as the wine elites hate to admit, there’s nothing like the smell of 2000% profit off the backs of distressed farmers.

Or is that Gwyneth’s vagina? Hard to tell sometimes. 

And to those who say you didn’t invent organic grapes and minimal intervention winemaking, I say phooey. Those are merely the strategies struggling winemakers use to artificially inflate prices for indifferent and defective products. Yours is the honest way to add value — via celebrity endorsement.

Finally, as you may have guessed by now, I absolutely love the lifestyle positioning of Avaline, but I’ve got to warn you that some guy at Deerfield Ranch Winery in Sonoma has registered a trademark on the term “clean wine.” You can never tell about a guy who attempts to trademark a meaningless phrase, but I wouldn’t want to cross him. In the great tradition of vinous litigiousness this is probably something for you and your lawyer to discuss.

Not to worry, because you want to distinguish yourself from his stuff anyway. And a rosé from the south of France is one way for you to separate yourself from the crowd. May I suggest the faintest pink possible. In that the way the consumer is reminded that there is no there there. That Avaline is so pale and “clean” (subject to your lawyer’s approval) that it’s got to be good. In fact, “If it’s the palest, it must be the best” would make a great tagline, don’t you think.

I humbly make myself available for advice and assistance for this wonderful, groundbreaking project.

Your friend,


P.S. I forgave you a long time ago for dating A-Rod. He’s where he belongs now.

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