Did you hear that Mary J. Blige announced her own line of wines? Something must be in the water because everyone is trying to get a piece of the wine game these days. Earlier this summer, Mary teamed up with Fantinel Winery to introduce Sun Goddess Wines, a collection of limited-edition wines featuring an Italian Pinot Grigio Romato (Rosé) and an Italian Sauvignon Blanc. Family and friends kept texting me about the news and if I’m honest I wasn’t pressed to try either one. It just seemed kind of random that Mary J. Blige was coming out with a wine, but I will admit that my initial judgment was wrong. Maybe my doubt was more so because the hype was more around Mary and not the actually quality of the wine. I get it celebrity sells, but for a true wino like myself I could care less—unless said celebrity is someone like Maxwell. Then, I’d gladly be his wine ambassador. Anyways, months later I started to see pieces on Fantinel Winery and discovered the wine was made in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy—the same region I was supposed to visit earlier this year! What a small world?! I’d never heard of Friuli Venezia Giulia prior to 2019 and now it was popping up everyone! So, that alone made me even more intrigued to finally try Sun Goddess Wines and it gave Mary more wine cred in my book. The other good thing about these wines is that they’re very affordable…$19.99, so if you are skeptical like I was, you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank to try them. Before I get into my review, here is a little more background on Sun Goddess Wines.
The 411 on Sun Goddess Wines
Although, we know Mary as this huge Grammy Award singer, wine tasting is also one of her passions. In particular, she loves white wines (a girl after my own heart) that demonstrate freshness, minerality, and purity. To my surprise, she’s actually a big Pinot Grigio drinker. I don’t know too many people that like Pinot Grigio beside one of my aunts and now we can add Mary to the list. It was her love of Pinot Grigio that led her to Friuli Venezia Giulia, the top producing region of the grape, and eventually Marco Fantinel, owner of one of the leading wineries of this area.
Fantinel has become an internationally prestigious winery and an ambassador for the craft of Friulian winemaking in the world. Friuli Venezia Giulia is recognized around the world as a source of excellent quality wines. According to the site, its particular climate enables the grapes to develop acidity together with fragrant aroma. The terroir in this area is extremely rich in minerals, enhancing the structure and complexity of the wines. After a visit to the region and Fantinel Winery, Mary knew she wanted to create her own wine with the help of Marco.
Why the name Sun Goddess? Inspiration behind the name comes from a nickname Mary’s mother gave her when she was young. On her website she shares, “I’ve always loved the sun, and as a child I always tried to capture the sun’s warmth and energy. It was magical to me, and it’s with that spirit, that my mom began calling me “Sun Goddess.” For Mary, the Sun Goddess name connects her real life to the connection between nature and the personality of the wines.
I have to say that I was impressed with the story of how Sun Goddess Wines came about and a little jealous that Mary was able to work with these well-known winemakers in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Well done, Mary, well done! Now enough with the background and onto the tasting!
2019 Sun Goddess Sauvignon Blanc
Can we talk about the labeling first? The Sun Goddess bottles are so pretty! It really helps amplify the wine. I just had to say that. Okay back to the wine! This Sauvignon Blanc a is pale golden straw color. The aromas on this wine are very intense. I got a little bit of peach, green apple, and citrus notes. This is a dry, medium-bodied white wine. I have to say that the flavors were very on point. This Sauvignon Blanc is very crisp and refreshing, with tropical fruit notes and a touch of earthiness that gives it a little bit of grit on the finish. I enjoyed the mix of minerality and acidity that adds to the wine’s complexity. Luckily, I had tried the Vigne Malina Sauvignon back in October, so I had an idea of what Italian Sauv Blanc was supposed to taste like and Mary’s is very much in line. At that point, I had to eat my doubt and give Mary her well deserved credit. She did not come to play. This is a great representation of Italian Sauvignon Blanc!
2019 Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio (Ramato)
As I stated above, Mary is a big fan of Pinot Grigio, so it was only right that she feature one in her collection. However, this version is slightly different that what you may be familiar with. Pinot Grigio (Ramato)?? Now, what does that mean?
Ramato is a historical style of producing Pinot Grigio in the Friuli Venezia-Giulia, where Pinot Grigio has been grown for hundreds of years. The word is Italian for ‘copper’ or ‘auburn.’ This distinct wine style is when Pinot Grigio grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to spend time with the juice, resulting in a cooper hue. Although, the Pinot Grigio skins’ pink hue can give the wines a color ranging from a semi-pale pink to dark orange, depending on the time of maceration.
This Pinot Grigio (Ramato) is a very pretty pale copper color that looks very regale in the bottle. Don’t let the color fool you though. Color does not dictate sweetness. This is a dry, light-boded wine. It has aromas of peach, lemon, and melon. On the palate, I got a lot of those same notes. You can definitely taste the acidity on this wine, but there’s no follow-through. I felt like the flavors disappear on the finish. It was really weird. Overall, I thought it was okay…it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t amazing either. I’m not a Pinot Grigio drinker, but if you are then you’ll probably appreciate this wine more. I’ll let you be the judge!
So, there you have it! A review of Mary J. Blige’s Sun Goddess Wines. I have to give her a hand because these were on a level way above Snoop’s wine…no shade! The quality is just better. The more I think about it, Snoop’s just tasted like another mass produced 19 Crimes wine. But, whether you like Sun Goddess or not will ultimately come down to preference. I hope this review helps. I’m not the biggest celebrity wine supporter, but I’ll vouch for Mary. She definitely did her research and worked with the best. If you’re interested in trying Sun Goddess Wines, you can find them at Total Wine, Wine.com, or check on their site. Have you tried them yet? Let me know what you think. Until next time….glasses up!