The Wine Curmudgeon does not have any children, so the Hello Kitty phenomenon is something that I know exists, but didn't have to pay attention to. Until now.
An Italian fashion company is marketing Hello Kitty wine, and it went on sale in the U.S. this spring. There are two sparkling wines, a white and red (both made from pinot noir), and they aren't cheap. The rose bubbly is $30 a bottle and the other bubbly is about $15 for a half bottle.
Interestingly, the debate in the cyber-ether has very little do with the price or the quality of the wine (though I doubt the rose sparkler is four to five times better than Cristalino). The hipsters note that the concept is cute, while others wring their hands about whether it will turn pre-teen girls into alcoholics. The most common comparison is with Joe Camel, the late and unlamented spokes-animal for the cigarette of the same name, who was run off by the Federal Trade Commission.
This, of course, is typical of most wine writing. Why bother to write about the wine when there are so many other things to write about? Best yet, since it's the Internet, it doesn't matter if your argument makes sense. I doubt this is Joe Camel redux, if only because it's much more difficult for an underage drinker to buy a $30 bottle of wine than it is to buy a $5 pack of smokes.
In fact, what will probably happen is that tens of thousands of U.S. consumers will buy the wine because they like Hello Kitty, taste it, and decide that the wine isn't worth the price. This will set back the cause of wine drinking in the U.S. once again, which will make me even crankier than I normally am. Thanks, Hello Kitty.