Aykroyd on wine, NH, 'Ghostbusters'
Location: The Martinetti offices on Fir Street in Manchester on Tuesday. Interview with Dan Aykroyd. Seated before a poster advertising Aykroyd’s Discovery Series Wines at a table with two bottles of 2007 vintage, one a Chardonnay and the other a Cabernet Sauvignon.
QUESTION: So this is the product?
ANSWER: Yes. The Chardonnay was a no-brainer. No problem in Sonoma making great wine with the grapes there. The Cabernet, well, I had to wrestle a little to fill it out from what was there. It took us four or five blends to get this wine that I like now.
QUESTION: You have a winery in the Niagara area, but you don’t use grapes from there.
ANSWER: No this is the American-area production. Niagara wines will never come to the states. Just too much protectionism down here. It would be so high priced. I figured the best way to introduce the Discovery series would be to go to Sonoma, because, you know, we have no trade issues there. At least not yet . . .
QUESTION: So you do movies, drama, comedy, write and voice video games, you’ve got a long-running radio show, you start restaurants and night clubs, make wine and spirits, you’ve produced DVD on UFOs – is there anything you aren’t involved in?
ANSWER: Well, national security. And I’d like to be.
I’ve been very fortunate. The thing about celebrity is it’s good for getting out of a speeding ticket, getting a good table in a restaurant and for espousing causes. For instance, Angelina Jolie, the good work she does with her celebrity does substantial aid for United Nations initiatives. Celebrity is also good for commercial enterprises, however, the celebrity name and the novelty of the bottle will only get you so far. It has to succeed on what’s in the bottle. And that’s why I feel confident serving this with my name on it. It comes from Voisey in the DeLoach Vineyards and they really know what they are doing.
(Tasting) Mmm. The Chardonnay has a wonderful body, it’s very substantial.
And these are young bottles. Lay this down for a couple of years and of course it would get stronger because they have the structure to sustain over time. They are both drinkable now, but for collectors in 10 years that red is going to be an incredible California wine.
QUESTION: There are a lot of new entries into the wine market, including lots of celebrities. How do you hope your wines will distinguish themselves?
Well, I hope people get the taste of a premium wine, a 50 to 60 dollar Bordeaux experience, and in this white a 30 or 40 dollar experience and all for about 20 dollars a bottle. High quality and good value and a great price. I think the combination of those three elements will make this a success.
QUESTION: You are from Ottawa, so it’s not out of the question you’ve traveled through New Hampshire from time to time.
ANSWER: I have many times while going back from N.Y. to Montreal.
QUESTION: So, have you established any New Hampshire connections?
ANSWER: Well, Adam Sandler. I’ve done a few pictures with him; he speaks fondly of New Hampshire. He loves his home state.
QUESTION: OK, “Ghostbusters 3,” what’s happening?
ANSWER: Well, we have the game “Ghostbusters 3” coming out in June.
QUESTION: You did voice work for that, right?
ANSWER: Harold (Ramis) and I wrote part of the script, and I performed the voice. We worked with them very closely to make that happen, and now we have the movie being written by two of the writers from “The Office.”
ANSWER: So with all the winds of the gods behind us, we hope to be in production by October.
QUESTION: And you won’t let the millions of “Ghostbuster” fans down, I trust.
ANSWER: I hope not. I’m the biggest fan of “Ghostbusters,” having originated the beast. I’ve always wanted to have the third movie. I’ve written two versions of it and now, finally it looks like we’re going to get it made.