Elvira the Winemaker
Mistress of the Dark Teams with Sort This Out Cellars to Release Macabrenet
Thanks to the retro-minded folks behind the Solvang-based Sort This Out Cellars, the Mistress of the Dark is now in the wine business, releasing about 500 cases of her inaugural bottle of 2008 Macabrenet — a tart cabernet sauvignon sourced from Temecula in San Diego County — in December during a standing-room-only bottle-signing at the Terravant facility in Buellton. Last week, Elvira, whose actual name is Cassandra Peterson, took a few minutes to chat with The Santa Barbara Independent about her latest adventure.
How’d this come about? You may know that I repped Coors beer for seven years and, after that, I went on my own and did a beer called Elvira’s Night Brew. I figured it was finally time to get some class and move into wine. I was approached by Sort This Out Cellars at a big convention in Las Vegas called Viva Las Vegas. They were in the booth next to us. My manager started chatting with them about the possibility of doing a wine and also a soda pop, so they jumped on it, and we put out the first one. That will hopefully be followed by a couple others. It’s been doing really well, and we’re very happy and excited by it. I do like wine more than beer nowadays.
How was it working with Sort This Out Cellars? Very cool. Viva Las Vegas is a mix of goth and rockabilly — gothabilly? — amazing tattoos, ’40s and ’50s hairstyles. It’s such a trip. These guys fit right in … They have a great marketing idea, which is doing these cool sexy pinup-girl labels. They really stood out. [Sort This Out’s] Michael Cobb is a great guy, a hard worker. They have their own little niche.
How involved were you with the process? I was involved in getting all the art together and meeting with them several times. Of course, I’m not a winemaker, so I don’t know the intricacies about the making of wine. They had suggestions, and we liked doing a red that was dark and fitting for the Elvira character. I did sample tastings, and I thought they came up with a great wine.
Why cab? We wanted something kind of blood red. They came up with the clever name Macabrenet, so I got to give them props for that.
Do you see your fans turning more to wine as they get older? I would definitely say that, in the beginning, my fans were the beer-drinking crowd. Now the fans are getting older — though I do have a lot of younger fans — and wine has become very popular. I am amazed at how many people want to get their hands on this wine. A lot are unable to because they are in a foreign country or in a state where they don’t sell the wine. It’s been very popular among my fans. My fans are getting classier as they get older.
What wine might be next? We’ve been talking about doing a rosé. I’ve got to say I was never a rosé fan, although I’ve had a few more recently in France that I was blown away by. They were so great, not sweet — I don’t like sweet wine — but dry and light. They’re talking about doing something like that. Now we’ve got to think of a good name to go along with it.