Without question, Marilyn Monroe is the ultimate sex symbol of the last century. But honestly, is she going to get your guy as excited as today's sex symbols (hello, Angelina and Scarlett!)? Poke fun at retro icons such as Marilyn as you sip one of the bottles -- we vote for this one, in which she is totally naked and the graphic art is, uh, strategically placed over the nude photo-portrait taken by Tom Kelly, Sr., in 1949. he wine is a blend of Bordeaux varietals: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. But if you're balking at the $200 price-tag, know this: It's actually a 1.5-liter bottle, not the typical 750mL.

      Five Quirky, Romantic Wine Labels, February 2, 2011


The Velvet Collection is one of the wines in a dream cellar on the cover of Wine Spectator.
     Wine Spectator, November 30, 2006


2004 Marilyn Velvet Collection.  Opened in a non-blind setting and tasted both analytically and afterward with food, I'll put it this way:  It is a competitive, high-end Napa Bordeaux-style blend, fruity and well-balanced and complex, blending Cabernet fruit and Napa eucalyptus.  It's not a laughter at this price.
     The 30 Second Wine Advisor, wineloverspage.com, January 17, 2007

2004 Marilyn Wines Velvet Collection Red ($200 a magnum): A rich cabernet-merlot blend with an R-rated label.
     Bloomberg.com, Sept. 6, 2007

2004 The Velvet Collection Napa Valley Marilyn Wines - Intense plum, cherry, spice and licorice flavors have good depth and structure. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now.
Score: 86
      Wine Spectator, November 15, 2007

The Atlanta Journal Constitution's wine columnist, tasted a representative cross section of 12 wines (two chardonnays, four merlots, and six cabernet sauvignon-based wines) from Marilyn Wines, Elvis' Graceland Cellars, J. Garcia, and James Dean…All wines were tasted blind. 
He found:
The star of the show…was the Marilyn Velvet Collection red, nearly a 50-50 blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon that would match up nicely against any premium, full-bodied reds from California.
Two Thumbs Up.  Seductive aromas of fresh violets, blackberry, and cassis.  It offers lots of fresh dark berry fruit flavors, with just a touch of chocolate and cinnamon and a fair amount of minty eucalyptus. Tastes young.  Should benefit from three to five years of cellaring.
    Gils Kulers, Atlanta Journal—Constitution, November 26, 2006


2003 Marilyn Velvet Collection is medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine has a dark nose of black cherry, chocolate, and cola aromas.  In the mouth it is lush and full with primary flavors of black cherry, chocolate, and hints of spices supported by very fine, dusty tannins that seem well aged already.  The wine is well integrated and poised, with a decent finish.
Score 9/9.
    Vinography.com, December 14, 2005

Discreetly packaged in a handsome box, a wispy wrap covers Marilyn's less-seen parts. Until you get home, that is...
   Cleveland Magazine, October 2005

The infamous first-ever centerfold image of the inaugural issue of Playboy now graces the label of the Velvet Collection 2003, a blend of Napa cabernet sauvignon and merlot.
   Paul Franson, Napa Register, September 28, 2005

Marilyn Monroe bares all in 2003 Velvet Collection...The wine itself is a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot made by winemaker John McKay...
   Novus Vinum, September 16, 2005

Marilyn Wines has launched its newest and most revealing vintage, Velvet Collection 2003. A Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend, the wine features Marilyn's famous nude centerfold from the inaugural issue of Playboy magazine in 1953 as its label...
   Melanie Stuparyk, Wine Spectator Online, September 19, 2005

Marilyn Wines' new 2003 Napa Valley vintage, with her famous Playboy centerfold affixed to the label, won't disappoint. The nude pinup that graces each $200 bottle is protected by a removable "peel and peek" crimson plastic overlay, which veils Marilyn's most intoxicating assets. Take that, Francis Ford Coppola!
   Premiere Magazine, September 2005

…a delectable blend of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  While the bottle arrives with a demure wrap covering Ms. Monroe's most salacious bits, the wrap can be removed for a spirited session of peel ‘n' leer.
     Men's Edge Magazine, September 2005

The Velvet Collection is a conversation piece, a collectible, a fine wine and the opportunity to have Marilyn Monroe home to dinner.
   Accent on Tampa Bay, September 2005

The palate-pleasing merlot-cab blend arrives ready for her close-up wearing a wispy wrap over her coveted parts from the infamous centerfold in Hef's very first issue of Playboy.  Unwrap Marilyn this fall.
      Instinct magazine, September 2005

The latest wines that feature the unforgettable image of Marilyn Monroe have a new twist...buy the wine and you get the pleasure of undressing the lady, peeling off the plastic label that keeps her decent...
   Luxist, September 16, 2005

2003 Marilyn Velvet Collection – Marilyn wines began by producing the first commercial bottle of Marilyn Merlot in 1985…But, rather than just selling it as a gimmick gift, the producers were also serious about the wine that went into the bottle.

The wine?  Oh, yes, the wine is 54 percent cabernet sauvignon from Yountville's Blockhouse vineyard and 46 percent merlot from the famed Beckstoffer vineyard in Oakville.  It is big and voluptuous with loads of purple fruit, good hints of creamy chocolate, and enough serious tannins that if you buy a bottle for your infant child now, it will be a marvelous present when he or she becomes old enough to drink it.
     Roger Morris, delawareonline.com—Fine Wine


The wine drinker's mantra is going to have to be revised to "swirl, sniff, sip - and ogle," thanks to a provocative new label from a Napa Valley producer…Marilyn Wines…
   Jerry Shriver, USA Today, October 8, 2004

…new Velvet Collection brand features the famous "Red Velvet" nude photo of Marilyn Monroe on a peek-a-boo label, a first for the wine industry…limited-edition blend of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.
     MaryAnn Worobiec Bovio, Wine Spectator Online, September 17, 2004

…the most talked about wine purchase of the season…the famous image has a protective vinyl overlay covering the starlet's assets…the wine is delicious - lush, full bodied, with many layers of flavor…
               San Diego Union Tribune, December 15, 2004

Wine with a classic and provocative Marilyn Monroe calendar photograph was introduced last month by Marilyn Wines of Napa Valley. Marilyn Wines' prior releases of Marilyn Merlot and Norma Jeane wines have consistently risen in value among connoisseurs and collectors, but this latest brand is also guaranteed to raise eyebrows.
In a wine industry first, Velvet Collection bottles feature a label with a unique overlay that covers certain areas of the photo with iridescent sparkles and it can be peeled away. Praised for the quality of their wines as much as the collectible concepts behind them.
Marilyn Wines' prior releases, which always sell out quickly, have been great wine investments for collectors. A 12-bottle vertical wine collection featuring one of each Marilyn Merlot released from 1985 through 1996 currently fetches $7,000. The Velvet Collection is expected to be even more collectable than prior lines due to the racy and unique nature of the labels, as well as the sealed packaging for each of the individually numbered, limited-edition 1.5 liter bottles to be released with a retail prices around $225.
                      Patterson's Beverage Journal, November 2004

According to the Wine Spectator magazine, the Marilyn Merlot brand is one of the fastest appreciating wine in the industry. And many believe the Velvet Collection could gain in value as well.

"I think it's nice, it's clever and it helps keep Marilyn's image alive,"
said Clark Kidder, who has written five books on Monroe's collectibles.
                Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2004

swirl, sniff, sip- and ogle thanks to a provocative new label from a
Napa Valley producer
               USA Today, October 8, 2004

2002—Velvet Collection.  In an era in which wine packaging has become a effective and as important as the quality of the wine itself, I can see members of either gender trying this wine out at first, perhaps, for the label and then maybe discovering a drink they really like.
    Gabe Saglie, South Coast Beacon, October 7, 2004

sex sells… features the famous "Red Velvet" nude photo of Marilyn Monroe on a peel-a-peek label, a first for the wine industry…to see all of her, you simply peel away the overlay. 
                 The Wine Spectator, September 17, 2004