Elizabeth Banks believes that wine lovers deserve accessible wine at affordable prices, in a format that fits their lifestyle. “I feel like there’s a story around wine that there are fancy bottles, and all rituals that revolve around that—which are fabulous and deserving, by the way—and then everything else that’s cheap,” Banks told Wine Spectator. “And neither are great stories for the average wine consumer.”
Banks knows a thing or two about storytelling. The actor, producer, director and writer has been stealing scenes for nearly 20 years, from Spider-Man to The 40-Year-Old Virgin to The Hunger Games to Pitch Perfect, and she says she’s always on the lookout for new stories to tell—and unique investment opportunities. That search led her rather serendipitously to Archer Roose, a Boston-based canned wine company that partners with winemakers around the world to produce premium canned wine. Banks joined the company as co-owner and chief creative officer in May of this year, determined to help bring the brand's story, category and format to life.
“We want to make wine fun and entertaining while elevating cans,” said Archer Roose co-founder and CEO Marian Leitner-Waldman. For her, having a celebrity stand in as the everyman while still being able to poke fun at the self-seriousness of wine is a different way to talk about wine.
The brand already stands out for its label, featuring a woman in a Victorian riding habit astride an antlered moose. However, the creative addition of Banks led to an ad that pokes fun at the new relationship between Banks and Leitner-Waldman. In the ad, Banks makes herself a little too comfortable as Leitner-Waldman’s houseguest, eating all her food and drinking all the Archer Roose before proclaiming herself the brand’s new spokesperson.
“[Elizabeth] was passionate about the brand and loved what we were trying to do: educate and take wine drinkers on a journey,” said Leitner-Waldman.
“I’m not a snob,” Banks laughed. “Every wine has its place. It's a lovely endeavor being introduced to a fancy bottle, but my focus is more about what’s a casual and affordable wine that still feels like dinner got fancy even though I microwaved it.”
“What’s great is it's kind of a mom-and-pop shop that I’ve gotten involved with,” Banks added, “so we have a small and intimate group that can talk about how to get [our wine] into more people's hands.”
Banks admitted that she still has plenty to learn about both wine and the business. She didn’t grow up with wine, and it didn’t become a staple in her life until her thirties. She favors wines that drink like her upbeat personality. “I look for wines that are going to bring people together, and that can be celebratory or impressive without being condescending,” she said, “and Archer Roose is a wine I feel comfortable drinking with anybody.”
Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.