Mob Wines: New Pinot Noir from a 'Sopranos' Star, Old Collectibles from the Cellar of John Gotti

Actress Drea de Matteo introduces Gangster Goddess Pinot, and a Queens wine shop sells the late Gambino boss’ high-end trophy wines

Mob Wines: New Pinot Noir from a 'Sopranos' Star, Old Collectibles from the Cellar of John Gotti
Gangster Goddess co-hosts and legitimate business associates Chris Kushner (left) and Drea de Matteo (Courtesy of Nocking Point Wines)
Mar 9, 2021

Emmy-winning actress Drea de Matteo broke audiences’ hearts playing the tragic Adriana La Cerva on HBO’s The Sopranos. Now fans can toast La Cerva’s memory with Gangster Goddess Broad-Cast Pinot Noir, a new wine from de Matteo and her longtime friend and podcast co-host Chris Kushner.

Released in February by Nocking Point Wines, the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir commemorates the conclusion of de Matteo and Kushner’s Gangster Goddess Broad-Cast podcast. The duo started the series in July 2020, discussing everything from love to overcoming adversity with guests including Sopranos co-stars David Proval and Lorraine Bracco and former mobster Michael Franzese.

“Wine has always been the drink of the gods to me … sexy, ancient, natural and mysterious,” de Matteo told Unfiltered via email. “And professionally? Who doesn’t like to drink a nice red wine after a hard day’s work?”

“We felt like Drea and Chris could put an awesome spin on a very unique ‘gangster’-themed wine,” Nocking Point co-founder Andrew Harding explained via email. “We knew working with [them] was going to be laid-back and a lot of fun." And Nocking Point is no stranger to celebrity wine labels: The Washington-based winery has also made wines for Bravo’s Real Housewives, professional wrestler Chris Jericho, actor Jared Padalecki and Mean GirlsJonathan Bennett

“[This wine] commemorates the end of our pandemic podcast project,” de Matteo said, “but it also celebrates trying new things and being able to say ‘bye-bye’ when the jeans don’t fit, instead of trying to push too hard.” De Matteo views the Pinot as a celebration of leaving the “rat race” to focus on friendships and relax with wine, a familiar concept for the Sopranos cast. “We always drank real wine [on set] during big dinner scenes,” she revealed.


 Wines from the celler of late mobster John Gotti
The late John Gotti's wines were a hot commodity at Enoteca LIC. (Tony D'Aiuto)

Lafite, DRC, Pétrus and More from the Cellar of Mobster John Gotti

In Tony D'Aiuto's 25 years of collecting wine, never did he think the rare bottles of American mobster John Gotti would make it onto the shelves of his wine shop in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. The owner of Restaurant Award winner Levante and adjacent wine store Enoteca LIC acquired 36 bottles from Gotti's personal cellar through a close friend: John Angelo 'Junior' Gotti, the mob boss' son.

D'Aiuto, who is also one of Junior's criminal defense lawyers, was having lunch with him a few years before opening the wine shop in 2020. "I told him I wanted to build a reserve room for rare wines and [Junior] said, 'I have some of my dad's wines still in my collection—why don't you come take a look at them?'" D'Aiuto recalled. "He showed me the wines and I could not believe what I was seeing."

Pristine bottles of Bordeaux and Burgundy lined the cellar walls. D'Aiuto, who collects Gaja, Sassicaia, Ornellaia and other Italian rarities, realized he had uncovered a French gold mine, and asked Junior if he could showcase 36 bottles in his store. Junior agreed and decided he would donate the proceeds from any bottle sold to charity. D'Aiuto says the collection sold out within 48 hours.

Among the bottles sold were a 1983 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Grands Echézeaux, 1983 Château Lafite Rothschild and 1970 and 1982 Pétrus, the latter of which sold for $9,500.

"John Gotti Sr. still has fans out there, and whether you like him or you don't, you can't deny that he was a historical figure of the 20th century," D'Aiuto said. "I think people realized that getting something of this value with authenticity was very attractive."


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