“I will push wine on everybody – but it’s not always this personal,” says Rosie O’Donnell, founder of the wine-via-astrology delivery service, Astro Vino.
Astro Vino began after a work trip during O’Donnell’s previous life in retail, when she was looking for a gift for the woman who hosted her.
“I started to think [about her qualities],” O’Donnell says. “She’s really structured, but very feminine.”
Back home in Melbourne, she found an aromatic, textural viognier that seemed a match, and shipped it off with a personal note.
This concept of linking personality attributes with wine stuck with O’Donnell, and soon after she created Astro Vino, a wine-delivery service that matches wines with recipients based on astrology – the belief system that attaches importance to astrological events and connects them to the purported personality traits of certain star signs.
Take Taurus. The current pick for this sign – which applies to people born between April 21 and May 20 – is a weighty Commune of Buttons chardonnay from the Basket Range in South Australia.
“They’re earthy creatures, methodical, measured, quite tolerant, quite compassionate, non-confrontational, but they’re slow moving and like life’s pleasures. They’re very sensual creatures,” says O’Donnell. “We’ve got to look at something more lush, something buttery –like a full-bodied chardonnay with creamy fruit characters.”
The wines are determined by a matrix O’Donnell has created that matches the characteristics of the wine to those of the various star signs. Librans get an agreeable chilled red, Leos a playful pét-nat. Geminis get a blend, of course.
“Geminis by nature are very good communicators, they talk a lot and they have this nervous energy,” says O’Donnell. “They can be a bit erratic, multitasking and doing a lot of things at once and they have this really lively, energising vibe. On the flipside, there’s this dual nature.”
Right now, they’re receiving a blend of sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon from Si Vintners in Margaret River.
“It’s a really interesting drop with plenty of citrus notes and a really interesting colour,” O’Donnell says. “You’ll hear that Geminis are kind of two-faced, but it’s more just two parts of the character that blend really successfully.”
She’s hoping her matching method will help teach consumers about wine, which is often perceived as having a steep learning curve. “[Wine] can be a little intimidating,” she acknowedges. “But because it’s systematic, once you start to break it down you see these patterns become a little bit easier to understand.”
Soon O’Donnell will launch pairings not just for star signs, but also moon signs and rising signs, which require specifics such as time of birth.
Individual bottles are priced between $40 and $55, and come in a biodegradable box illustrated by O’Donnell’s friend, artist Michelle Pereira, along with a card detailing the tasting notes and the wine’s relevance to the recipient’s star sign.