Disney Exits Winemaking Buisness Before Actually Entering It

Plans to market a French Chardonnay under the brand name “Ratatouille,” have been shelved due to a “trickle of inquiries and complaints,” according to Disney spokesperson, Gary Foster.

The wine was to be sold exclusively at Costco. Where did the pressure to halt the wine’s release come from? California winemakers, oddly enough. They were upset that Disney would be promoting a foreign product—a French wine.

Ratatouille is, of course, set in France. From the LA Times:

“The California Wine Institute has been relentless in trying to make this an issue” that it’s a French wine, Foster said. “But the entire movie is based on a French restaurant and French food and wine.”

The Institute, of course, denies that the problem was that the wine was French.

“We would have been just as upset if it were a California wine,” said Nancy Light, an institute spokeswoman.

She said her group complained to Disney because the Ratatouille label, with Remy holding a rat-sized glass of wine, appeared to violate the spirit of the code of advertising standards that all institute members must follow. The code bans the use of any advertising that might appeal to people below the legal drinking age by using photos of very young models or cartoon characters, Light said.

“We were in touch with [Disney]. We basically shared the code with them,” she said.

Disney and Costco are now under investigation by California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for possibly marketing to underage drinkers.

The wine seems designed to appeal to adults who like Disney movies rather than kids who like getting drunk, but what do we know?

In unrelated news, when we were writing this story our spell-checker inexplicably wanted to change the word “ratatouille” to Bouillabaisse. True story.

Disney backs out of wine promotion [LA Times]

Comments

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  1. nweaver says:

    NOOOOOO!!!!

    I’m 33. I wanted my Ratatouille chard!

    Ratatouille is NOT A KID’S MOVIE DAMNIT! Its amovie about food, criticism, art, etc.

  2. dbeahn says:

    Oh, SWEET. Can we also get a “Snow White” whiskey? How about a “Little Mermaid” Merlot? Or a “Nemo” wine cooler?

  3. eli_b says:

    I’m sipping Lion King 40 ouncer at the moment.

  4. Bay State Darren says:

    Up until now, I’d no idea ratatouille was wine, so Cali Alcohol Board just technically “marketed” it to me more than Disney ever did. (I’m of legal drinking age, BTW.)

  5. TVarmy says:

    My sense of irony is a bit too delayed. As I read the bit about the California Wine Institute choosing to make a fit about it partly because the wine was French rather than something closer to Disney’s home, I thought, “Sounds like sour grapes.” I had written the comment, but just as I almost pressed submit, I realized what a horrible pun I was about to unleash.

    But bad puns are what internet commentary are made of! Why didn’t you guys include that in the post?

  6. gundark says:

    I honestly saw some Ratatouille cheese at the store the other day and my jaw dropped.

  7. formergr says:

    @Bay State Darren: Ratatouille is not wine. It’s a French vegetable dish with tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, onions, and peppers in it– yum!

    Seriously, ratatouille cheese? So did it have little pieces of vegetable in it? :)

  8. boandmichele says:

    im branching out a bit, sipping a ‘Secret of Nimh’ spiced rum, at 703 in the morning.

  9. bluemeep says:

    Considering it was to be a vintage exclusive to Costco, somehow I don’t think the world will miss much.

  10. Youthier says:

    It’s impossible to market food or drink to me while using a rat.

  11. jamesdenver says:

    Hey how about spelling “Business” correctly in the title.

  12. Shadowfire says:

    So a small group of winemakers can overrule a large group of consumers…

    What. The. Hell.

  13. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Interesting idea, and I’m no wine snob, but I’d probably pass on the Ratatouille chardonnay…besides, I hear that the Toy Story zinfandel or the Monsters Incorporated merlot is better.

    Strange.

  14. Msgundam84 says:

    @jamesdenver:

    I agree. How hard is it to spell “BUSINESS?”

    Come on Consumerist, get off your lazy asses and hit spellcheck once in a while! Jeeesh.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The comments pertaining to wine of different types under different kids’ movies as labels is just stupid. Ratatouille was a French movie about foods. Toy Story had nothing to do with wine, nor did Lion King or anything else on here. It would’ve been a profitable product had they been able to market it. The movie itself did better than people expected it to do (even the French were impressed, and this is an American movie).

    I guarantee you people would have purchased these bottles and sold them on eBay in like ten years or so for hundreds of dollars as collectible items.