Hello Kitty Wine has been top dog in wine news lately. Curious about all of this attention, I attended Antonello Ristorante’s preview of its four-course menu paired to the wines, offered through Nov. 12. I had to explain to my children—repeatedly—why they couldn’t join me, with reasons such as “you aren’t 21.”
At the Santa Ana restaurant, the excitement in the room for the Hello Kitty icon itself was at a—how do I say—hot-pink pitch. A few adult attendees came dressed to slay, with Hello Kitty-inspired bows in their hair, Hello Kitty-shaped cameras, and hair dyed you-know-what color. Their sheer joy in paying homage to their love did, ahem, make me smile. Seems I do the same when I don my Boston Red Sox hat each day.
The menu was designed in partnership with Sanrio to showcase the brand’s wine, which you purchase separately for these meals. They’re produced by the Torti Family in Italy and have been on the market since 2010. The collection consists of a sparkling brut, sparkling rosé, limited edition “Pink Sweet,” which is also a sparkling rosé, but in a 375ml bottle, and a chardonnay. The restaurant charges $7 per glass or $30 per bottle for the sparkling brut and sparkling rosé. The Pink Sweet, available by bottle only, is $27.
Home from the event, my kids fought over the contents of my gift bag: Hello Kitty stickers, playing cards, band-aids, water bottle … I opened a bottle of 2012 Luce della Vite Lucente Toscana, a delicious Super Tuscan red wine , and said hello to my kitty—aptly named Vino.