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Following on the heels of the launch of Newman’s Own® wines from California, Martha Stewart plans to accelerate the roll-out of her own wine brand—and sell it in a box, to boot.

Originally dubbed “Martha Stewart Vintage” when introduced to three test markets in January, the national release will be renamed Martha’s Vineyard®. The name change, according to sources within Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, reflects an aggressive posture that the domestic diva has taken since last year’s embarrassing debacle in which she eventually abandoned three trademark applications to use the name of her new hometown, Katonah, for a broad array of furniture and household goods after spirited local residents put up a successful opposition.

When questioned about the potential objection to this trademark from residents and businesses of Martha’s Vineyard—the island retreat off the coast of Massachusetts—Ms. Stewart reportedly said, “Screw them. I’m tired of local whiners getting in the way of my domination of every major consumer-goods category. Besides, Martha’s Vineyard is nothing but an over-priced seashore shanty town that sits vacant most of the year then gets over-run by inbred, SUV-driving chowderheads whose accents and skulls are so thick that they actually think the place is spelled ‘Mah-thuh’s Vin-yud.’”

Whereas the Newman’s Own® premium wines (Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, each $16) are sourced from coastal California wine regions and aged in French and American oak barrels, Martha Stewart’s wines will apparently be imported from Bulgaria, in rusty tanker ships, then transferred to 3-liter bag-in-box packaging. The MSLO announcement bears an added dose of irony in that Newman’s Own® is based in Westport, Connecticut, the town where Martha Stewart lived before she went to federal prison for deceiving investigators looking into allegations of insider trading. Friends of the feisty entrepreneur (who declined to be quoted because she has so few of them that their identities are hard enough to keep secret) fear that the ramped-up wine program was motivated by Martha’s jealousy of her former Westport neighbor.

The Martha’s Vineyard® line—available in Pomegranate Red, Linen White and Creamy Mauve, each in a plain brown box adorned with a silk ribbon matching its color/flavor—will sell for $9.99, exclusively at K-Mart. The K-Mart placement is considered to be a major retreat for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s overall marketing strategy, said stock analyst Meyer Lemmon: “The Katonah fiasco undercut her whole plan to go upscale, shifting from K-Mart to Macy’s. She has apparently given up, and decided to stay lowbrow and appeal to the Carlo Rossi–drinking crowd.”

Ms. Stewart has also overlooked the fact that K-Mart has no liquor licenses. According to one MSLO executive in the wine-marketing meetings, when questioned about this situation, the notorious entrepreneur responded: “We don’t need a liquor license, this is wine,” thus displaying the business acumen that has quickly earned her laughingstock status within the wine industry.

 

 

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