It was the very first centerfold of the very first issue of Playboy magazine. And now the famous image of a nude Marilyn Monroe is selling wine in a most imaginative way. The buyer of the collectors’ edition magnum of wine can undress her.
And I am not making this up.
The wine is the Marilyn Wines Velvet Collection 2003, a blend of 55 percent cabernet and 45 percent merlot from the Napa Valley that — oh, WHO are we KIDDING, we care about as much about what’s inside the bottle as we did about reading the articles in Playboy. These wines are collectors’ items, creatures of brilliant marketing, and wine quality is irrelevant.
The undressing part, you ask? Here’s what the Marilyn Wines web site has to say: “The historic nude portrait of Marilyn Monroe that graces Velvet Collection bottles is protected by a decorative plastic overlay that can be removed after purchase to reveal the stunning details of the original photo. Start at the upper right hand corner, using a fingernail, and carefully lift the plastic film away from the label.”
This isn’t just a west-coast kind of thing. The Velvet Collection magnum is available locally. I saw it at Arrow Wine’s Far Hills store for $179.99, marked down from $220, but it may be available elsewhere as well.
But if you buy it, take it home in a brown paper sack — and hide it under the bed so your parents don’t find it.