It all began with a music video created by Tituss Burgess’s character, similarly named Titus, on the cult-favorite Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Titled “Peeno Noir,” a cheeky ode to the male anatomy, the song was a viral sensation. It also inspired fans to send him bottle after bottle of the light-bodied red wine. And thus, the idea for Pinot By Tituss Burgess, or PBTB, was born.
“Wine…opens up so many new experiences for you: travel, cultures, conversations.”
How did you discover your love for wine?
I think wine is something that you get into gradually. You tend to start off slow, figuring out if you like white or red, and then your taste for it and your love for it take control. And if you’re one of the many people who fall in love with wine, it opens up so many new experiences for you: travel, cultures, conversations.
Personally, I love to cook, and wine has always been a big part of that. It allows me to be more creative with food, and creativity is such a huge part of my day-to-day life.
What has the journey of launching your own wine label been like?
My fan base really helped with my confidence and pushed me to do it. It takes guts to move into a new space, and I am so lucky for their encouragement. I started researching possible partners and the overall process of winemaking. I met with one of the leading marketers of celebrity wine…Anthony Allport, and we formed a fast friendship and a solid partnership.
Today, we’ve developed different wines, hosted inclusive events that support the LGBTQ community and formed brand partnerships like my Pride Pinot Noir and Rosé launches with GLAAD [the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation]. We’ve also put on in-store wine tastings and bottle signings for my fans across the U.S. And there is so much more to come.
How would you describe the wine?
We wanted a Pinot Noir with a more serious offering and a classic example of the grape. My personality is very fun, but this wine is serious—seriously good! We decided that Santa Barbara County was a great fit for the price and the quality. I made the final decision on the winery when I visited and tasted a beautiful, silky elegant style of Pinot Noir. My mind was made up.
Will there be more releases in the future?
Yes! As a result of our successful first launch, we are planning an international wine tour now, releasing new vintages from various Pinot Noir-producing regions around the world. Our next stop is New Zealand.