Unless you didn’t grow up during the 1980s or 90s, or haven’t turned on a television or a computer in your lifetime until just now, the chances are you’ve heard of actor Dan Aykroyd. Not only did the Canadian star in Saturday Night Live–albeit before Ronald Reagan was the U.S. President–but since then, Aykroyd has starred in several movies that millions of people have seen, including “Ghostbusters”, “The Blues Brothers” and “Driving Miss Daisy.”
You may have also heard that Aykroyd is a wee bit eccentric, intelligent, and entrepreneurial, and that the man from Ottawa, Ontario owns a winery. Is any of that true? Well, pretty much most of it.
But Isn’t Dan Aykroyd Just an Actor?
No. But he is a pretty damn experienced one. Not only has Aykroyd starred in several blockbuster films, but he’s received some pretty serious props for his acting abilities. A case in point: In 1989, he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role in the aforementioned “Driving Miss Daisy.” Although he didn’t win, how many former SNL actors can say they almost won one of those tiny golden men? Plus, when you’ve been nominated for an Academy Award, people are more likely to remember that instead of your involvement in a horrendous bomb like the 1993 film “Coneheads.”
So, while most people think of the word “actor” when they hear the name Aykroyd , according to IMDB the comedian is also a prolific writer who has dabbled in directing and producing. In addition to writing many different flicks and television shows, Aykroyd authored Ghostbusters I, II, and the soon-to-be-made Ghostbusters III film. There’s no word yet, however, if Aykroyd will have a cameo in the poorly made Ghostbusters remake that Hollywood is sure to churn out in ten years.
Aside from his acting, writing, and producing shtick, Aykroyd still plays a mean harmonica as Elwood Blues when he tours with James Belushi as part of “The Blues Brothers” musical act. Aykroyd was also one of the original investors behind the “House of Blues” live music venue chain, and he remains involved with the company to this day.
Aykroyd has also been involved in a lot of projects related to subject matter that some might categorize as “off the wall.” For example, if you think people who are staunch believers in ghosts, spirits, psychic abilities, and/or aliens are “colorful”, then a whole rainbow of colors might not describe Aykroyd .
What Does He Know About Wine?
If Aykroyd doesn’t already seem like someone who you should plant yourself beside at any party or get-together, then perhaps you’ll change your mind after learning he’s a big-time wine enthusiast. So, in other words, if you would rather talk about your favorite year for a delicious glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, than what really went down at Roswell, then Aykroyd is still your man. If you want to talk about both, even better!
According to Diamond Estates Wine and Spirits LTD, which is in Canada, Aykroyd makes a special point of sampling some local vino whenever he’s traveling throughout North America or abroad. Now, does that make him an expert on the finer points of wine? Probably, and it would also explain why a wine company decided to go into business with the man who played Austin Millbarge in the 1985 flick “Spies Like Us.”
But Does He Own a Winery?
Dan Aykroyd does own part of a winery, as well as a few vineyards. Aykroyd bought into the aforementioned Diamond Estates Wine and Spirits LTD several years ago, which is an Ontario-based wine and spirits producer. The company produces the Dan Aykroyd Wines, which are the result of Aykroyd and his highly developed palate consulting with winemakers to create different types of wonderful vino. Yes, you could do a lot worse job-wise.
Are The Wines Any Good?
Well, to date, several Dan Aykroyd wines have picked up awards for being rather delicious. The Dan Aykroyd Discovery Series 2007 VQA Cabernet Shiraz won a prestigious award a couple of years ago in Canada and the company’s 2005 Signature Reserve VQA Vidal Icewine also earned wine of the year in the Province of Ontario. Some of the other award-winning wines that Aykroyd has blessed the masses with include the the Aykroyd Discovery Series VQA Sauvignon Blanc and the 2006 Discovery Series VQA Cabernet Shiraz.
Is Aykroyd Involved in Any Other Booze-Related Ventures?
Yes, he is. Not only is Aykroyd one of the driving forces behind the distribution of the world-renowned tequila Patron in Canada, he is also one of the founders of Crystal Head Vodka. No, that’s not a typo.
The vodka, which according to the company’s website is distilled four times and is additive free, comes in a container that resembles the 13 legendary and mysterious crystal skulls that have been found around the world. No, the original skulls–made famous by the last “Indiana Jones” movie–were not used to pour booze as far as archaeologists can tell!