‘Sopranos’ star Bracco makes stop in state to promote wines

By Rachael Scarborough King

NEW HAVEN — Shoppers stocking up on necessities for today’s Super Bowl festivities had a brush with celebrity Saturday as “The Sopranos” star Lorraine Bracco visited Amity Wines and Spirits to promote her wine label.

Bracco was scheduled to meet with fans for three hours Saturday afternoon. When the event started at 2 p.m., about 50 people were waiting in line to see her and have her autograph bottles of wine, cookbooks and photos.

The wine label, New York-based Bracco Wines, has been in the works for about three years, and the eight Italian varieties have been available for 1½ years, Bracco said.

When she worked as a model at the start of her career, she said, she lived in France for 10 years, where she developed a taste for European wine.

“It’s a lot of fun and I like it — it’s something different,” she said. “I didn’t sell makeup or hair products and perfumes, and it was something I felt suited my personality.”

All of the wines come from Italy, and Bracco traveled there to select them herself.

“It’s definitely my palate, it’s my decision in what we buy, so there’s a little pressure in that,” she said.

Bracco holds similar signings about once a month, she said, and this is the second is Connecticut. Gino Pisani, who distributes the wine in Connecticut, said Bracco is a “pleasure to work with.”

“She’s very engaging, very down to earth,” he said. “This is not just a hobby for her — this is serious.”

Bracco also was scheduled to have dinner at New Haven’s Café Goodfellas Saturday night. One of her most famous roles is that of mob spouse Karen Hill in Martin Scorcese’s 1990 movie “Goodfellas.”

Bracco recently filmed two episodes of the new NBC series “Lipstick Jungle,” which premieres Thursday.

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