Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Former spokeswoman Kathie Lee Gifford returns to Carnival as wine purveyor

Kathie Lee Gifford pours for Carnival Breeze Capt. Massimo Marino
Kathie Lee Gifford, who became Carnival Cruise Line's spokeswoman in 1984 and was strongly associated with the brand for many years, returned to the Fun Ships with her GIFFT Collection of wines.

Gifford held a surprise wine tasting event for passengers on board Carnival Breeze Sunday at PortMiami.

The wines are now available for sale on Carnival's 24 ships.

Gifford became the face of Carnival when it launched the first national television advertising campaigns in the cruise industry and appeared in such memorable campaigns as 'If You Could See Me Now' and 'Ain’t We Got Fun?'

She currently serves as a host on the 'Today' show.

Created in consultation with California-based Scheid Family Wines—one of the largest vineyard owners in Monterey County—the GIFFT Collection consists of a red blend and a chardonnay, both estate-grown. In September 2014, Wine Enthusiast magazine gave the red 91 of 100 points and the chardonnay 88 points in its tasting rating.

The GIFFT Red Blend combines merlot (42%), petite sirah (25%), syrah (12%) and petit verdot (10%), while the chardonnay is an estate-grown coastal California dry white. Carnival is the only cruise line to feature GIFFT wines, and both varietals are now available at a wide array of bars and in the main dining rooms on all Carnival ships.

Eddie Allen, vp beverage operations for Carnival, said that for many people, wine is an integral part of an exceptional vacation. He welcomed back Gifford, saying her 'upbeat and spirited personality to this day reflects the essence of the Carnival brand.'