US lifestyle guru Martha Stewart has turned her attention to wine with a new partnership with E&J Gallo.

The domestic expert, who in late 2004 served 5 months prison on charges related to insider share dealing, is teaming up with the Gallo Family to release 15,000 cases of ‘Martha Stewart Vintage’ from next year.

Stewart will be putting her name to three wines – the 2006 Sonoma County Chardonnay, 2005 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon and 2006 Sonoma County Merlot.

Stewart and the Gallo family have a long friendship. Stewart and winemaker Gina Gallo have worked together in the past and Gallo Wines have regularly advertised in her magazines.

In 2000 Gina Gallo appeared alongside Stewart on her TV show, pairing Gallo wines with cheese and pasta dishes.

More recently, Stewart donated US$10,000 dollars to the Gallo Center for the Arts, the US$47m (US$10m of which comes from Gallo) performing arts complex that opened this month in Modesto, California.

Stewart said the joint venture is ‘a natural outgrowth’ of their friendship, ‘based on our mutual passion for food, wine and entertaining.’

The Martha Stewart brand has not suffered since the 67-year-old was released from prison in 2005, with a slew of new endorsement deals in the pipeline.

She has launched her own range of home goods for Macy’s, formed a partnership with KB Homes to build Martha Stewart Houses, and has developed a line of food products for Costco.

In the first year, the wines will be sold for US$15 per bottle in six US Cities where the Martha Stewart brand is particularly strong: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Phoenix, and Portland, Oregon.

Written by Kate Rosen