Who Is Josh, And Why Is His Wine Taking Over My Feed?

Social media users have seen plenty of memes about Josh Cellars wine this week.

If you're still roaming the digital graveyard that is Twitter/X/Elon Musk's $43 billion playground, you've likely seen a meme or two about Josh wine over the past week. Why is this wine, available since 2007, making a sudden splash in 2024?

The memes seem to have started after Twitter user @OptimusGrind___ posted a photo of a Josh Cellars merlot with the caption, "I'm not gonna keep telling y'all to grow up and leave that Stella & Barefoot alone." The post has been seen 20.5 million times, with thousands of retweets and hundreds of comments.

Since then, Twitter users have been joshing around nonstop, flooding the timeline with memes about the wine and posting them with the shoulder-shrugging tagline "It's Josh o'Clock somewhere." The premise of the joke seems to be the juxtaposition of the ostensibly chic wine and its ordinary name—Josh is a guy you might find belting "Sweet Caroline" at bar karaoke, definitely not wasted off of anything top-shelf.

Based on stats from social media analytics website Social Blade, Josh's Instagram following has gone up by 810 users in the last 30 days. The trend has clearly reached insiders at the company, as the account posted a cheeky collection of its own memes three days ago.

It's even possible you've seen a bottle, a minimalist label dominated by an elegant script that simply reads Josh, in the wild before. The brand's premium table wine usually retails for under $20 and is sold just about everywhere, from gas stations to CVS Pharmacies.

So who is Josh, and why did someone name a wine after him?

Josh Cellars wine, explained

Per the company website, Joseph Carr founded Josh Cellars in 2007 as a tribute to his father, Josh, who was a lumberjack, veteran, and volunteer firefighter.

"My dad had many dimensions, so it's fitting to have a range of wines that also offer diversity," Carr says in a short video uploaded to YouTube. He describes his father as "a very generous man, always the first to lend a helping hand. He liked dogs and he enjoyed singing songs—not knowing the words made little difference. Whether he knew you or not, he was the kind of person who would always smile and wave to you as he drove by."

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According to a 2011 interview, Carr's interest in wine started after working his way through college as a wine steward and sommelier. The brand had self-described humble beginnings: Carr took out a second mortgage on his family home to finance the brand, and while the first 1,000 cases of wine were sold out of the back of his trunk, he eventually sold the entire company to Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits in 2012.

Carr hopes to emulate his father's charitable spirit through the company's actions and as of 2022, Josh Cellars has donated $1.5 million to various charitable endeavors. The company also launched an initiative called "Joshgiving" a few Thanksgivings ago, with the aim to inspire friends, families, and communities across the nation to show their gratitude for one another. Josh Cellars called on Joshes across America to give back to their communities through charitable activities like hosting community coat drives, fundraising for local bookstores, and helping those in need at food banks. The campaign culminated in a collaboration with one of the most famous Joshes around: Josh Groban.

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An ordinary name with an outsized impact. We love a Josh with a good heart!

Josh Cellars' namesake passed away in 1991, so he never had the chance to see his legacy honored through his son's wine business. In recalling his father in 2014, Carr said, "He liked to hear a joke and he could tell a few in return." So, while it's impossible to know what the real Josh would say about his legacy, we'd like to think that he would be happy for the joy his name has brought—even if it is just to a bunch of strangers on the internet.

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