My blog today is going to be about wine labels, because when researching wine I’ve often come across varieties that attempt to entice you to pluck it from the shelves by sporting an amusing label.
I’m not sure where I stand on this one. I do like the way New World (and increasingly Old World) have tried to update the wine industry, and it does need to laugh at itself once in a while, but just because the bottle has a cute picture illustrating a witty pun, it doesn’t mean
that the bottle you’re about to open is not going to taste like ribena.
I’m sure you can forgive me for temporarily omitting pictures and links (watch this space, they’ll be here as soon as I’m not on a train!), but here are a few favourites:
1. The Ones What Sound Like Others
Some trendier winemakers have tried to attract new wine drinkers by poking fun at the big names. Chat en Oeuf in the outer Rhone is the perfect example: literally meaning ‘cat on egg’ (illustrated in a cartoon on the label) it cleverly plays on the more legendary ‘Chateauneuf’ (du Pape) from the Rhone region. Needless to say, the two are not similar in style.
Similarly, Goats Do Roam is a variety from South Africa that plays on ‘Cotes du Rhone’. I have to admit I’m a fan of this kind of light-hearted mockery, especially since the French got all pouty about it, and as long as you accept the closeness of the two names don’t match closeness in style, you’re pretty safe here.
2. The Ones That Are Sweary
Another method used to make wine all ‘edgy’ is to make the name something fun to ask for at a bar. ‘I’ll have a glass of Bitch‘, ‘Give me a bottle of Fat Bastard’. Yeah, fun – but not quite as much as asking the fit waiter for a Slow Screw Against The Wall and other such cocktails (and not quite as much fun to drink either, I imagine.)
All in all, I don’t mind these labels, but I don’t think I’d choose a wine based on one. I think if you want good wine, you need to know what you’re looking for. You really won’t enjoy it more just because it made you LOL, and the whole ‘judging a book by it’s blah blah blah’ thing really does apply in this situation.