Saturday, July 23, 2011

weekend wine report

I sure do love a good label, and having designed a few myself, I appreciate good art and snappy copy writing when I see it. Occasionally, I'm even suckered into tempted to buy something just because I like the label. Usually, the actual quality of the product doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the packaging, but every now and then the product almost lives up to the promise of the label.


Here are three bottles of wine that caught my eye a while ago at that bastion of good taste, Trader Joe's. I simply had to buy them, even though each of them exceeded my everyday wine budget of $4.99. I thought the artwork alone was worth the expense.

Lazy Bones is a Cabernet Franc from the Paso Robles area of the central California coast. (A region made famous in part by a starring role in the film Sideways). The label is a beautifully drawn and lettered    woodblock by Swiss artist Felix Vallotton circa 1896, so nice in fact, that I'd love to have a framed print of it. 
While I don't claim to be a wine connoisseur by any means, (see my everyday wine budget above) I do know what I like, and I liked this one. It has a lovely rich flavor like ripe (but not sweet) berries, and an earthy quality that reminded me of being in the forest. 
 The back-of-the-label story is almost as good
 as the artwork on the front:

Okay, so maybe the copy is a little over the top, but it's amusing, to say the least. All in all, not bad for $6.99.

Lost Sonnet is a Meritage, which indicates the wine is made from a blend of certain red grapes. This one is 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc.  The label described it as having "warm Christmas spice and earth on the nose," leading "into a verse of plush vanilla and chocolate covered cranberries." Personally, my impression was not quite as lyrical. 
I thought it tasted of burnt coffee beans, cherry pie baked in a smoky, oak-fired oven, and had a finish that scoured my tongue like hot steel wool. 
I got it way back in May, and at $9.99, it totally blew my budget. Critics say it should improve with age, but I don't think they meant only 2 months...I give the label a 10, though.

Cocoban was perhaps my favorite of the three.  It's light bodied, but full of fresh but not sweet cherry flavor. I have no idea what the blend is, but it definitely lived up to the description on the label, and although I didn't have a dark chocolate walnut cake with a cherry coulis to pair it with, it went quite nicely with Trader Joe's dark chocolate covered pretzels. 
I am, however, still waiting for it to take me to Nirvana.
At $6.99, that would be a heckuva bargain.
That's it for the wine report...


Aunt Snow said...

At $6.99 a bottle (ok, one at $9.99) you got a pretty good deal for the artwork.

Maybe scan the labels and reprint?

or go get another bottle....!

Amanda said...

I too, have purchased the Lazy Bones for the label. And I generally don't even care for cab franc.