We are all drawn to different wines at different times for different reasons. The smell of it, its hue, its consistency, they trigger different reactions at different times. As soon as the weather hits 75°, I immediately open a bottle of Rose. As soon as the temperature dips below 55°, I’m yearning a warm comforting Chianti Classico. Something to celebrate – Prosecco; Summer time cook out – white sangria. The first taste of a chilled to perfection glass of Chateux d’ Porceax and summer has arrived. You get the picture. Wine is so much more than a beverage; it is a vehicle. The taste of course can take you places but the other senses are involved as well. The smell alone can transport you back to a special occasion the same way the sent of a certain perfume can remind you of a person.
What about the look of wine? The way the alcohol creates those beautiful legs that you stare at as they linger down the side of your glass. The bubbles playfully rising to the surface of your stem glass after filling it with a lovely champagne. The pale, blushy hue of a rose. I defy you to swirl a freshly poured glass of your favorite wine and in a beautiful stem glass and not be happy. Go ahead try it. You won’t even bother because you know that I’m right. Wine is beautiful to behold. It is that simple.
And while we are on the subject of beauty to behold, what about those labels? Wine bottle labels run the gambit from purely utilitarian to down right artistic. There are many of you out there who walk into a wine store and know exactly what you are looking for. You don’t need help. You know the country of origin, the varietal, the prefered wine producer, the preferred wine maker, the best year; it is just a second language to you. However, there are many of us out there who have not idea what we are doing once we enter a wine store. Are breadth of knowledge may end with white, red, pink, or bubbly. We are at the mercy of the store clerk and our budget. Many of us who fall under this category have deviced different strategies to help us navigate this intimidating territory. Some memorize key phrases. Others will limit themselves to a region that they are familiar with. Still others will shy away from a type of wine due to a bad prior wine experience. If anyone read my first blog you will know that I had nursed a healthy aversion to Chardonay for just that reason. I have toyed with a system that I have found only marginally successful but still lots offun to employ; the cool label art criterion. There is one little item that I have tried to rely on in the past, label art. The criterion went like this; I feel like a white wine and I want an animal on the label. (I’m not making this up. I have done this more than once, more than I really care to admit). And there are so many cool labels and categories to chose from. There are the standard famous castle of the region motife,, or the unoriginal grape or vine motife. But then there are just some amazingly cool labels out there. Graphic designes, portraits, animals of all shapes and sizes, famous artist mock ups, you name it, you can probably find it on a wine label.
Label art is useful if you have no memories for names, much like myself. I can remember a face like no ones business but ask me to come up with the name of that really nice woman who sat next to me at that dinner party at my best friends place last weekend and I’m stumped. Ive tried all those silly memory games, saying the persons name 5 times within the first 5 minutes of meeting them, connecting the name with a funny riddle or limerick. I usually have the name wrong by the 4th repetition of I’ve forgotten my limerick. Of even worse, I’ve convinced myself their name is something totoally different from what it actually is.