I do not mean to offend anyone’s sensibilities, but sometimes things in life appear to me as funny in a different sort of way and I find my reaction to be just aside of the norm. Recently as I was perusing a large wine store, I was struck by some of the names that appeared on wine labels. We all know that beer and ale companies have all gone totally crazy with many of their titles, but I thought wine would remain a stalwart against all of that madness. It is completely the fault of the Aussie exports into this country.
Who would have thought that any one would have the nerve enough to export the quality of wine in the quantities they did and then turn around and try to draw attention to it? Why not call it by the common varietal name like Australian Merlot in order to hide it, but no, these people are serious – Yellow Tail. It reminds me of when my daughter Emily was young, we got a cat and she wanted to name it “Yellow Dog.” Thank goodness that did not catch on, but after all, it was just one cat. The Australians have flooded our market with this stuff.
To make things worse, the west coast has decided to join the bandwagon with their wines known as Barefoot. I am not sure whether these nomenclatures are descriptions of the wines or not, but one thing is certain, it makes for excellent marketing because both the Aussie and the west coast wines are selling like hot cakes, and it has not stopped. Several years ago a neighbor gave me a glass of wine called Red Truck. Since then I have seen White Truck and Pink Truck. I am sure you can find them parked in front of, or at least near to the wines Big House White, Big House Red, and Big House Pink. That must be some neighborhood.
Not only have our neighborhoods come under attack, but as well the sanctity of our families is now being reviled. The wine Mad Housewife contains a narrative on the back of the bottle describing a woman who has gone mad with all her house work and now is content to curl up in the laundry room with her bottle of wine. The bottle of Old Fart wine gives us an opportunity to laugh about the similarities between geriatrics and the aging of wine while drinking a French blend. Marilyn Monroe Merlot wine, with a picture of the diva herself on the front, allows us to posthumously keep her memory in mind while the wine itself does whatever it can to our insides.
There is one wine at which I will poke no fun, known as Jar Head Red, the proceeds from the sale go towards the education of those children whose parents have fallen while on duty with the Marine Corps. Since this piece was originally written, I have had the opportunity to taste Jar Head Red and can say with all honesty that this is a red blend worth trying. Coming across with a bold dark fruit flavor, the finish is inviting and of medium length and goes well with meats and casseroles.
As I have often written, drink what you like, but do not be confused by the hilarity of the labels you may see. As often as possible, go to a tasting and try different wines, it is a lot less expensive than buying a bottle of something that gets poured down the sink.
The original of this column, prior to recent editing was published in the Caroline Progress.