Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wines with animals on the label...Off topic post warning

After the wine tasting on Saturday at Casey's Corner I was gabbing with the owner Mike about local produce. I mentioned my French Climbing Zuccini and was extolling it's virtues. "Bring me some" he said, "I'll buy it or trade you for it". So I ran home to get some. This squash is the best tasting and most hardy and prolific squash I've ever grown. You can look it up if you want more information about it. Anyhow I came back with ten pounds. "How much do you want for it?" Mike said. I allowed as how I had no idea what it was worth but threw him 50 cents a pound and he said sure. I decided I'd trade him for one of his cheap wines. I shoulda taken a 6 pack of Budweiser instead. I have a general rule of never buying a wine with an animal on the label. Wine marketers near and far have discovered two really important things. First, as most wines are sold at grocery stores and women still make up the bulk of family grocery shoppers, women buy more bottles of wine than men do. They've also discovered that women almost exclusively shop LABELS when buying wine, and animals are a big hit with the ladies apparently. Geckos, goats, giant roosters, bucking broncs, you name the critter, you can find it on a wine label. Mike's biggest seller is a South African "Merlot/Pinotage" (whatever that is) called "Herding Cats". Cute name, cute tigers on the label, 5 dollars and sixty American cents, what's not to like? I'll tell you what's not to like, THE WINE. Not that it isn't drinkable, but there are plenty of American cheapies out there that are far less expensive and more palatable than this stuff. For 10 bucks and change you can buy a GALLON of Carlo Rossi Paisano. Without going into great detail, when Carlo Rossi emigrated to the U.S. long ago he sought to produce an affordable quality table wine like he remembered from Italy. He succeeded. My fondness for Paisano goes back 30 or more years. Spending several months in Europe and a good deal of that in Italy, every town has these little hole in the wall shops big enough to hold a barrel of wine with a pump on it and a kid to fill your container for a few lira. Old men women, kids and smartly dressed hot shots all stop by to get the day's wine for the table. It's a commodity, a necessity not some fancy luxury. Paisano tastes EXACTLY like that wine and even though the Evil Gallo Brothers now own Carlo Rossi, the taste and the legend continues, the wine hasn't changed. The moral of the story, cutesy labels do NOT make good wine. Nuff said.
Notice the very hip lower case title

1 comment:

John Parsons said...

The Goatherder will not spare the rod to spoil the child. Nope, he will call a spade a spade and that's why we are looking forward to reading his every word. Thanks for your honesty!