Unusual Labels
page 2

Diversity in Wine


T here seems to be no end to weird names and funny labels.And increasingly legal constraints are affecting labels; included here is one that is not allowed to name the varietal, and one showing the winemakers frustration with EU regulations Thank goodness! Enjoy the following....

Three Choirs England

At first look there is nothing unusual about this wine. But look closer, the back label explains all.
This wine is a victim of EU wine law. Three Choirs are using a brand new varietal, but it is not approved by the EU. When I phoned the vineyard they told me the varietal is named Phoenix, which is a cross of Seyval Blanc and Bacchus. The wine is a wonderful explosion of flavours like Sauvignon Blanc on speed.
Eye of the Toad California
Two friends who got bored with retirement started this winery to produce "world-class wine at affordable prices". Their nicknames are Dr Toad and The Dancing Badger and this label from a pink wine shows them sitting in Toad Hollow enjoying a glass of their wine Read their story and about their wines at their 'webbed wine site'.
Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush New Zealand
Of recent times some wine critics have been trying to top each other with poetic descriptions. TV's luscious Jilly Goolden described the experience of drinking New Zealand sauvignon blanc as being like 'diving into a gooseberry bush', but I believe it could have been her colleague Oz Clarke who coined 'cats pee on a gooseberry bush'. This classic description was chosen as the name for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which has been one of the biggest selling wine in Britain.

In the USA the second word in the name is spelled 'Phee'.

Marge 'n' Tina Mendoza
Argentina
I laughed when I saw this in the shop. An Argentinian blend of Malbec and Tempranilla with a 'Thelma & Louise' label
ChardonnAlien California
You live in California, you have a piece of land and you feel like having a vineyard. No Problem. These people will drive up in their Vineyard in a Van with everything you need, including designing a distinctive label. And if you want a Cosmic Cruizers label and to call your wine ChardonnAlien, no problem!
They say 'ChardonnAlien is made in the earthly time honored tradition of rubbing grapes on the thighs of young maidens. The results are a perfectly balanced Chardonnay to be enjoyed with your meal or all by itself'
Ptomaine des Blagueurs California
Who would give their wine the name of a poison? Ptomaine is the name chosen by innovative and eccentric California winemaker Randall Graham for this wine he made in France. He was considerably frustrated by French bureacracy. Artist Ralph Steadman designed the distinctive label.

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6 February 2000
peter@winelabels.org