When did wine labels become so cool? Unless a new trend has passed me by. Browsing the shelves of my local offie the other day, I noticed a few bottles I could buy purely for the packaging, without caring what they might taste like. Shallow I know, but good in so many ways. You decide what to buy fast as you don’t have to read the notes, there’s no need for research, and you get to try wines you might not otherwise. Here are nine bottles of wine I’d buy purely for the labels:
1. Some Young Punks Passion Has Red Lips Cabernet Shiraz.
This is from the Australian wine maker’s Pulp Fiction range which uses original pulp fiction book covers from the 20s through to the 50s as labels. Too cool.
OK, so you need to make a trip to Denmark to buy this wine. Both types are made exclusively for by Hamilton Russel for the Nimb Hotel located in Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagan, Denmark.
3. Rocland Estate Chocolate Box Shiraz.
This strong full-bodied wine is part of the Rocland Estate’s Chocolate Box trio of wines, all with 50s-inspired labels.
The label of this South African Hamilton-Russell Estate wine was designed to reflect the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley (where the wine is made) and aspects of both the Hamilton-Russell family crests, in a Belle Epoque style. Colours are inspired from the farm and its surroundings including an abandoned farm cottage, as well as a mussel shell on Walker Bay.
‘Michael Austin’, is a character created by long-time friends and winemakers, Patrick McNeil and Craig Becker, and each of their wine labels carries an anecdote. This one says: “Michael Austin grew up in a monastery on the outskirts of France. He was raised by a pack of wild nuns who taught him how to live on a strict diet of wine, cheese and real estate investments. Today, he is religious about only one thing – making great wine.” Here are some of the other labels:
I failed in my search for a stockist outside the US, but personally I think it’s a great reason for a California road trip.
6. The Rude Mechanicals Ephemera Viognier Pinot Gris.
Three of the finest boutique wine makers from Australia each created one wine this new brand – The New Mechanicals – with tongue-in-cheek, surreal hand-drawn illustrations showing wine monkeys and their magic contraptions, and flying birds carrying bunches of grapes.
7. Linnaea Rhizotomi Cabernet Sauvignon.
Can you guess that the people behind Linnaea Rhizotomi wines are into botanicals and plants? Here’s a little bit from the website: “The science nerds amongst you will notice that our wine names are based upon the linnaean binomial system of genus and species, created by naturalist and innovator Carl Linnaeus. The first project brings us linnaea rhizotomi, a Cabernet Sauvignon from the howell mountain region of the Napa Valley.”
A quirky label and humorously named wine from Les Domaines Paul Mas that pokes fun at the French and looks Tin-Tin-esque.
WOW. The Aussies have done it again. Vivacious wines produces several different characters of wine represent theatrical/circus posters from the 30s and 40s. The Burlesque sparkling is also styled like this.
Frisky Midget wines from Killincy.