Oct 22 2009

Judging a Wine by its Label

By Raquel Scianna

Good things come in small packages, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, don’t judge a book by its cover, blah blah blah. Looking beyond outward appearances is nice, but what if you want something that not only seduces the taste buds but dazzles the eye (and makes you look cool at the same time)? What if you want your wine to have both brains and beauty? We’ve got you covered; Just Grapes has quite a few wines that not only taste delicious, but tote labels that look awesome too.

It’s pretty much common knowledge that anything black with sparkles equals sophistication. Therefore, Musva and Brun Terres Dorees FRV100 are the classy lassies on the block. Musva has slight floral and candied nectarine notes, and the nose of FRV reminds me of a cherry Jolly Rancher. I see both of these sparklers being quite the hot commodity as the holidays and New Year’s Eve roll around.

It could be because it’s October, or because she’s green, but the diva on 2007 Gunderloch “Diva” reminds me of a witch–a good witch, clearly, as this light, peachy riesling is incredibly refreshing. Despite that coy, calculating look in her eye, this Diva is actually someone to get to know.

2008 Saint Cosme “Little James’ Basket Press,” white blend depicts Little James having various wine shenannigans with his trusty barrel, like stamping some grapes and taking a quick dip in a barrel of wine.  This melony, mango-y blend finishes crispy and with a little mineralness.

The 2006 Bon Bon Rosé label is undeniably adorable; colorful, Kauai-style flowers bloom and cascade down the front of the bottle–it’s the kind of bottle that makes you feel good on the inside by just looking at it. This 100% Shiraz Rosé is juicy berries with a hint of spice would go perfect with a Girls’ Night In John Hughes movie marathon. Or Monday Night Football with the boys if you want to be ironic.

Our 2007 Undone is the ; ) of our Pinot Noir section. Featuring the loosened laces of a lady’s corset, bringing this baby to dinner date shows you’ve got one thing on your mind: a flirty, fruit-forward Pinot Noir that is sure to please.

When perusing our Grenache section, it’s our darling 2008 Bitch that usually catches a Savvy Sipper’s eye–the powder pink, the cut-out hearts, the whole curse-word-on-a-wine-bottle thing–it’s all very sweet. But 2007 Evodia, with its smoky, slightly-metallic blue label and silhouetted tangle of vines, is chicly understated and just plain pretty. The juicy, easy-to-drink wine inside will impress as well.

Our Shiraz/Syrah section is jam-packed with awesome labels, from 2006 Under the Radar to 2007 Boom Boom to 2007 Juno. My favorite one of all, though, is our 2007 Luchador Shiraz. Paying homage to Mexico’s lucha libre, this hefty Shiraz features blackberries, licorice and vanilla. Even cooler? Each vintage has a set of four different luchadores–it’s like collecting prizes at the bottom of the cereal box, pero más padre.

The 2006 Temptation Zinfandel is just in time for Halloween and the Day of the Dead; it’s spooky orange label features a skeleton gentleman seducing a flesh-and-blood lady with just a bottle of vino and his cold, vacant gaze: Scandalous! But it’s not only the label that tells a story; this Zin is all cherries and raspberries with a little peppery finish. Temptation, indeed!

So there’s a round-up of some of Just Grapes’ most attractive offerings. We’re always getting new, exciting wines in, so be sure to stop by and see what catches your eye.

Ooh... sparkly!

Ooh... sparkly!

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