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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Wacky Wine Wednesday! WBW5

First of all, sorry I'm late in wrapping this up, there is this pesky thing called work that tends to get in the way of fun. And what fun it was too. Altogether forty very wacky wines indeed.

I must say I wasn't entirely sure about the theme at first, as the earlier editions of Wine Blogging Wednesday have been a little -shall I say- noble and rather educational: inexpensive new world Merlot, Spanish Red, Australian Shiraz, and new world Riesling. And what did I come up with, wacky wine names! Classic. Oh well, at least we are going to have lots of fun, aren't we?

So, shall we begin?

Buyers beware!
Some of these names are clearly there to confuse, if not –gasp- to deceive us. You really must be careful lest you mistake a Goats Do Roam, especially the In Villages bottling, for the actual Côtes du Rhône, for example.

We must be grateful for the generosity of Jeanne at Cook Sister, and Alan of mā'ona who sent a Goats do Roam in Villages, Red 2003, and a Goats Do Roam White 2003, respectively, to warn us against these frauds.

Oh, and we must also thank the French Institut National des Appellations d'Origine, who filed a lawsuit over the roaming goats on behalf of us gullible wine bibbing public.

French humor?
Yes yes, and amazingly enough, even the French vignerons have a sense of humor too.

The hens are pecking with delight in Pinet for a fruity, dry white Picpoul de Pinet, sent by Pascale of C’est moi qui l’ai fait.

Redbeard of Life in Flow sent us a wine that claimed to be lobsters, Les Crustaces. But -as we warned you before about the goats, roaming or otherwise- we must also point out that this –in fact- is not a lobster.

"Whatever will be, will be", that probably sums up the attitude of many old-time vignerons in France. They tend to the grapes and the land, and God makes the wine. Que sera, sera, what an appropriately wacky name! Thanks Jennifer, the domestic goddess herself, who graced us with this selection, the 2003 Que Sera Sera from Domaines Paul Mas in France.

Halfvglass sent me a puzzler, the 1999 "LA CLAPE" by Chateau Pech Redon. Reportedly a good, classic southern French wine from Coteaux du Languedoc. The problem is, I’m not entirely sure what it means. The nearest word I know to ‘la clape’ is ‘clappet’, which means –colloquially- your ‘trap’ (as in, shut your trap). So wacky I don’t even know what it means!

And my own damned mountains, Les Monts Damnés Sancerre from Chavignol. I guess I would be cursing the mountains too if I had to slide down a steep slope on my butt just to pick the blasted grapes.

How about calling a spade a spade, huh?
Some of these wacky names are not wacky at all, since they are.. just the facts ma’am, just the facts.

Vivi of Vivi’s Wine Journal gave us the Fat Bastard Merlot, named after the British expression describing a particularly rich and full wine. And our very own Alder of Vinography found us one big ass cab called –you guessed it, Big Ass Cab. How could we go wrong, huh, huh?

The Unpronounceables
No, no, this is not about the He Who Shall Not Be Named of the wine world. It is about those wine that make you look all cross-eye at the labels, how the hell do you say that?

Ron of Love Sicily gave us a wacky name entirely free of vowels, called YRNM. That’s yra-nim to you! YRNM is an ancient name of Pantelleria, the island of the coast of Sicily that grows the zibbibo grapes that produces the homonymous wine.

And from Alberto of Il Forno we’ve got a Hungarian tongue twister, Szekszardi Bikaver. Frankly, I didn’t really have a problem with this name, since my Hungarian word decoder rule worked rather well. Basically, faced with a Hungarian word, I just randomly disregard about half the consonants and simply pronounce the rest. Work every time. Trust me.

The boys from Down Under have got a wacky sense of homor, evidently.

There is the Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, which Molly of Spicetart said it was quaffable enough.

Emerging from a cloud of smoke and hacking coughs is the Smoking Loon Cab, given to us by Beau of Basic Juice.

Also another wacky name, Suckfizzle Augusta, from Margaret River, Western Australia, which is reportedly a good sauvignon/Semillon blend named after the great lord Suckfizzle from a 13th century story.

This one got me holding my sides laughing, Red Rock Underarm from New Zealand via Winos and Foodies. Red rock underarm? Yikes! The name is a reference, happily, not to the smelly, sweaty armpits, but to a famous sporting incident involving Australia and New Zealand.

Jens of Cincinati Wine Garage gave us Two Hands, "Bad Impersonator" 2003, with a picture of Groucho Marx on the bottle.

The Confabulist sent a Tait Ballbuster, which is, indeed, true to the name at 15% alcohol.

And last but not least shout-out from down under, our man Anthony in Oz gave us Swagman's Kiss, a Chardonnay, from Margaret River. The wine was nice enough, but what our man actually needed was a kiss, so how about it ladies...?

Hilariously incorrect, politically, I meant.
Geez who do these people think I am, Jon-bloody-Stewart?

Lenn is cursing all the way from New York with his Royal Bitch Reserve Merlot from Chile. Unfortunately it was indeed a real bitch with an alarming initial nose of turpentine.

Alice at Tea Time gave us two wines, a Dead Horse Red, Washington and a Mad Housewife Chardonnay, California. I hope that these two are not somehow related. Yet another Alice, this time from My Adventures in the Breadbox, made fun of the brits with her nice Mad Dogs and Englishmen from Spain.

Enoch of Medmusings is claiming Macho Nacho, a syrah from Bonny Doon, while Bernie at Bernie’s Bargain Wine Reviews brought us a Wild Gaucho from –you guessed it- Argentina.

Our friend Sam of Becks and Posh wondered out loud if it was just a tad too patronizing to have a wine called Pansy! Rosé aimed at the gay community. This reminded me of that stupid wine with velvet label designed "specifically" for women.

And what’s with all the wine boys and their trucks. Grow up already!
Fatemeh of Gastronomie found us a Tractor Shed Red '01 from Napa, which apparently tasted worse than it sounded.

Niki at Esurientes-The Comfort Zone found another tractor reference in her Ten Minutes By Tractor 2000 Pinot Noir, which is quite an oddity coming from Australia the land of the Big Shiraz.

Andy of Spittoon reviewed Jim Barry’s The Cover Drive, from Clare Valley, Australia, which turned out to be a beautiful 100% cab. And, lastly, there is also my very own Slow Lane Cab, that took forever, and never did get anywhere. Heh.

And in this case, size really doesn’t matter. Really.
Three of us -yours truly included- were seduced by the tale of the monster Texan, um, rooster, His Royal Majesty Rex-Goliath. The 47 lb. HRM Rex-Goliath was a show rooster in Texas in the early 1900’s.

Shannon of The Other Blog and I both went for the HRM Rex Goliath Chardonnay, my bottle was barely inoffensive, while hers was completely corked. Oh well, let me tell you Shannon, you didn’t miss much.

Audrey of Stirring the Pot was also lured by the rooster. She tasted the Rex Goliath Pinot Noir 2002, and found it simplistic.

So you see, size really doesn’t matter at all.

Say what again?
Wrongo Dongo? Holus Bolus? Woop Woop?

Well, you’ve got to ask Benjata at Wine Stains, who reaches for the Wrongo Dongo to amuse himself (herself?) during his Côtes du Rhône slumps. Or perhaps Kieca at This Heaven Gives Me Migraine, to see what has got her shaking her head Holus-Bolus. While you are at it you might also want to visit with our friend Derrick of Obsession with Food for a little Woop Woop from South Australia.

I think I must concur with Dean from AWS'er Wine Log on this one. It’s all Cacophony to me too.

But the fun hasn’t ended yet

Not with Marta of Marta’s Postcards from the Trails, who brought us a Three Legged Red from Washington, and Rich from The Wine Cellar, who came bearing Bonny Doon’s Le Cigare Volant. The Bonny Doon wines, made by Randall Graham, one of the original California Rhone Rangers (that is to say, CA wine makers who make wines in the Rhône style), are famous for their wacky names and bottle labeling.

Derrick, not satisfied with making woopy, also gave us Vin de Tabula Rasa from Andrew Rich, Columbia Valley.

Well, finally, my favorite review of this whole set is by Kate, of Accidental Hedonists, who was her usual eloquent self with a Haiko of a review for Wolftrap from South Africa.

Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh
Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh…ugh, ugh
Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh

She also added a food pairing recommendation for this wine, which should be good with twinkies, three day old pizza, and road kill. No, no, she didn’t specify the sauce for the road kill. For that you might have to ask her yourself.

So that’s that folks, a walk around the wacky wine world. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Oh dear, of course I would forget someone, Viv just emailed to tell me I forget her fantastically wacky Sinister Hand! How could I, with such a fabulous and sinister tale of land-grabbing involving a severed hand? Sorry Viv.

Another omission, Paul of Sweet and Sour Spectator who sent us his Chocolate Block.

Yes, and Pinot Express from Selila of Joy and Despair.

Let me know if I forget anyone else.


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