Wines That Entertain as Properly as Impress

40

A FEW WEEKS AGO, I went searching for a wine that would make me giggle. And if not giggle, then not less than smile a bit.

I don’t imply low cost, cheerful plonk with catchy names and cartoon animals on the labels (although I discovered loads of these) however, moderately, wines from proficient producers who occur to have a humorousness. It appeared a becoming endeavor for this time of 12 months, when many individuals need to drink lighter wines. Why not a wine that’s lighthearted too?

The primary wine with a humorous title that I purchased was additionally the primary wine with a humorous title I ever tasted, over three a long time in the past. Est! Est!! Est!!! was widespread within the 1990s, although it’s more durable to seek out at this time.

This white mix from Montefiascone, Italy, takes its title from the Latin for “It’s!” (3 times) and comes with an fascinating origin story. In accordance with the bottle’s label, a bishop on a visit to Rome despatched his servant forward to take a look at the wine in taverns on the route. Moreover, based on lore, the servant was instructed to put in writing “Est” to point if the wine there was good. The wine poured at a selected tavern was so good he wrote “Est! Est! Est!”

I remembered the story extra readily than I did the wine, and after I tasted all of it these years later I understood why. The 2020 Fratelli Bellini Pietro Est! Est!! Est!!! ($15) was disappointingly flat, easy and even barely bitter.

Issues rapidly improved after I imposed a rule. It needed to be a top quality wine created by an actual winemaker with a humorousness or not less than a level of levity, not a mass-market model with a intelligent advertising and marketing staff.

The red-blend class appears to exist to make use of advertising and marketing professionals. A stroll down the red-blend aisle of a number of wine shops revealed an enormous array of cartoon labels and catchy names, just like the Fugitive and the One Armed Man, each from California. The bottles, from 19 Crimes, an Australian model owned by

Treasury Wine Estates,

characteristic portraits of real-life criminals and rebels. The funniest was the 19 Crimes Martha’s Chard, sporting a glamorous shot of Martha Stewart, who frolicked in federal state jail in 2004-2005. I admired Ms. Stewart’s humorousness in enjoying together with the model, however this bottle too violated my rule.

Thankfully, I discovered fairly just a few Australian wines from winemakers who’re each proficient and possessed of an excellent humorousness. Tim Smith’s terrific 2021 Bugalugs Barossa Grenache ($25) was certainly one of my favorites, a lush, polished crimson with gentle tannins and notes of spice and crimson fruit extra critical than its foolish title—in Australia “bugalugs” is known to imply “mate” or “good friend”—would recommend.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

What wine with a foolish title has stunned you with its high quality? Be part of the dialog under.

“The man who was importing my wines into the U.Okay. was an Aussie, who thought that an entry-level wine with a quintessential Aussie nickname could be a success,” Tim Smith defined through e-mail. Mr. Smith got here up with the title Bugalugs. Why accomplish that many Australians give wines humorous names? “Perhaps Aussies get away with it due to our irreverence [toward] plenty of conventional values,” Mr. Smith surmised. “It’s not likely a disrespect. It’s simply how we see the world, I assume.”

Fellow Aussie David Franz Lehmann (son of legendary winemaker Peter Lehmann) produced a wine with a cheeky backstory: the 2019 David Franz Waxing Lyrical Mataro ($28). Its label is a portion of a musical rating (Vivaldi’s “The 4 Seasons”) printed on the glass bottle. In accordance with the wine’s importer, Gordon Little of Little Peacock Imports, Mr. Lehmann overheard his mom telling a good friend that her son was “waxing lyrical” about his Mataro, an earthy, barely rustic, food-friendly wine that showcases a crimson grape hardly ever vinified by itself.

The 2021 Edmunds St. John Bone-Jolly El Dorado County Rosé ($25), from the proficient, Berkeley, Calif.-based Steve Edmunds, has lengthy been certainly one of my favourite rosés—mild and juicy, marked by beguiling aromas of strawberry and crimson fruit. “Once we started to make wine from Gamay, it felt essential to catch folks’s consideration in a enjoyable method,” Mr. Edmunds stated, in an e-mail. He has made each crimson and pink variations of Bone-Jolly—a foolish riff on Beaujolais, probably the most well-known wine made out of Gamay—however didn’t make a crimson one in 2020 and 2021.

I used to be on the lookout for a top quality wine created by an actual winemaker with a humorousness, not a mass-market model with a intelligent advertising and marketing staff.

The 2021 Con•scious Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé by Samuel Robert Wines ($15) was one other pink wine with an intriguing title. It was juicy and enjoyable to drink, to not point out explosively pink. In accordance with the vineyard’s co-owner Bryn Coelho, she and her winemaker husband, Samuel Coelho, selected the title to point out that they’re “acutely aware of every thing,” from rising the grapes to creating wine that’s enjoyable to drink. These word-nerd winemakers had enjoyable with the label design, too, breaking apart the syllables of “acutely aware” the way in which they’re in a dictionary and offering the pronunciation, too.

The same consciousness knowledgeable the 2020 Lukas van Loggerenberg Belief Your Intestine Chenin Blanc ($35) from South Africa, one other favourite. “The title is derived from the choice of when to select your grapes to ship optimum ripeness however can be a play on all life’s large selections—that it’s good to, the truth is, simply belief your intestine more often than not,” defined vineyard co-owner Roxanne van Loggerenberg. The wine is an attractive expression of the Chenin Blanc grape: a minerally, medium-bodied white with notes of peach and melon.

My closing enjoyable discover was the 2020 “Straight Outta Sancerre” Tournebride ($22), its title—a nod to the 1988 N.W.A. album and 2015 movie “Straight Outta Compton”—the collaborative work of Loire Valley winemaker Vincent Gaudry and his New York-based importer Edouard Le Garrec. A mix of two Sancerre terroirs, the wine is thrillingly mineral and remarkably wealthy with each focus and finesse.

It goes with out saying that none of those wines could be value writing about in the event that they had been not more than a intelligent title. However enjoyable labels can ship a bit of additional consideration to worthy wines and provides winemakers one other option to specific themselves.

OENOFILE / SILLY NAMES, WINES WORTH TAKING SERIOUSLY
  1. 2021 Edmunds St. John Bone-Jolly El Dorado County Rosé, $25. Crafted from a mix of Gamay and Syrah, this juicy, full of life, pale-pink wine made out of grapes grown in El Dorado County, Calif., is scrumptious, marked by aromas of strawberry and crimson fruit.
  2. 2021 Con•scious Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé by Samuel Robert Wines, $15. This juicy rosé produced from estate-grown Pinot Noir has a enjoyable, vividly pink hue. Vineyard proprietor Bryn Coelho defined that ”acutely aware” is “a phrase that summarizes what we do every single day.”
  3. 2020 “Straight Outta Sancerre” Tournebride, $22. Maybe the primary Sancerre to pay homage to the seminal rap album by N.W.A. Winemaker Vincent Gaudry is clearly an iconoclast, however as this superbly balanced, targeted, mineral white makes clear, he’s additionally a proficient winemaker.
  4. 2021 Tim Smith Bugalugs Barossa Grenache, $25. Prime Australian producers may be equal elements critical and enjoyable, as this toothsome Grenache from the Barossa area reveals. Marked by aromas of crimson fruit and spice, brilliant acidity and plush tannins, it’s an completely pleasurable drink.
  5. 2020 Lukas van Loggerenberg Belief Your Intestine Chenin Blanc, $35. The title is a little bit of a “be aware to self” based on winemaker Lukas van Loggerenberg. The wine is a terrifically tangy Chenin Blanc with aromas of melon and stone fruit from, South Africa’s Western Cape.

Discover an interview with Lettie at https://www.wsjplus.com/journalists/lettie-teague.

E-mail Lettie at [email protected]

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Firm, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

supply hyperlink