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Unusual Labels
page 14

Diversity in Wine

A ll over the world wine makers, marketeers and artists are working to provide us with weird labels to catch our eye.

Van der Table Western Cape
South Africa
Van der Table label Goodness knows what substance was being consumed by the designer of this label, but its probably not the quite respectable contents of this bottle, which is a melange of Zinfandel 23%, Ruby Cabernet 22%, Cinsaut 22%, Shiraz 15%, Tinta Barocca 10% and Pinotage 8%. It's a most enjoyable fruity deep red quaffer.
But that label? The name combines a pun on the French description 'vin de table' meaning 'table wine', but here Table Mountain (seen in the background) is the reference, with the common South African name prefix Van Der which of course sounds like vin de...
Then there's the Monty Python like opened head half buried in a beach with a bunch of grapes in place of a brain and the ears are protea flowers. And a psychedelic sea. Weird.
There's no indication who makes the wine, tho' I think it might be Blaauklippen Estate.
The back label says the contents is 75ml.
Van Rouge Vaucluse
A pun on the French for red wine, vin rouge. Its a well designed eyecatching label for this pleasant southern French red wine. Van Rouge label
Rude Girl Western Cape
South Africa
Rude Girl label Rude Boy's wait is over. Rude Girl has joined him on the shelves. Full bodied and very fruity, she's at her best at just the right temperature. And when that temperature is reached her dress magically disappears.
Move your mouse pointer over her to see what happens.
The wine is a surprisingly good Shiraz
Stu Pedasso Cellars Sonoma County
Stuart 'Stu' Pedasso decided to go organic so he bought 500 bullfrogs to eat vineyard bugs, but they spent most of their time croaking around the pond. After a year he had 2,000 bullfrogs and the neighbours were complaining about the noise. Not wanting to use poisons to control the frog population, Stu Pedasso took the innovative step of bringing in 50 alligators from Florida. As the alligators were working on the frogs, deer were gobbling up grapes by the ton, so Stu Pedasso brought in 25 monitor lizards from Indonesia. "These 10-foot-long lizards are the best pest killers I've ever seen," says Stu Pedasso. "When one of these throwbacks from the dinosaurs gets hold of a jackrabbit or a deer, it's not a pretty picture. Within a year, they will also eat most of the alligators, which have eaten most of the frogs."

Tours of Stu Pedasso's vineyard are by appointment only. If the gate is closed, enter at your own peril.

More about Stu's wine making philosophy is on his web-site at www.stupedasso.com and in an informative booklet available at the winery.

We had a great time at the winery in June 2002, thanks for the hospitality, Stu.

If you can't find Stu Pedasso Cellars on your winery map, call in at nearby Topolos at Russian River Vineyards. They are happy to direct visitors.

Stu Pedasso
Ceci n'est pas un Carignan
Bonny Doon Vineyards
Bonny Doon Carignan
Another wonderful label from Bonny Doon. A homage to Magritte, and are these Cigare Volant passing the town hall that banned them from landing in the vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape?

2002 seems to be the year Carignan has been rediscovered and given the serious treatment. I have tasted several good examples. Bonny Doons was excellent, but pricey.

Goat Rotie
South Africa
Goat Rotie
The council of Billy goats convened - bearded and wise elders grumbles. Their position has been challenged by the popularity of Goats do Roam, the exuberant wines created by the frisky and youthful members of the flock. And so an edict was issued - go out into the vineyards. Sniff out the finest fruits. Create a wine befitting our status - or risk a roasting. The elders rose to the occasion. Goat Roti - a wine abundent with rich fruit and warm spices - the elders are well pleased.

Well, thats what the back label says. But I reckon the folks at Fairview are too canny to leave it all to the goats. I tasted this in the barrel and have been looking forward to it appearing on the wine shop shelf.

Most of the funny labels on this site come with wine that doesn't live up to the label. This is an exception. Goat Roti is a wonderful deep rich fruity wine, the equivalent of the similarly named French wine at a reasonable price. If you see it, buy it!

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1 October 2002