Monday, February 7, 2011

it's what's on the outside that counts

I don't claim to be a wine connoisseur at all, but I will own up to loving a good glass or two... or three.  That being said, I want to confess how I decide which new wine to try and the newest selection criteria I'll be following for the next few purchases.

I'm the type of person that chooses a bottle based on the label (don't pretend that you haven't done this) and have to confess I do the same when it comes to books, but thats beside the point.  What matters is that my system has yet to really steer me in the wrong direction.  Sure, I've had bottles I like better than others, but I haven't come across a wine with a good label and a bad taste.  Now, "good" is in the eye of the beholder.  I have an appreciation for different types of art so sometimes the bottle with the simplest design sticks out to me, while other times I can't stay away from the one crazy color and who-knows-what on it.   This definitely allows me to view a greater number of bottles as having the potential to be picked.

Recently, I've been advised to take this a step further.  My sister-in-law, Alison, stayed over the other night with plans to hang out and drink lots of wine.  As we made our plans, I offered to pick up the wine and she suggested that I grab a bottle with an animal on the label.  Apparently, her selection technique has proven to be quite successful.  I admit, I was a little surprised by her criteria, but sure enough I did just what she said.  I never really noticed how many bottles have animals on them before then.  Honestly, I had a bigger selection than I anticipated and was quite happy with the chardonnay I walked out with.

I know its random, but I just thought I'd share this recent "challenge" in hopes that it may inspire you to try it yourself.  If you do, be sure and tell me how it turned out... I'll take all the animal-on-the-label wine suggestions I can get!

For example, I would try this...


  1. I will try that "animal" technique. That Alison is very wise. :-)

  2. haha love it. There's more to the method, but I didn't want it to be overwhelming.

    I don't claim to be very wise in the ways of wines, but I've tried a few (thousand?) ha, kidding. When I started out wanting to try new things, I started with the animal-on-the-label technique. Something about it seemed cute, and for someone with poor short term memory it would help me remember that 'oh ya, I've had blue label rooster before it was pretty good'.

    The next step is to organize the types of wine you like w/ the animals. For example, I like chardonnay from steel barrels, and pinot grigio for my 'whites'. I like malbecs and pinot noirs for my 'reds'. Once I knew that, I could move to blends and fall back on my animal-on-the-label technique for trying new blends or types of wine.

    Once I felt more comfortable with the types, I started to learn more about the wine producing regions of the world (not nearly as much as my friend Nick, but that's another story). Now that I know I'll most likely love anything from Chile or Argentina-- I can move away from the animal technique and start learning/trying based on the vineyard, the vintage, etc.

    See, there's method to the madness. Plus, research may just be backing me up. In looking for an image to link you too, I stumbled onto this:
    Who loves social science? I do, I do.

    Now pass a the Monkey Bay from New Zealand.



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