Friday, July 5, 2013

The Adjectival Geographic Wine Naming Technique

It's simple.
Sit around in the boardroom, tearoom or cellar door and get everyone present to think of all the geographic features they can. Write them on small pieces of paper and pop them into a hat. Then get another hat and repeat the process with as many random words as possible.
Draw a piece of paper out of each hat and, providing it's not been used before, whacko-the-diddlio you've got a name for a whole new range of your wines.
For the geographic second part of the name there are the usual suspects. Hill, ridge, creek and bay probably lead the way
There is only one catch.
When you choose the first word, someone must have the ability to explain the name with what I call "Back Label Justification". I've read some astonishing twaddle over the years ranging from butterflies to Dorothy Parker and gorillas. Doesn't matter what the wine tastes like, they have a compulsion to attribute their name selection to some vitally significant, recently created, aspect of their heritage.

The proliferation of whacky names has exploded in recent years with wineries producing BOB labels for Colesworths. As much as anyone Zar Brooks was a pioneer some years ago when the Osborns let him loose on their d'Arenberg labels. Suddenly we had the Laughing Magpie, Broken Fishplate, Wild Pixie, Daddy Longlegs and a serious number of etceteras.
There have now been so many.
A personal absurdist favourite was Victoria's Witchmount  nude label release of Captain Jack and the wine we had fun with, Scarlett. What a bummer that was when we ran out!

I'm confident the trend will continue. Often the same wine will be on the market under a few different labels and this will keep graphic designers and copy writers gainfully employed. Meanwhile I yearn for the days of Lindemans Hunter River Shiraz. And in those pre-barcode days you probably didn't need a backlabel.

What are your favourite wine names? Past or present.


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