Typically, we pick our weekly meeting topics because they’re timely and relevant, or because there’s a certain region we want to learn about, or because there’s a particular grape that interests us. Only rarely do we hold tastings specifically geared towards calling out the wine industry and holding them responsible for their shenanigans. This is one such meeting.
I was recently incensed by this article (Wine Labels with Animals: why un-traditional branding works), which basically insinuates that people are more likely to buy wine with an animal on the label than without. First of all, I think that’s pretty insulting — as far as the Winos are concerned, the presence of an animal on a wine’s label ranks in importance somewhere between the brand of toilet paper used in the winery’s restroom and the astrological sign of the vintner’s mother-in-law. Still, if it’s truly the case that the American consumer is going to blindly reach for zoological labels more eagerly than barren ones, I figure it’s the Young Winos’ civic duty to taste a bunch of these animal bottles and alert the hapless public as to which ones are good and which ones are shit.
Your task is to seek out and bring any bottle — white or red (or sparkling or dessert, for that matter) — which prominently features an animal on the label. Please note that this doesn’t mean we’re all going to be reaching for Yellow Tail and Monkey Bay… there are plenty of animal-stamped wines from producers of great esteem. In the photo below are three bottles I recently found at Vendome, each of which retails for more than the price of gassing up the Cherokee (which, in this day and age, borders on obscenity). Therefore, please feel free to double- and triple-up with other Winos on a better bottle. Of course, as always, we love those $10 donations; if you’ve brought a bottle the past two weeks, this might be a good time for a Hamilton.
Once you’ve gotten your confirmation e-mail, go out and find yourself a bottle of something animal-themed — or embrace the ten-spot, which we love — and we’ll see your bad selves Wednesday at 9pm.