I shop for wine by the label because name, place and variety mean very little to me in the same way that someone who doesn’t know beer couldn’t tell you the differences between a Belgian dubbel, a US IPA or an Italian pilsner (though they are moving targets which get faster every day so many beer people couldn't get them right!). When a new wine shop announced it was opening almost opposite my flat I got all excited at the prospect of having a good selection of wines, beers (for it said beers would be on sale too), spirits and cigars. When it opened the beer selection disappointed; there was nothing I couldn’t get in the supermarket and there was nothing I’d buy (except Desperados!). But the wine selection, however, even with my limited knowledge, was pretty impressive.
Passing from bottle to bottle was like trying to watch a film in Japanese: I roughly knew what was happening but I had no idea of the intricate details. That was until I saw Battle Island which, keeping the Japanese film allusion alive, is the equivalent of someone standing up, pulling out a gun and shooting everyone while doing back flips (in other words, it looked impressive even if I didn’t know exactly what it was doing). I picked up the boldly labelled bottle and turned it around as if to feign knowledge or to find it, instead I saw a label which reads: ‘This is not an explanation. To join the storyline find www.furiousknivesofwine.com’ with a cool new-skool Olde English calligraphy logo. I knew I had to have it because I may just have found the BrewDog of Wine (unfortunately the website is still being built, which isn’t cool, but I like the idea that you need to go online to find out more - all they need now is their twitter handle printed on the cork).
It’s a 14.5% Australian Shiraz-Cabernet made by Some Young Punks for the Furious Knives of Wine (that alone sounds pretty awesome, whatever it is, and Some Young Punks have some great labels) which cost £8.99. It pours a deep, inky red and is a glassful of dark, red fruits. One luscious mouthful and it covers the tongue but remains wonderfully light for its amplified abv. It throws off masses of plumy fruit and blackberries, a little chocolate, some spice, a tannic dryness like cranberries and even a botanical bitterness – I liked it a lot.
As I don’t know much about wine I don’t know if this kind of edgy branding is unusual or not and I don’t know how the industry see them, but I’d like to know. I’d also like to try more of their wine on this display. But beyond any of that I’d like the Beer Punks of Scotland to collaborate with the Wine Punks of Australia because that could be very interesting...
I’m guessing most people drink wine at least some of the time but how do you choose them? Do you know certain varieties from certain places which you stick to? Or is it a hit-and-hope roulette based on choosing one with a good label?
Hilarious and informative; Thanks so much for posting this, I love finding wines that ditch the stuffiness and create an adventure through labeling, much like the craft brew scene. Keep up the good work!ReplyDelete
Nice one! was looking forward to hearing what you thought after seeing the pic the other day.ReplyDelete
I tend to drink wine every now and then, I usuall just read the label and see what takes my fancy at the time but every now and then I get given bottles by people and the labels are all in french so I haven't got a clue what they are...so its fun guessing the flavours etc
Anything with a name like "Furious Knives of Wine" is something I want to drink! That marketing campaign has caught me hook, line and sinker ... awesome!ReplyDelete
As that paragraph probably suggests, I know nothing about wine. :P
What I find particularly interesting about this post is that I cannot imagine a wine blogger stumbling unknowingly on a bottle of BrewDog and writing the same, but in reverse - any wine bloggers lurking and want to defend themselves?ReplyDelete
I can't say I've ever paid more than £4.99 for a bottle of wine in the off-trade, and as far as I'm concerned, red is a total no-go zone - despite numerous attempts (including drinking other people's considerably more expensive stuff), it still all tastes to me like infected Ribena. Sorry.ReplyDelete
Interesting find. I don't know these wines but it is not unknown for new world producers to take this sort of approach. However, this does seem to be particularly well worked through and executed and from what I can make out it looks like there is some prety serious winemaking going on too. Some of their blends and grape choices are unusual. The Australian wine industry is in a pretty significant pickle at the moment and it is interesting to see this sort of approach which is far more engageing than the norm particularly for a producer that doesn't appear to be making high volumes; producers who might be expected to take a more conservative approach to their marketingReplyDelete
See you tomorrow for the beer tasting at the home of wine education....not sure if that counts as a suitable defence of wine communicators....
interesting piece - funnily enough The Wine Society has just listed something called The Squid's Fist from the same outfit. "May deter traditionalists"! - indeed, can't wait to get some.ReplyDelete
http://www.compassboxwhisky.com/home.html are apparently doing similar stuff with whisky. More Innis & Gunn than BrewDog by the look of things, but I haven't tasted any of their stuff yet so might be doing them a disservice.ReplyDelete
Wine makers are also competing in terms of designing wine labels.ReplyDelete