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Here, I was trying to use the label get out in front of the problem of the non-recognition of these somewhat obscure varieties, to help facilitate the beginning of a conversation. Attempting to sell wines made from these sort of oddball varieties years ago was in fact a sort of death-defying kind of feat in and of itself.
This was a gesture to try to represent or exteriorize the essence of the wine itself on the label. So, we invested a kind of seriousness through the fine art aspect of the label and by historical association. At the same time the enigmatic quality of the label, allows the customer to invest his or her own set of meanings into the illustration. Why did I use this particular conceit? Proper, cool climate Syrah has such a strong perfume — white pepper and bacon fat — rotundone is the relevant molecule, by the way — in my febrile imagination, I thought of it almost as a vaguely illicit substance or at least one, like certain kinds of cough syrup, heavily regulated by governmental authorities.
We hope that our customers appreciate these fine details.
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In fairness, not all of our labels have turned out to be majestic works of art. Perhaps shamelessly incorporating popular culture into the label does not represent our finest moment, but again, I am often incapable of passing on what I imagine at the time to be an amusing visual pun. This is in fact my very favorite Bonny Doon label, done for us by the Canadian illustrator, Gary Taxali, and was created for a wine we made for our wine club from the very obscure grape, Freisa.
We made no less than three different versions of Freisa and were equally challenged in selling any of them.
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This was for a dry red-style, and as you can see, we juxtaposed these two striking images side-by-side, definitely creating a bit of dramatic tension. Somewhere we had tracked down quotes from Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson, writing about how they really felt about the Freisa grape. To tell their story, great producers in Europe of an older generation will typically, maybe stereotypically, rely on the authority of the appellation itself, or the authority of a representation of the domaine or chateau on the label, such as you might find on a classified growth Bordeaux — based on the implicit French article of faith in the immutable hierarchical order of things.
For some of us mineral-head wine geeks, this is just catnip, a major turn-on, but to the average North American Joe Caymus, this in fact can represent a major turn-off. We do, after all, attempt to make some reasonably serious wines from time to time.
For example, we have been fortunate to source Syrah grapes from the superb Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria, which has helped us make some fairly grown-up wines. For wine bottles are magical vessels assembled by magical elves who toil joyfully without complaint for the benefit of the discriminating, gentle consumer. But it is important to remember that creating a memorable and successful package is a collaborative process between the label designer and the consumer. It has been a sincere pleasure to talk to you today.
Dark saturated color, with a very rich savory mouthfeel and a preternaturally long finish. This likely makes no sense to the rational mind, but one is struck equally by both the rusticity and elegance of this wine — it is if the refined Burgundian Clement had a rustic cousin, Clem in Provence. There is no more appropriate wine currently produced on the planet than this one to complement a beef daube.
The 30th Anniversary release of this, our flagship wine. A beautiful wine — dark and mulberry in color as in nose. One scents cool loamy earth with suggestions of raspberries and Damson plums.
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And sure enough, on the palate the wine is also an essence of velours. Very bright, deep ruby color, lots of black fruit, mulberries and cherries on the nose. There is a pronounced minty, almost alpine pepperiness, which is the unmistakable hallmark of Bien Nacido Syrah.
This is profoundly good news for the long-term prospects of this wine and for those who still possess a capacious cellar. Medium, vivid ruby color, with an incredibly lifted, ethereal floral aroma — almond blossoms, violets, sandalwood and wild strawberries, almost, dare I say, Burgundian in aspect. On the palate, a dreamy weightlessness this is a good thing! The kind of wine that drives wine aficionados to drink, being a wine of great charm, elegance and intelligence. With decanting and time , the wine seems to grow in both body and depth.
Certainly one of the most charming Cigares of memory. Aging potential after that: years. Alcohol by Volume: What a difference a day makes! Dark woodsy, fairy-tale nose — juniper berry and crushed pink peppercorns, licorice. It goes something like this: Juiciness, fruit but not confected or overripe , brightness, exuberance, joy, and not least, a sense of savoriness.
We look above all for balance and for liveliness, for vinous qi.
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This wine is still incredibly young and just wants to jump out of its shoes. But the ripe stems impart a beautiful source of tannin, giving the wine a real spine; they protect it from the cold and unforgiving world it will ultimately have to confront. Have a little bit of everything in your group? These dynamic selections offer a diverse collection of tastes and approaches to suit every niche. Cover all of your bases with this collection. With a subtle and haunting perfume, this wine is all about elegance and restraint.
Rosehips, cassis, fraises de bois, citrus rind, with a wonderfully austere stony finish. A truly versatile option to consider as you drum up your Thanksgiving wine pairings.
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Le Cigare Blanc remains a great vin de gastronomie , pairing well with rich, buttery dishes. Anaerobically perfected in 20 liter glass demijohns on its lees, this wine represents the peak of elegance in the Bonny Doon Vineyard range. Pairs equally well with simpler fare, like cheese. Wild plums, blackberries, Griotte cherries and licorice of course.
The tannins are soft and supple, and the wine has so much persistence. Benefits enormously from decantation, and is ideally served in large balloon Burgundy glasses. Pair with lamb chop with a minty chimichurri, or even a bit of briny grilled eggplant. These popular selections make for fantastic Thanksgiving wine pairings, and pair seamlessly with a traditional Thanksgiving menu from start to finish. Roasted veggies make a great accompaniment, too!
Your roasted turkey will be stunning with Cunning. Griotte cherry lozenge, lush, full texture, tobacco, and the unmistakable umami-rich flavor of beef bouillon serve well with traditional Thanksgiving staples like Turkey and savory stuffing. Tannic and meaty in the lower registers; peppery, fruitful and delicately floral in the top, all the while showing great balance and harmony. Perfect with a standing rib roast. Our late harvest Grenache Blanc dessert wine is extremely well balanced with acidity.
Coconut, papaya, pineapple, pear and quince paste in the nose, and a suggestion of dried fruit. Pairs effortlessly with pumpkin pie, apple tart, or a course of nuts and cheeses. Different from each other as they may be, these unique selections are sure to bring the family together.
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Introduce your loved ones to unique and delicious finds that can fulfill even the most particular tastes in the room. Pairs deliciously with a wild mushroom risotto, roasted turkey roulade, or even smoked duck.
A perfect wine to have in your glass on a chilly evening by the fire. Calling all sherry lovers! Its unique production process imparts a distinctive nuttiness with definitively sherry-like qualities. Serve it before dinner as an aperitif, or alongside Mediterranean cuisine. Also pairs well with French onion soup, or even oysters on the half shell. A sweet white wine that can charm even the most delicate of palates. The first impression is lavender, immediately followed by candied citrus peel and musk melon, with the slightest trace of bitterness.
Ideal with a savory course like foie gras or a blue cheese cake appetizer, but also just fine as a dessert wine with a fruit dessert.