A Wine by any other name …

Personally I hate it when wines are marketed by using stupid names.  Maybe it’s a sign that my wine snob meter is going up – I don’t know, but here’s a couple that really bug me.

Cono Sur Wines.  I’m sure the Cono Sur Viognier (connoisseur, get it?) from Chile is delicious. Viognier really is one of my favorite white varietals.  However, I feel like I need to have this pun approved by my school’s English department before serving it – and from my experience they don’t easily approve puns. 

 I do think they would approve of a nice Viognier if properly named. Yalumba winery in Australia is known for making great new world Viognier.  They usually name them “Viognier”, “Hand-Picked Viognier”, or something like that and chances are your Vintages section will have one. 

Goats do Roam? Vintages carries several wines by this name. I know it sounds like “Cotes du Rhone” but please stop! I’m embarrassed for all the South African wine makers that had nothing to do with this.  This name is insulting to the French and to be fair, when have the French ever been known to insult anyone?

If you want a nice wine that rhymes with “Goats do Roam” then try Guigal Cotes du Rhone -LCBO 259721- or La Romaine Venus Cotes du Rhone Villages – LCBO 28779 –  at $12.95 it tastes like $30.

Fat Bastard Wines. As a PE teacher I have a very healthy BMI, I think I’m a nice guy, and yet Tony once bought me a Fat Bastard Shiraz for my birthday.The  Shiraz is great but that’s not the point.  “This Fat Bastard is dry with a tannic finish”, is not a conversation I want to have over wine.  It is however, one that Tony wants to have. 

I think there are many suitably named Shiraz at the LCBO.  Long Flat for one – LCBO 536763 – is a good name and is a great everyday wine. It was our house wine last year. 

For the record, Yellow Tail is not really a stupid name – it just started us on a bad trend of cute wines named after cute animals that taste like bubble gum (the wines taste like bubble gum not the kangaroos). I am hoping that Kangaroo Springs Shiraz is really from a winery near a healthy natural water source, but I have my suspicions.

Now having said that, if a wine tastes good then it’s worth buying and drinking.  Bonny Doon’s Cardinal Zin is one of my favorite American wines and my favorite Zinfandel. I guess I can overlook the name after all.


About Travis Oke

Wine writer / consultant View all posts by Travis Oke

2 responses to “A Wine by any other name …

  • vic harradine

    It bugged me, too, about Cono Sur, until I found out that their vineyards are in the ‘southern cone’ of Chile and in Spanish, ‘southern cone’ translates to cono sur. Okay, maybe they’re guilty of double entendre, but that’s better than a cheesy knock off. Oh, and BTW, their wines are terrific, especially their Viognier at $10 and all their Pinot Noir.

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