Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

In the span of a few shelves at the wine store, I found inspiration for a Vine Designs post: Three wines bearing labels that spoke to my punk and rock heart. Punkers used their bodies as a way to express their distaste for all things establishment, be it through fashion, hair, accessories or tattoos, and here were labels reminiscent of those days.

To get you in the mood, too, pour yourself a glass and listen to UB40’s cover of “Red, Red Wine” first (thanks to my blogging sistahs Renovation Therapy and Willits Photo Overflow):

RAW POWER

RawPower_Final_CS2Beginning in the mid Seventies, the safety pin became one of the essential punk accessories. Torn jeans? Safety pins. Bracelet? Safety pins hooked together. Earring? Patches? You guessed it. The safety pin represented that gritty, underground, rebellious, working class, anarchic ethos. In an article titled “Safety Pin as Signifier,” in of all places, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Scott McLemee writes:

In the summer of 1977, Time and Newsweek informed their readers of a new subculture, called “punk,” that had emerged at a few rock clubs in the United States and Britain. It was a style of exuberant ugliness. Men and women alike wore short hair that had been cut seemingly at random, and dyed unnatural colors. Flesh was pierced in sundry locations, at times with safety pins. Punk bands had names like the Dead Boys or the Clash. The music was very loud, very fast, and seldom involved more than three chords. Dancing was spasmodic. Spitting was common.

I was pleased to read that the creator of this wine was not a punk pretender, but a real punker. Vocalist Rawley Power was the frontman for the Aussie punk band, “Anti-Power,” some 20 years ago. (I looked for any audio/video of the band online, but alas, no luck. Must’ve been a regional phenom) Raw Power shiraz is bottled by Old Plains Wine Co., based in South Australia. The grapes are grown on vines ranging in age from 12 to 45 years in Adelaide Plains.

If you’re looking for a wine to bring to your 25th or 30th reunion and want to show you’ve still got that edge, buy one of these. Your mates won’t be disappointed. Of course, for some funny nostalgia, you could bring some nasty wine coolers, introduced around 1981:

Big Tattoo Red

Big Tattoo Red Cabernet-Syrah 2006

Big Tattoo Red Cabernet-Syrah 2006

This bottle had a little pink ribbon around the neck, a tip off that it was more than just a nod to getting inked. Two brothers, Alex, a wine importer, and Erik, a tattoo artist, teamed up to start a wine in honor of their mom, Liliana S. Bartholomaus, who died in 2000 of cancer. A portion of the sales of Big Tattoo Wines (50 cents per bottle sold) goes to breast cancer research and hospice care in about 35 states and District of Columbia. (Distributors in each area have made matching donations from bottles sold as well.) Since 2002, they’ve donated more than $1.2 million.

Liliana’s favorite symbol was the fleur de lys, hence the label’s graphic designed by Erik, a New Mexico-based tattoo artist.

I enjoyed this syrah (50%) and cabernet sauvignon (50%) blend made from Chilean grapes.

Vintage Ink

Vintage Ink Red Wine

Vintage Ink Red Wine

I had to do quite the Sherlock Holmes shtick on this one. I came up with practically nada online, except for some indications that the wine had some ties to a big company that produces Robert Mondavi, Simi, Estancia and other wines. I contacted the winemaker, aka conglomerate, Icon Estates. The rep told me via e-mail this wine is only available at the H. E. Butt Grocery Store chain in Texas. I tried to get more info about this wine and reason for its really limited distribution, but have not heard back. Meanwhile, I bought a bottle in Massachusetts. I noticed the wine’s year–2005, not 2008–when I got home. (Note to self: adjust eyeglasses)

Icon’s web site is being overhauled and its new site is supposed to debut next month. Good thing because I found the current site frustrating!

My bottle Vintage Ink Red Wine, was a merlot-cabernet blend. It wasn’t memorable, alas. But that’s OK, right? My readers in Texas are the only ones who have access. If you live in Texas and buy a bottle, please let us know what you think.

The Chronicle of Higher Ed article mentions one of my favorite bands, The Clash. I’ll leave you with this classic:

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Rosso Primitivo 2007

Rosso Primitivo 2007

I bought this wine because of the timeliness, name and price. I didn’t expect much. The wine, “Mommy’s Time Out,” seemed like an odd name for a wine that is a product of Italy. But there I was–the week before Mother’s Day–strolling the aisles of a wine store studying labels and the wine was marked $2 off. The phrase “Mommy’s Time Out” sounded so American.

I looked up “time out” and “timeout” in the online Oxford Dictionary. The only definitions referred to sports. I can only surmise that at some point the phrase was absorbed into child rearing and then, eventually, adopted into the vernacular for other uses. And somewhere along the line, this vintner latched onto it as a marketing idea. But I speculate.

I bought the red–rosso primitivo–but the label reveals nothing about the grapes. The wine is bottled by CMSPA in the Montorso Vicentino region of Italy. I wish I could tell you more, but I could find nothing else online. Perhaps that won’t matter.  (The producer also makes a Mommy’s Time Out pinot grigio.) The site reveals little and is unlike the fancy whiz-bang web sites of other winemakers. This site is, frankly, amateurish.

The Wine Cask blog was blunt: “Unfortunately, the label is the best part about this wine.” The wine’s finish had an off taste. I feared something too fruity, too sweet. It was neither.

Maybe you’d give this wine to a new mom in a basket with other goodies–and because she’s breastfeeding, she won’t drink it anyway. For $9 (sale price), it’s worth the laugh because of its name. But be sure to include a better wine for mom’s palate. I bet many moms are more sophisticated than this and would appreciate something finer than this.

I wanted to end with a clip of The Rolling Stones “Mother’s Little Helper,” but the blokes have tight control over their property.

Read Full Post »

Wine for Barbie?

According to this CBS News report in 2006, women buy more than half of the wine sold in this country. And many winemakers have resorted to using labels and names they believe women will fall for. Hence, the popularity of so-called critter wines. Some of the wines mentioned in this report have names straight out of Barbie’s wine cellar–you know, the one she has in her Malibu beach house. I don’t know about you, but wines with bubblegum appeal are not for me. I’m attracted to labels that are works of art–and wine that pleases the palate.

Read Full Post »

"Paving Way"

"Paving Way"

The whimsy of the drawing on this label caught my eye when I was trawling the wine section of my local supermarket last week. Surprised to see the artist credited on the back label, I bought a bottle of Strong Arms shiraz. Though the wine is from South Australia, the artist is an American.

Mel Kadel is an artist who lives in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles. She shares her studio/apartment, which is a former stagecoach, with her boyfriend, artist Travis Millard. Their studio was featured on the blog Apartment Therapy.

In an interview, Los Angeles artist Mel Kadel describes her style as “mooshy.” When she can’t find old paper, she stains paper with coffee to make it look old and uses pen and ink.

Each of her illustrations tells a story and typically features some version of the same female character. She told Poketo:

I like having a story anchor what I’m working on, but don’t want it to be screaming out. I like thinking about obstacles and getting over them and turning upside down, and trying to keep running forward.

Kadel designed six labels featuring Ms. Strong Arms shiraz for R Wines, founded in 2005 by Dan Philips and Chris Ringland. Imported by The Grateful Palate Imports (http://www.gratefulpalateimports.com/wine/250.html), R Wines is based in Australia.

Kadel is represented by the Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, California. You can view her playful artwork on the gallery’s site. Greeting cards featuring her illustrations are available at Little Paper Airplanes.

As for the shiraz itself, Robert Parker gives it 91 points.

"Foot Bath"

"Foot Bath"

"Touch Down"

"Touch Down"

The Squeeze

The Squeeze

Read Full Post »