From Our Cellars

What’s in a Name?

Posted May 10, 2012 in The Connoisseur Says...

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”



We listen to a lot of music around the Wine is Life compound. Everyone has a device, an app, or something that provides music for headphones for bobbing and weaving and annoying humming while we churn out WIL products and precious sayings. Personally, we like artists. Ray Charles. Chuck Berry. If it’s a band then the name should indicate what the band is going to provide. Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks. Gotta be hot, right? It’s nice when the artist has one name, and is easy to remember. Donovan. Sting. Cher. Strong, and stands alone.

But some of these younger kids are into some bands and things that leave no clue as to what they are. Cage the Elephant. We Were Promised Jetpacks. Gotye. What the heck is that all about? You can’t read it, say it, or get that stupid song out of your head if you hear it. Got-no-clue is more like it.

Now that we’ve aged several decades and become our parents, it’s time to talk about wine. Good wines have a label that typically represents the vineyard, the grapes, the type of wine, and important stuff like that. More specifically, we wanted to share the pithy monikers, plucky appellations, and persnickety nom de plumes of some of our favorite labels.

Fat BastardFat Bastard. It’s a British and French group, they’re selling almost half a million cases a year in America, and it’s good wine. Plus it’s fun to growl, “Pour me some more Bastard.”

Oops. Brought to you by the fine fellows who provided Yellowtail wines, the name is said to have been the result of marketing Chilean wine as Merlot. The grapes were not, however, Merlot grapes but a hybrid. Maybe Dammit was already taken.

Mad Housewife. The label has a really cool, retro-looking homemaker, and the tagline reads, “What’s a little domestic bliss without a little wine?” It’s the perfect wine to spill on one of our shirts. We won’t be mad.

Naked on Roller Skates. We like these guys for their joie de vivre. The Australians are known for a bit of craziness, and this trio got a wild hair in their down under and started a small, craft vineyard called Some Young Punks. In addition to Naked, they have wines like Quickie, Double Love Trouble, and The Squids Fist. Good on ya. Now, we all know that squids do not have hands, and can therefore not have fists. We also discourage our WIL family from skating au naturale. Naked transportation should be saved for Lady Godiva. Though we did have to bail Simon out once after he went through a late-night fast food drive through following a bout of skinny dipping. He remembered to get out of the pool and feed himself, though he forgot to put his clothes back on.

K Syrah. From K Vintners in Walla Walla, Washington. That’s just funny. And whatever will be will be in Walla Walla.

Chat en Oeuf. Oooooooo…sounds fancy. Small, boutique vineyard? Check. Old-school traditional wine making? Check. French? You betcha—sunny South of France. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is an appellation that translates to “Pope’s Castle” in French. In order to protect the aristocracy from tasting nasty wines, the French Popes of 1300 and later created a bunch of laws governing the growing of grapes and making of wine. Chat en Oeuf means “cat in egg”. Either way it spells wine in belly, so drop it.Le Chat




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