Living the dream in a downtown New York wine store
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
GIFT IDEAS #6, #6.1, #6.2...etc: For Those Who Choose Wine Based on the Label
Many people do it. You may even do it. As a professional buyer, I try very, very hard not to do it. But it's true. A cool label or bottle is more likely to get a second look. And a really ugly label? Let's just say I have a few bottles on the shelf that require me to explain, "The labels horrific but the wine is great."
But it is possible to have it both ways - great wine in a really cool package. While lining up bottles for some newsletter pictures, I realized my sweet/fortified shelf is home to some of the coolest bottles in the store. (Yes, for the eagle eyes out there, I realize the vin jaune is neither sweet nor fortified).
Perhaps it's because they need all the help they can get to overcome the stigma of being sweet/fortified wines. Or maybe it's just because these particular wines tend to continue using the original bottle shapes from back in the day. And this wines do go way way back in the day. They're some of the oldest, most storied wines you can buy.
But they're not something that most wine drinker will buy for themselves.
Not because they won't like them - when we open any of these wines at the store, most people are usually surprised at how enjoyable they are. It's probably because they're usually sitting on some out of the way shelf. Or because they seem like something only old people drink, while sitting in their library in front of a fire place. Or because we're trained to never express an admiration for anything sweet.
They're a great indulgence if you're getting a gift for someone or looking for something to give yourself. They're quite stable and after being opened and will last anywhere from several days to forever. They taste good.
I've been asked how what filter I'm using for these photos. It's your basic iPhone photo with the Magazine filter from the CameraBag app. And it you're wondering what it's in the background - it's corks. Lots and lots of corks.