The following post contains affiliate links, but all the opinions contained herein are my own.
I am a wine snob.
Yes, I can admit it.
And part of being a wine snob is that you categorically reject wines with “critters” on the label. Why is that? Well, generally speaking, ever since Yellow Tail become the best-selling brand in this country, there has been a ark-load of wines that included just about every animal imaginable on the labels: Monkeys, Goats, Lizards, Penguins, Bulls, and those are just the ones off the top of my head.
What do all these “critter wines” have in common?
They are almost all mass-produced (bad, according to the wine snob) and all are lacking a “sense of place” (“sense of place” is generally a good thing according to the wine snob). Thus, us wine snobs find it very easy to look down our noses at any label that has some sort of creature on it (there are exceptions, of course–one Screaming Eagle comes to mind–but not many).
Well, this Thanksgiving I once again ventured back to the Midwest to visit family, but this time it was without my wife. I opened a few bottles of wine for my mother and sister-in-law (my siblings are decidedly in the Miller Lite camp–so no, wine snobbery is not necessarily inherited), all of which were pretty good (with the exception of the Charles Shaw Merlot that my mother had stored in her refrigerator for the last who-knows-how-long), but as I was tasting the wines, and I started talking about them, I realized that the others drinking the wine either did not understand what I was saying (“I am getting a lot of black cherry here”), or they simply did not care (much more likely).
It was then that I realized that I consume wine in a rather small bubble–I almost always drink wine with other wine aficionados (or at least with people who are willing to humor me as I act the snob).
This was driven home when my sister-in-law wanted to keep one of the bottles–so that she could remove the label for her collection.
Then it hit me–more people are like her, when it comes to wine, than me.
A lot more.
So, when I got a few wines from Fat Louis with a cute little duck on the label, I initially thought “I can’t review these–they are, after all, critters on the labels.” Then I thought about it a bit more and realized I was being far too dismissive–these wines are largely available and could likely appeal to a large segment of the population.
I checked out the Fat Louis website and realized something else–the people behind the brand are trying to do something crazy–make wine fun.
Wine does not (and should not?) need to be so serious–something that I often forget. I get often get caught up in so many silly aspects of wine and forget that it is, after all, a beverage, and some people actually drink wine because it is fun.
While neither of the Fat Louis wines will likely cause one to have a wine epiphany, they might just make you smile….
2013 Fat Louis Greetings From France: Retail $12. Screw cap, 50% Grenache, 30% Carignane, 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Pear and green apple with a touch of honeyed pineapple on the nose lead to a fun wine with great fruit and balanced acidity. Medium finish. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2012 Fat Louis Duck Down: Retail $14. Screw cap. 65% Grenache, 35% Syrah, Saint Chinian A.O.C. Dark berry fruit with hints of anise, mocha, and vanilla on the nose of this fairly dark wine. Well rounded on the palate with a bit of that fruit upfront, but plenty of backbone to support it. An easy quaffer with plenty of intrigue. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
Both wines are available from wine.com. Get 10% off 6 or more bottles at Wine.com! Use code: CHEER2014. Valid 11/27-11/30.