How do you choose your wine? On a restaurant menu it’s often a combination of price and then narrowing in on tried and tested producers, origins, and grape varieties that point us towards a comfortable choice. Those brave soles that engage with sommeliers are rewarded tenfold with a thoughtful pairing that can only come from someone who knows the list and menu inside out.
On shelves–be they physical or virtual– there’s an additional variable: the label. And be assured both novices and experts are influenced by it. We all agree that the liquid inside is infinitely more important than any marketing. However, the images producers choose to put on their bottles are an attempt to convey the story behind the wine. I find that smaller producers are especially meaningful with their labels when they might not stretch their budget on employing an expensive label designer, and actually create the label art themselves. It can be a marvellous point of communication between the producer and the consumer.
This February – the coldest one in recent memory and of course one where we’re still in lockdown.. it’s no wonder Valentine’s Day has been upgraded to a major occasion for many of us. Any chance to celebrate, or differentiate, our weekends and “go big” as my favourite florist advised.
Well I ran with it and also made Love a theme for our monthly box. Specifically… love on the labels. They are like little love letters from the producer straight to you, the drinker. A suggestion of “the bright side” as Le Bon Coté translates to, and leaves us to imagine what that means to the couple on the label. Martha Stoumen’s Post Flirtation labels gave me a giggle with their beautiful and bold patterns as backdrops to childish doodles of flirtation.. or what happens next? And of course Clovella which shows a passionate kiss and indeed promises the wine is itself a spicy embrace with rich black fruit, velvety texture, and cloves!
The wine of Weingut BD Schmitt proved to me just how special label art is, especially for those small producers that I adore so much. Bianka and Daniel are the two winemakers. Theirs is truly a love story which Bianka painted on the labels of their wines and you can explore and decipher as you enjoy their vibrant and fun red.
On Thursday 25h February members are invited to join a Virtual Wine Tasting with special guest: Bianka and Daniel from Weingut BD Schmitt in Germany. They will share their story with us and talk about their commitment to making wines as naturally as possible.
If you would like to repurchase any of these wines come visit the Bottle Shop.
Martha Stoumen, Post Flirtation Red 2019
Notes of ripe blackberry and dried plum balance morea herbaceous characteristics of pine and rosemary; still a fruit forward, approachable wine that will become a fast friend