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Top 10 Baffling Wine Labels

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Wed, May 26, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Whether you accept the notion that a single nose and its acclaimed-or-reviled 100-point scale have transformed the way wine is marketed and sold, especially in the United States, today there is a superabundance of bottles at American retail and more wine neophytes are earnestly cultivating a taste for the grape. Vineyards are fighting for a slot in the home wine rack via the only ad space many boutique operations can afford--the label on the bottle. Squid Ink presents the spoils of the wine war, our top 10 misguided, comical or outright disturbing wine labels. We are not reviewing the juice; merely trying to parse the branding on the glass.

10. 2008 Innocent Bystander Pinot Gris, Yarra Valley, Australia

click to enlarge BEN CALDERWOOD [ALL]
  • Ben Calderwood [all]

You didn't know that Aussie Pinot Gris was the world's most homicidal grape. It's preferable to be targeted by one's wine, rather than caught in the crossfire.

9. 2008 Aresti Art Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Valley, Chile

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Arguably it's too easy to lampoon cardboard wine. The fact that Aresti slaughtered the winemaker who bungled their cut-rate Art line and stamped his bloody hand-print on the box doesn't help.

8. 2007 Plungerhead Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi, California

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This distinguished gentleman has misplaced his pants. And his hat. Also his dignity, which he has replaced with mustache wax. The bottle employs a proprietary Zork instead of a cork. It's as handsome as the plunger.

7. Non-vintage Pinot Evil Pinot Noir, Hungary

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Generously labeled a "cask" rather than a "plastic bladder." Considering the unfortunate pun, there's a good reason why.

6. 2008 Mad Housewife Merlot, California

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What. Did You. Do.

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