You might think it’s easy to name a wine brand. I know many people right now who are wrestling with what to call their new wine. Some have common last names already in use, and therefore can't use them. Others are seeking a deeper, more meaningful expression or extension of their ego, passion or mission, and that makes finding the perfect name a challenge.
Some of the names that are used on labels are head scratchers (and I’m hoping you’ll share some of your favorites in the comments). They make you wonder, "How on earth did they decide on that name?" I wondered about the choice of Orogeny, when it was recently introduced as a Pinot Noir label. Opus One seemed to come out of nowhere years ago, but it works. Some are more awkward to pronounce (at least for me), such as Phifer Pavitt (a new Napa Cabernet, which I like, named after the owners, Suzanne Phifer Pavitt and her husband Shane Pavitt). And I always wanted to pronounce "Plam" as "Palm." But with time the names grow on you.
One reason choosing the ideal name can be a headache is that so many names are already owned and registered.
The other day I ran across a list of new fictitious business names listed in the local newspaper: What do Azin, Candelaria, Kaleidoscope, Salamander, Baco, Dancing River, Osprey Glen, Stallion Cellars, Broken Barrel, Foggy Ridge and Red Bird have in common? They are all owned by one wine company (I suspect it might be Fred Franzia), based in Napa, Calif., and we can expect to see these names on labels sooner if not later.