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harvey steiman at large

Some Seriously Saucy Wine Labels

Photo by: David Yellen

Posted: Jan 17, 2007 8:51pm ET


Gotta hand it to those Aussies. Just when you think they're all falling over each other to reach a mass market by putting kangaroos, wombats, emus, geckos and other critters on their labels, they go and make you smile with something else.

Credit Some Young Punks, a label put together by three otherwise serious winemakers in South Australia, for some of the cheekiest, most fun labels I've seen lately. The wines? Well, they're not quite outstanding, but then they're not meant to be.

I was disappointed with the 2005 Barbera labeled Naked on Roller Skates, despite its enticing 1950s drawing of a young blonde skating off the label, the banner with the wine name covering all her naughty bits. The wine seemed tart and abrupt, despite the notation on the label that it contains "750 milliliters of thrills."

Much better is their other red, Passion Has Red Lips, denoted on the label as "the unfiltered confessions of a 2006 Cabernet Shiraz," containing "750 ml of pleasure." I'll second that. The wine has bright fruit flavors, some depth and a come-hither character consistent with the label drawing, another 1950s blonde, this one popping out of her tight blouse.

I think my tasting coordinator, Gus, has a sly sense of humor because into the same tasting as Passion Has Red Lips he slipped a wine with a label consisting of a woman's pursed red lips. Her finger covers them, because the wine is called Secret.

Made by Marquee Selections in Victoria, the wine has tremendous zing and very pretty fruit character. The back label asks, "Can you discover the mix in this premier red wine, or will it always be a secret?" and adds, "Surrender to the enticing whisper of our luscious secret and get lost in the moment."

The wines all sell for less than $20.

Who says we must take wine seriously? Not the Aussies.
Dave Joyce
Winston-Salem, NC —  January 18, 2007 11:46pm ET
Harvey, I am surprised your tasting coordinator didn't slip in the First Love Red and White, both really nice Aussie blends in keeping with this theme. Could these wines be the perfect wines for the romantic Valentine's Day dinner? Maybe just the perfect wine label! At least these wines don't have cute little animals on them! That's an improvement for sure.

By the way, who imports the Passion Has Red Lips and the Secret?
Ryan Margolis
Philadelphia PA —  January 19, 2007 9:08am ET
The Some Young Punks wines as well as the First Love wines are imported by Vine Street Imports.
Joseph Romualdi
Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada —  January 21, 2007 1:37pm ET
Happy Birthday Harvey. You don't look a day over 48.

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