Many—surprisingly many—wine lovers had been waiting to hear the words. "Hov leng ghIrep HIqmey vep," reads the announcement. "tugh paw tlhIngan ‘Iw HIq pIHqu’lu’bogh yuQjIjDIvI' ghIrep HIq chu’ perlu’bogh je."
"The latest release from Star Trek Wines features highly anticipated Klingon Bloodwine," plus a new United Federation of Planets Sauvignon Blanc, is what that means. The announcement comes today from Wines that Rock, the creators and keepers of the Star Trek–inspired wines, in a fully dual-language series of press releases for both English- and Klingon-language audiences. The label for the new wines is also in Klingon, so far as the equally fierce warrior clan at the TTB allows, as will be one rendition of the Star Trek Wines website. The winemakers consulted with multiple Klingon-language authorities to get this right, and here at Unfiltered, we deeply admire that level of commitment to a bit.
The Star Trek wines began as a collaboration between Wines that Rock, CBS, E2 Family Winery in Lodi, Calif., and Château Picard in Bordeaux's St.-Estèphe. For those not up on Trek canon, Capt. Jean-Luc Picard is both the commander of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise and a winemaker in Burgundy, Earth; his lesser-known vocation has been explored more in the new series Star Trek: Picard. After a bit of back-and-forth, the Wines that Rock team convinced the unrelatedly-named Bordeaux estate to get onboard with a Picard-from-the-show label last year, and the five or six batches of it have all sold out quickly, according to Wines that Rock COO Spencer Brewer. To pair, the company also issued a Special Reserve United Federation of Planets Zinfandel.
That feat of "in universe" verisimilitude would be tough to top, but the Trek Wines team knew they'd need to tackle one of the universe's most infamous pours: the Bloodwine from the warrior empire. The cues from the show were not particularly promising for 2020-era winemaking and marketing: Bloodwine came in packaging that looks like an oil can or spray-painted Tequila bottle, and it's twice as potent as whiskey.
Since most Earthlings find both of those things unpalatable, Wines that Rock eschewed them, but took plenty of other pains to make a Bloodwine that both Klingons and humans could enjoy. "What we wanted to do was make it as real as possible to Klingon culture," Brewer told Unfiltered. "And the juice had to rock. If you're going to open it up, it's got to taste like something a Klingon would want to drink."
For the juice part, they started out pretty potent: "We were going for something really intense, like really intense Petite Sirah," said Brewer. They landed on a still-pretty-intense, "extremely robust" blend of Cabernet from Lodi (90 percent) and Mendocino (10 percent). (The Sauvignon Blanc is for those who prefer white to red or blood.) For the culture part, they enlisted David Holquinn (DeyvID HolQIn), a member of the Klingon Assault Group (it's more of a social-cultural thing than a violence thing) and Klingon Language Institute to help vet potential bottle and label designs.
"Each part of the way through this, what we would do is come up with a word, a title, a phrase and we would shoot it by these guys, and say, 'What would a Klingon do, how would they do it?'" said Brewer. The growler-style bottle is extremely wieldable with one hand, corks are emblazoned with different Klingon phrases and the Bloodwine bottle necks, naturally, are dipped in red wax.
HolQIn was most pleased with the outcome. “The design of the Bloodwine … feels authentically Klingon from the overall aesthetic to the finer detail," he told Unfiltered via email. "The Klingon Bloodwine bottles will be glorious collector's pieces worthy of display in any captain's quarters or warrior's den."
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