Thursday, April 13, 2006

American in Paris? - Nope, Just American Style

On the surface it would appear that the wine industry is suddenly throwing off the shackles of tradition and finally loosening up, allowing for amazing growth across the industry. I look around and it appears a whole new flood a wine labels are waiting for me. Catchy, silly, cute, iconic, sexy, new wine labels call out hoping to supplant themselves in our subconscious. Cline’s Red Truck should be given credit as one of the originals wines in this revolutionary moment. But Cline was not alone, Royal Bitch Merlot, Little Penguin wines, Marilynn Merlot (to name a few) all have relied on image to make their mark. At first, this was a movement about labels you would remember because of inside was a wine you didn’t want to forget. But as this moment grew it clearly became more about the label and less about the wine.

Now the French are getting into the act. You know it is serious when the tradition heavy, snooty French are willing to step off their self-made pedestal and compete for the wine market. Scarlet of Paris Pinot Noir 2004 is the first attempt by the French to capture this new "image" over "tradition" wine market.

Luckily, like many of firsts, Scarlet of Paris Pinot Noir 2004 has both a catchy label and a tasty wine to remember. It is a fragrant and earthy French wine, definitely rustic. Overall this wine is light and a very pleasantly fruity Pinot Noir. Most of all this is a French Pinot priced to sell. Definitely worth taking the time to try and if you like it, you’ll be happy it won’t break the bank to stock your cellar.

However, while Scarlet of Paris Pinot Noir 2004 is the latest hit in this new movement of appearance first and substance later, there are countless forgettable wines draped in “pretty labels”, after tasting one would be happy to forget. But before I ramble on about this topic I think I’ll take some time to enjoy a glass of Silver Oak and reflect on our recent past.

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