Thursday, December 10, 2009
See What He's Drinking - Cakebread Chardonnay 2007
Image, they say, is everything. What "they" don't mention however is the everything that image conveys. Ponder that statement reader while I'm take a sip of wine, making sure not to gulp, but rather; allow the juice to linger on the palette. I want to experience the complexity of the flavors, in the same manner one should appreciate the nuance of image.
In our consumption driven culture, flashy is the "go to" image. The short-cut people choose to achieve their "everything". Glitz, glamour, all eyes on me; keep the focus on the surface and avoid the complexity (or lack) of what is beneath. Besides, people are so busy consuming, who has the time to get beneath the surface anyway. Standing out with flash seems like the only option.
I have breaking news for you; beauty is only skin deep, you can't judge a book by its cover. The image one conveys therefore should be more than just attention seeking, it should be attention grabbing. Take Cakebread Chardonnay 2007 for example. On the surface, a simple yet elegant label, enough to catch your attention but at the same time subtle enough to not overwhelm the senses. (The second part is the most important) Elegant subtlety, conveys much more confidence than screaming for attention. And confidence is this wine middle name. Priced above an average bottle, this wine drinks in a manner above even its aggressive price point. Yet for those who've enjoyed this wine's purity and harmony displayed as succulent, ripe peach, yellow apple and lemon zest flavors, they would eagerly pay more for a second experience.
Image is everything, so of course words like purity and harmony jump to mind when discussing a Cakebread wine. That is exactly the image the label portrays. Not flashy, because flash warns that something else is lacking. The label is subtle and the price point high because the winemaker is inviting you to discover what the confidence is all about. Drink that idea in, followed by drinking in this wine I was sold. So until wine labels actually blink, flash and verbally speak to me I'll continue to explore the sexy juice beneath the understated labels.