Into the Wine, Not the Label

Jun 20, 2024

By Jade Palmer, Krog Wine Manager

Happy Pride, y’all! This week, I’m taking inspiration from the award-winning and ever-hilarious Schitt’s Creek.

In this scene, Dan Levy’s character is explaining the people he’s attracted to, saying that he’s attracted to what’s inside rather than what they look like on the outside. And honestly, that’s how we should be thinking about wine. I know that a lot of people shop by label, looking for the most eye-catching artwork. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Nowadays, many wine labels are designed to grab your attention. There are two caveats with that:

  1. Pretty labels usually don’t tell you what to expect in the bottle.
  2. You’re missing out on wines that have classic, less flashy labels.

So this week is all about wines with classic labels - they might not grab your attention on the shelf, but they are wines that you don’t want to miss. 

Equipo Navazos Ovni Palomino Fino - $25.99

This wine comes from Andalucia, Spain - home of Sherry. Palomino Fino is the grape used in many styles of Sherry, but this is an unfortified version. Low in alcohol (11.5% abv) and low in pH, it’s the perfect savoury banger for the summer. Think sea spray, toasted nuts, and racing acidity. This is the wine to pair with shellfish and crisp summer salads. Consider this a gateway to Fino Sherry - the wine spends a little time under flor that gives it a slight bready, biscuity note. 

Zuccardi Poligonos Semillon Tupungato - $28.99

Semillon from Argentina? Sign me up! The Poligonos line from Zuccardi represents the diversity of terroir and people in the Uco Valley region. Each town has its own personality, as does every style of wine produced there. This is a wine that is totally accessible now in its youth, but would also age gracefully. It’s full of green apple, lemon curd, and nougat notes. Pair this with ahi tuna, goat cheese salad, or mushroom risotto for a truly divine culinary experience.

Domaine Lampyres Contre-Attaque - $29.99

Don’t let the plain label fool you - this wine is electric and peppery and fresh. I had the pleasure of meeting the winemaker - Francois-Xavier Dauré (FX for short), and he is just as energetic as his wines. Prior to starting his own label, he worked early mornings in the vineyards wearing a headlamp. His friends would joke that he looked like a firefly (“lampyre” in French). From then, FX had the name for his label, which he has been making in Roussillon for four years now. This wine is bright with fresh strawberries and cherries that evolves into a peppery, herbaceous finish. Make a charcuterie board and pair it with this wine. Vous ne regretterez rien

Château Pradeaux Bandol - $54.99

Calling all big and bold wine lovers - this wine is your new best friend. Mostly Mourvedre, this wine boasts a lush bouquet of black plum, blackberries, cured meat, tobacco leaf, garrigues, and potting soil. The tannins on this wine are grippy. Whether you drink it tomorrow or in ten years, this wine could use a nice decant to fully open up. This is classic Bandol - rustic, yet refined red wine. This wine is part of the Rosenthal portfolio, a well-known importer who specializes in small-production, minimal intervention wines. Let this wine be your introduction to the amazing quality of Southern France reds and the Rosenthal portfolio.

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