First of all, I should not be writing this column. I have seven children and I am on all counts over the creative kick of naming things. In fact, my youngest daughter is called La’Taesha Ayala Tanquenika because I totally used up everything in that ‘What To Name Your White Baby’ book.
Anyway, a press release I received yesterday says:
SUNLAND, Calif. (Sept. 2, 2011) – Leading radio content provider CRN Digital Talk Radio and Pyrenees Vineyards and Cellars are joining together to ask listeners to design the label of CRN’s first ever wine release.
“We are extremely thrilled at the listener response to our ‘Name the Wine’ contest for our first wine release so now we are asking listeners to get creative again and design our new label,” said Michael Horn, CEO and founder of CRN.
More to the point:
The contest, set to begin on Sept. 1, will give the winner a case of the new wine, as well as a framed copy of the wine label and a guest spot on “What’s Cookin’ On Wine: Oregon Report” radio program. The contest closes on Sept. 12 with the winner to be announced on the Sept. 22 show.
Whoa! Prizes! Cases of wine! Photo ops and insta-fame via that national media phenomenon, the Oregon Report, which now boasts more fans, more groupies, more daily listeners than Howard Stern!*
*Anna Nicole Smith’s boyfriend.
…Guess I’m Game To Claim Fame in the Name Game All the Same
But before I get to the wine, I am going to re-name some other things around the vineyard that need attention. Start with their name. ‘Pyrenees Vineyard’?? Guys, despite being the consummate pater that I am, I am not trying to be patronizing, but you are located in a trough in Oregon, not in the soaring, snow-capped peaks of Southern Europe where the God-ordained raison d’être is keeping those frog-eating French egotists away from the noble Catalonians. I’d suggest that you name yourself after your own mountain range, but Calapooya Vineyards sounds vaguely scatological. On the other hand, if you like that motif, you could change a single letter in the family name, Apodaca.
I think Apod-caca’s Calapooya would garner some press attention.
Otherwise, why not go the humor route like your neighbor to the north, Château Nonchalant? In which case, my entry is either Château-Jam or Châteaumaine Poisoning, though if you go with either one, I suppose you’ll shortly be calling yourselves Château Nonexistent.
Okay, so keep your name. I do get that the Apodacas have roots in the Basque region of the Spanish Pyrenees, which is their justification for the moniker, but in that case, why don’t they grow any of the traditional Basque grapes like bouchy, fer or txakoli—each of which could use their own name-change. Pyrenees Vineyard relies instead on the usual Oregonian suspects: pinot gris, cab/merlot, gewurtz and riesling, with an upcoming release of pinot noir; the grapes are grown locally in vineyards along the multiple terroirs of the South Umpqua River.
I will now fight the temptation to re-name the Umpqua—it’s what, a tributary of the Oompa Loompa?—and focus on the winery’s tagline, written in that head-scratching Basque language Euskara Batua at the bottom of the ‘About Us’ page:
‘Ex ardo bizidunik, ez andre bizardunik’.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that my translation is accurate:
‘Avoid Champagne and Women With Beards’.
WTF? Why would that be a winery’s motto, and more importantly, why would you avoid Champagne and women with beards??! Everyone loves a glass of sparkles, and in gustatory parlance, ‘A Woman With a Beard’ can only mean that she has a James Beard Foundation award and can therefore cook like a brick shithouse. These peculiar Pyrenean pinot people continue to twist my head.
So, On To The Wine…
Cut to the chase. I screwed up. Turns out the wine has ALREADY been named and they just want a label. Well, so crucify me—nobody told me I was supposed to read a press release all the way through, thank you very much. Evidently, last month, listener Suzanne Wright of Sebastopol won the ‘Name the Wine’ contest with the name ‘CRN’s Smooth Talker Bordeaux’.
Seriously?!? ’CRN’s Smooth Talker Bordeaux’ won?? Jesus, Mary and Joseph—imagine what must have lost. Frankly, I like the unintelligible Euskara tagline better.
Kassel Shows Some Stones
Therefore, I am going to go out on an artistic-license limb here and disqualify Suzanne. Why? Because she has a beard, that’s why. I will thereupon begin from scratch and name the new wine and design the new label without incorporating the name of the corporate sponsor simply to brown-nose a cheesy radio interview and a free case of wine from such narcissists. What are they, French?
Instead, I will use history, heritage, horse sense and hubris to create the single most significant label that Oregon—and possibly the entire West Coast—has ever dared to slap on a wine bottle.
The Apodacas may be challenged in a sturdy recollection of their Spanish heritage, so I have created for them a label that recalls Spain’s glorious past, commemorates one of her most influential leaders and celebrates a noble vinifera varietal beloved not only in Bordeaux, but also in Irouléguy, a premiere Basquian winemaking region.
Ergo: (And you can send the prizes c/o Intoxicology Report dot com)
Oh, goody. Another whiny blogger. zzzzzzzz. Look, there’s snarky and then there’s stupid. Your posts? Stupid. Here’s a tip: Hating everything doesn’t make you interesting. Quirky criticism can be fun but without meaningful content it can (and does!) make you sound like a whiny schoolgirl. So, we hope you can find a little glimmer of joy, somehow, somewhere. And try writing about that, maybe. Meanwhile, don’t quit your day job, sunshine. 😉
Love the ‘anonymous’, sunshine. What breed of pussy is too scared to sign his name?
Dear Anonymous – the mere fact that you are clearly unable or unwilling to sign your name to your minor diatribe is indicative of an unfortunate lack of gonads. Pity.
No worries, Ebeth. As it happens, I know exactly who wrote this: Very few people use ‘sunshine’ in this sense, and a couple of weeks before, I had pissed off some fucktard who did. In over two hundred columns, this is the only comment I have gotten that I would consider wholly negative, so I believe I shall go with the numbers, sunshine.
I’m no wine expert but any winery affiliated with anyone or anything out of Beautiful Sunland, CA can’t be all bad. Foreign language words confuse me so the remainder of the article was completely lost on me. Please endeavor to use only English words in future posts and I promise to be a loyal follower.
Does ebonics count?
Hi angry man… I have to agree with Anonymous… Whine, whine–lol wine.
First, I don’t have a beard, Chris. You could hunt me down online and discover that I am not ugly and except for lots of curly hair on the top of my head, rather hairless…
Second, A friend asked me to play in the competition, and play I did. I certainly didn’t think that I would win. It was all for fun.
Third, I believe that wine from “a trough in Oregon” will still be better than wine from Detroit. Of, course, I live in Sonoma County, you know, the WINE COUNTRY… So, again, I was playing for fun. You should try that sometime, you know, FUN. Maybe you wouldn’t be so angry… ☺
BTW, I came across your site because my brother, an IT security guy, said that we should all “Google” our name once a year. So don’t get your head all big that I am here seeing your post. I love a lot of your titles but you blather too much. It is the Internet not the New York Times, so I can’t manage to stick with you for all of those paragraphs. KISS…
Some were good when you didn’t get so angry… I don’t know if you were in that “spec work shouldn’t be free” mode, because if you were, I am right there with you as a graphic designer. (That gets me angry too, lol.) Again, I was doing a favor for my friend who wanted people to play.
PS. For a person that tosses nasty names like “Dick of the Decade” with photos, I’m surprised there are no photos of you on your blog or linkedin or facebook or…. anywhere. Hmmm… just how ugly are you? Maybe you should be angry at your parents, not the rest of the world. (ba-dum-bump). I thought that maybe you were just a baby but your humor fits a much older man. Are you ancient…? Why o’ why are you so pissed off?
This would be a PSS in the olden days… Stryker Sonoma makes so many AMAZING wines–Zins and Cabs, etc., but really a chocolate wine?
That. Isn’t. Wine. Dude.
PSSS. I would NEVER wear that hat.
Ex ardo bizidunik, ez andre bizardunik
I didn’t rely on the internet for this… I went straight to the source (my daughter-in-law is Basque and her father says that it is a French basque phrase.) It directly translates to “no wine, no life, no women, no life”
I like that 🙂
Beard or no beard.
Susan, you sound way more pissed off than me. For me, it’s schtick. For you, it seems like it runs pretty deep in your psychodynamics.
Suzanne, you sound way more pissed off than me. For me, it’s pure schtick. For you, it seems to run pretty deeply into your psychodynamics. Sorry about the daddy issues. Seriously.
Thanks for the response, much better than the “blow me” comment I got by email from you.
But really… Freud? That’s it? I was a psych major… not getting the connection. I don’t like the hat you put me in and I don’t like being portrayed as ugly but daddy issues? That’s a reach. Not angry here. If I were, we’d be talking libel. (Still don’t like the hat. Those are dingle balls, aren’t they?)
Libel?? Bring it while you blow me, you tool–your lawyer will charge you $300 for laughing you out of his office. A psych major! Whoa, how intimidating! A real tough curriculum; meant for people without the brains for law, medicine or engineering. BTW, as a psych major, I know this for a fact.
Aw, I was having fun and now you’ve hurt my feelings…. I bet you’re just broken up about it, aren’t you.
Best New Wine Blog:
• Intoxicology Report
• Wine Julia
• Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews
• I Love Riesling
• The Frugal Tasters
This really sucks. You know, I really hate you, but I hate Riesling more, and the rest of these bloggers kinda suck. You are too pissed off, but you are a good writer. Did I tell you I hate you? Lol, maybe dislike would be more accurate… but I couldn’t in my right mind vote for any of these blogs… (cab franc is like a pinot, really?) I guess I could be a bitch and not vote. Damn, that is just not me. I suspect you will win, don’t be an ass (lol, not possible, right?) but at least TRY not to be such a pissed off shithead (don’t tell me that is your shtick)… and congrats.
You are a strange person, Suzanne. I am not pissed. Except in the British slang sense.