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.
*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)