What’s In A Label

What does a wine label mean to you? Do you buy wines based on their labels? Do you prefer very traditional labels or labels that are more new world and fun? If you are unfamiliar with a wine and your first impression comes from the wine’s label that it would seem that label is very important. However, the impression the label makes is determined more by the type of wine consumer you are rather than the label itself. You see if you fancy yourself a well-educated, old-world French wine lover than you will be drawn to the traditional French label with a lot of words but very little description because you have acquired the knowledge you need to interpret the French wine label. However, if you consider yourself a wine novice who enjoys a good bottle but does not care which Chateau or Domaine produced the wine than perhaps a more fun, new world label will get your attention and your dollar. Consider the two following labels, if you were not familiar with either wine which one would you purchase based on the label?

Saint Chinian French wine label

Fat Louis Duck Down Chinon

Wine has a reputation of being pompous and at times an “elite” club. Though wine sales in the US would certainly indicate otherwise, there is some validity to the criticism. Often wine critics and even bloggers can become pompous in their descriptions and closed-minded when it comes to what wines to buy and drink and how to pair wines with food. I mean how many average wine drinkers taste lanolin when enjoying a Pouilly-Fuissé? How many average wine drinkers enjoy a Pouilly-Fuissé at all? There are many great aspects to wine; you can buy what you like for a low price at your local supermarket and enjoy drinking those wines your entire life, or you can slowly learn about grapes, regions, varietals and terroirs across the globe to expand your wine palate and knowledge, or you can attend events and tastings, take classes and read books (and blogs J)  and really take your own path to become a true oenophile. There is NO wrong way to spend your life and resources enjoying wine.

Fat Louis

In this blog I try to share with you my wine journey as my tastes and preferences expand and change, offering you my tasting notes but never rating a wine on a number scale (who am I to do that). I try as much as possible to share with you the meals I pair with the wines I drink because I believe a good pairing makes both the meal and the wine better and I am open to receiving samples from all over the world in all different price ranges to encourage you to expand your wine enjoyment – there are so many great wines and grapes from all over the globe! As I challenge my own pretenses about wine I share my conclusions with you (remember how much I enjoyed that Sutter Home Red Blend that retailed for $6; read “A Pleasant Wine Surprise” here.) So I ask you once again, “What does a wine label mean to you?”

Fat Louis white wineFat Louis Greetings From France 2013 French White Wine: This wine was crafted of 50% Grenache, 30% Carignan and 20% Sauvignon. It poured a soft gold into the glass and opened with aromas of orchard fruit, stone fruit, citrus, tropical fruit and honeysuckle. On the palate this wine delivered flavors of crisp apples, pears, pineapple, and honey dew melon with a touch of lemon zest. It was bright with round acidity and a medium dry finish. It was not a complex wine but was palate pleasing and enjoyable. This wine would pair well with poultry, seafood, creamy pasta, salad and egg dishes. SRP $11.99 from Wine.com.

From the Fat Louis web site: The lights, the love, that certain je ne sais quoi. Ah, Paris! Like many young bon vivants stretching their wings to fly in search of experience and enlightenment, Fat Louis cycled countless kilometres from his home in Saint-Chinian to the cultural heart of France.Saying au revoir to your home is never easy, so it’s best to stay in touch and to send back warm wishes from wherever you land. A postcard from Iron Lady Eiffel can go a ways with family and friends, but there’s no better way to spread your joie de vivre than by sharing a bottle of Greetings from France. Success, adventure, romance. Those all come to Fat Louis in time, but you’ll need to drink on to find out how.

Fat Louis wines

Fat Louis red blendFat Louis Duck Down 2012 French Red Wine: This wine was crafted of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah in the AOC Saint Chinian region of the Langedoc. It poured a deep garnet into the glass and opened with aromas of black fruit, spice, and mocha. On the palate this wine delivered dark flavors of blackberry, black plum and black cherry with anise, cedar cigar box, mocha and a lingering slight vanilla sweetness. This dark wine was medium in body with rich acidity and balanced tannins. This wine was well-structured with a lingering finish, tasting bigger and bolder than its pedigree and price. 13.5% alcohol. This wine would pair well with a grilled rib eye, lamb shank, hearty pasta, and beef stew. SRP $13.99 from Wine.com.

From the Fat Louis web site: While simple birds choose to fly by, the cultured know that the best way to truly take in the marvel of Mont Blanc is by cable car. Suspended high above the powdery white of Chamonix, the aerial tram lifts Fat Louis and his entourage to majestic heights. Experience your own breathtaking delight with fantastic French wine from Fat Louis. Exhilarating from the top to the bottom, a bottle of Duck Down is a double black diamond in the rough.

Who is Fat Louis?

Fat Louis wine2

A French duck on a journey of adventure, self-expression and joie de vivre. Having decided that staying in his pond in the south of France will not get him all that life has to offer, Fat Louis left his home and set out to explore his country for enriching experiences that will allow him to fulfill his dreams.

Fat Louis wines2

Like any French duck, Fat Louis is keenly interested in his country’s rich cultural contributions and wants to participate in them, trying his hand at conducting an orchestra, directing a movie and skiing the Alps (while also winning the heart of a young female French duck — not easy to do when the wind and snow is whipping through your feathers). Naturally, he also gets his webbed feet a little dirty by stomping some grapes, a practice rooted in France’s deep history of winemaking.

As Fat Louis realizes his dreams, Fat Louis Wines are imbued with his spirit and appreciation for life’s great pleasures. Within each bottle is a celebration of taste and achievement that bring flavorful festivities to any occasion, be it savoring some time with good friends or commemorating your first time conducting an orchestra… or even catching the fancy of a young French duck.

Fat Louis wine

Fat Louis Wines — grab life by the feathers.

Fat Louis wines are imported in the US by Curious Cork Imports in Denver, Colorado. These wines were graciously shared with me by Banner Media Group.

winedotcomlogoYou can purchase both of these Fat Louis wines from www.wine.com.Save 10% off 6+ bottles with code ANY6



My Song Selection: Fat Louis wines are upbeat French café music; lively and energetic yet relaxed and sophisticated in a way only French exude. I have chosen to pair Fat Louis wines with Gus Viseur’s Ballade Rabouine, totally French, totally fun, totally Fat Louis!

Get your own bottle of Fat Louis wines from wine.com and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!

9 responses to “What’s In A Label”

  1. Hmmmm… Speaking of wine snobs and labels, this breaks my prime rule of thumb – no animals on the labels. But you make a good compelling case for the red. Will have to keep an eye out for it.

  2. What a charming label! I’ve always been a sucker for beautiful illustrations and will definitely look for Fat Louis. Being a wine-novice with limited but hopefully expanding wine knowledge and experience, I often judge by the label. Sometimes I skip over a wine because of the name i.e.Vampire Cabernet or Marilyn Merlot. These might be great wines but I think my inner snob stops me from purchasing them. However, I’m open to trying anything once. Thanks for enriching my wine world!

  3. What a Charming label! I’ve always been a sucker for beautiful illustrations and will look for Fat Louis. Being a wine novice with limited wine knowledge and experience, I usually judge a wine by the label. Sometimes I’ll skip over a wine because of it’s label or name i.e. Vampire Cabernet or Marilyn Merlot. These may be very good wines but for some reason they bring out the inner wine-snob. However, if a wine is recommended, I’ll try it despite the label. I’m always willing to try anything once! Well, thanks for expanding my wine world. Cheers!

  4. I find both labels to be interesting to me! Both have a sort of vintage look, though, from my novice perspective. But then again, I am jaded by the cutting edge micro-brew labels for beers that have popped up all over my county. We are considered the “Micro-Brew City” of Oregon, I think we surpassed Portland per-capita in that arena! I also think a lot of the labels might have been designed by snowboarders, lol!

    • I agree both labels are interesting. Some only want labels that look very French while others are more open minded. Sounds like you are the latter. I bet you have some good brew and hey snowboarders have to earn a living somehow!

  5. I LOVE labels, especially modern ones. There are some great examples out there, my favourite is the Return of the Living Red, but I also love the labels at 5 O’Clock Somewhere

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