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Gill has drummed into me the folly of buying things by the brand or label attached to them. Back in the day, when all of her teen friends were buying designer clothes as status symbols, she was the one boasting  about her new tracksuit (unisex) from the BiWay. True, as she got older, she gradually bought more upscale clothes — mostly because they fit her, were better made, and lasted longer. She still has a dress she bought over 20 years ago as her first ‘going into the work world’ outfit. She was never one to buy a product simply because of its label.

But times have changed. We were discussing the purchase of wine recently…’cause let’s face it, booze is more useful than fancy clothes! Since neither of us really knows (or more importantly cares) about the difference between a merlot or a cabernet, a chardonnay from a pinot grigio, the only way we distinguish the wines is by their labels. As in, put a bird on the label and we’ll buy it! There are herons, songbirds, goldfinches…right down to ‘The Birdman’ (of Alcatraz) with a canary on the front. Birds, animals, even slinky  women adorn wine labels these days.

Gill had a guest this weekend and they were cruising the streets of Bristol late at night, trying to find a store open that sold wine. When they eventually did, she chose by the label. The prettiest bird won.

Now I wouldn’t want to limit myself  only to ‘fowl’ (pun intended) wines, so curiosity got the best of me and I went on a research mission to the liquor store. Really, if you have to do research for an article, could you find a nicer place? Since it was a Canadian store, I was not surprised to find that the products on the shelves screamed ‘Canadian made’. First up we have the ‘Frisky Beaver’, a nice red that perhaps goes with the tree stump you’re cooking for dinner.  My guess is that it would be a spectacular accompaniment to a dessert of Moose Droppings ice cream or Moose Dropping Chocolates.

For the less adventurous among us, perhaps a sedate ‘Island Time’ from Pelee Island or an unpretentious ‘Homegrown’ would fit the bill.

If you really want to stir things up, there’s ‘Night Glider’ with a bat in flight on the label. Maybe they’re featuring that for your Hallowe’en party.

We have a cheeky red called ‘Guilty Men’ for when you confront your husband with evidence he’s been cheating on you. Or, after the divorce, a strong, independent bottle of ‘Girls’ Night Out’ to fortify you.

And, since this is the season of political elections (both here and in the U.S.), I found a bottle called ‘Bodacious’ that seems perfect for Donald Trump to present to Carly Fiorina by way of an apology for saying: “Just look at that face!”

I had such fun searching out these wines. I can’t wait until Gill makes her next booze run to see what prizes the British liquor stores have on offer. But I feel confident in saying nothing can beat the Frisky Beaver! Stay tuned, dear readers.

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