Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape

Peter May has been writing about wine - and collecting wine labels - for many years. He's put his prodigious talent to good use by compiling this book, which includes over 100 fantastically funny labels from around the world. Now, we all know that we should buy wine based on its merits, on its quality and cost effectiveness. However - admit it. You've bought a wine based on the label, at least once. I know I have! "Fat Bastard" springs to mind. The name was just too funny to walk past. How about Goats do Roam from South Africa, which is a clever play on the Cotes du Rhone wines of France?

Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape Each label is shown in full page high color, so you really feel like you have your own "label collection" without going through the mess and hassle of having scraped them off by yourself. It also makes it incredibly easy to identify these wines the next time you walk into the wine store. Peter gives a full description of each wine including what makes it special. He even provides tasting notes should you actually want to drink what's inside the bottle.

Many of the labels are quite inspiring. There is Rasteau, a Cotes du Rhone that has braille markings on its label. This allows those with vision problems to easily identify and organize their wine bottles. Why don't all manufacturers do this? Rude Boy and Rude Girl have color changing labels where the cover models actually "lose their clothes" when the bottle is at the right serving temperature. A number of the bottles are great for collectors who adore certain movie stars. There's the Marilyn Merlot as well as the Presley Pinot.

Sometimes the best wine to bring as a present for someone isn't the most expensive on the shelf - sometimes it's the bottle that is tasty and has a label that will be talked about all evening. Peter rounds those up for us, and makes the journey quite enjoyable.

Wine Book Reviews