ho says you can't judge a book by its cover (or wine by its label)? If the vivacious vixens gracing these seductive wine labels are any indication of the contents inside the bottle, it's no surprise that these wines are jammy, spicy, New World fruit bombs and are about as subtle as romantic advances from a cougar.
Quickie (Shiraz and Nebbiolo blend)
Hungry for love? This passionate blend of Shiraz and Nebbiolo is the perfect pairing for intense trysts and intensely aromatic dishes like earthy mushroom sauces. Chances are you're going to want to savor this bottle, however.
Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir
This label's whimsical illustration of a full-figured, flaxen-haired beauty sailing through the galaxy on a bicycle seems innocent enough (the label is actually a Parisian art poster from 1895
). One hundred and some odd years after its creation, however, the good people of Alabama deemed this nymph's unmentionables too pornographic for public viewing
in 2009 and banned the wine statewide. This galactic goddess won't shy away from a burger dressed with mushrooms and Swiss cheese or a roasted lamb shank, but she's versatile enough to pair with salmon, too. Clothing? That's your choice.
Double Love Trouble
Ah, what to crack open when the Apocalypse
comes? If the end of the world arrives in marauding bands
of ninjas and monsters this 70 percent Tempranillo and 30 percent Shiraz will be just the thing to have on hand. And even though Tessa and Trixie can rock bikinis, boots and machine guns, they'll still be nice enough to share a slice of chorizo and a hunk of Manchego cheese with you while you toast the warm glow of anarchy.
The Velvet Collection
Primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with a dash of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot, this wine is part of The Velvet Collection from Marilyn Wines. The handy peek-a-boo label lets you keep this wine stash rated PG, or peel the label back to reveal the original full-on nude "Pose 8" photo shot by Tom Kelley Sr. in 1949. Marilyn would have enjoyed this with strong cheeses and chocolate.
Passion Has Red Lips (Cabernet and Shiraz blend
An homage to 50s pulp fiction, these four selections (Passion Has Red Lips, Quickie, Drink 'n Stick and Naked on Roller Skates) from producers Some Young Punks in South Australia all have the Kangaroo Nation's numero uno grape as a main ingredient. That's right: Shiraz. But, please, don't pronounce it like a South Park metrosexual. It's pronounced "shee-razz" in Australia, mate, not "shir-AHZ." Try this grape's European cousin SyrAH if you like affecting a fake, upper-crust British accent. The peppery component of this wine screams for gamey meats like lamb and venison or steak with a wine reduction sauce.
Naked on Roller Skates, Sparkling Shiraz
For the truly twisted: A wine that sparkles just like the shiny metal wheels on roller skates. This Shiraz is just what the doctor ordered for feeling the wind whisper through every teeny tiny bubble of your existence. Pair these fruity undertones with duck, goose or creme caramel.
Drink 'N Stick, Mataro and Shiraz blend
Unless you're a wine geek, you may not know that humble Mataro's cousin is fancy French Mourvedre, the main grape in this Mataro/Shiraz blend. What is unmistakeable however is that the woman on this wine label is clearly in need of some clothing. Luckily this novelty bottle comes with a wardrobe fit for a paper doll queen. A big bowl of spaghetti with red sauce or a Reuben sandwich will pair well with this lady of the labels.
Pin Up Cabaret
Would Robert Mondavi
have ever pulled an Ed Wood and worn a leather teddy? We may never know the answer, but this label gives new meaning to the notion of the convivial, elderly winemaker putzing around in the dank cellar. One thing's for sure It would take a thick piece of meat (no pun intended) to stand up to the stiletto-clad dominatrixes on the labels of this Cabernet, Zinfandel and Syrah blend.
Fierce Allure, Cabernet
Some Young Punks proves these Aussies aren't only about Shiraz. This Cab's label mimics album art from the 70s and a fantasy female fashioned straight from the haze of every teenage boy's drug-addled subconscious (how different would Weird Science have been if Gary and Wyatt had had this bottle lying around their lair of geekdom instead of some magazines and a Van Halen soundtrack). Significant tannins call out for red meats and pastas with red sauce (and also lava lamps).