Monday, December 12, 2005

Virgin Vines

Ok, so I'm walking around my local wine shop picking up a few bottles along the way. As I pick up what I thought was my last bottle for this visit, something caught my eye. A logo, a brand, a red "V". There is was, the Virgin logo staring me in the face. I know the record company, the airline, the phones, the cola, the travel, the private island, the entrepreneur, the cell phone, you name it Richard Branson has certainly put the brand in front of everyone. All that being said, I certainly admit I am a big fan of Richard Branson. His way of doing business is truly amazing.

So, with this bottle of 2004 Shiraz was sitting there. Painted with grape leaves and grapes on a vine that wrapped around the bottle. Could I? Should I? ... I Did. I picked it up. The bottle was $10 in my area. Now, not having any expectations for this bottle of wine, I opened it up and I have to say it was a damn good bottle of wine.

The other thing I have to mention is what was written on the bottle:

"Dare to...
Enjoy this wine without dashes of pretentiousness or hints of snootiness. Virgin Vines believes wine should be all about having fun and loving the taste... not waxing poetically about meaningless wine-speak and food pairings. Simply drink this big, bold red with something or someone you find delicious.

p.s. If you feel the need to describe this wine as "full bodied with great legs," we suggest you lie down until the feeling passes.

Drink it, love it, know when to stop."

I love it. I think you should try a bottle.


And I think Richard Branson is an asshole. To wit, I work for a winery in CA that has, like many other wineries all over the world for many years, been using the term "virgin" to denot a wine that has been made sans oak. Leave it to Branson to sic his team of lawyers on every winery on earth which uses the term "virgin" and serve said wineries with a cease-and-desist order. Branson has apparently copyrighted the phrase as it applies to wine. This is fundamentally unacceptable- Branson has no history with wine, knows very little about it, and is simply moving into wine as he has moved into many other arenas: solely in order to diversify his portfolio. There's nothing wrong with making money, but let's not laud a guy who is so avaricious as to copyright a long-used wine world term. Bias aside, I think his chardonnay sucks.


I was going to post a favorable comment on the two wines as I recently tasted them and brought a few bottles into the shop, but having been recently burned myself on this whole trademark/cease-and-desist quagmire, I will refrain from supporting such people.
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