Wednesday, December 07, 2005

WBW #16: Don't be fooled by the appearance

Today is December's Wine Blogging Wednesday and Derrick at An Obsession with Food (and Wine) is hosting. This time, he is asking us to present a wine that we have chosen solely for its pretty label.

When I choose a wine, I am usually influenced by the winery name, the appellation, friends recommendations — and the price. But once in a while, I have to confess that I buy a wine because I am attracted to its label.

That's what happened when I ran into the 2002 Eno Pinot Noir Presumed Innocent Morelli Lane Vineyard. At first sight, the wine's label looked pretty. I liked the subdued rose petal color and the delicate transparency of the main picture, as well as the flowery, red and green design on the side of the label.

And then I took a closer look and the label started to suggest a mystery as thick as the London fog. It showed a picture of a mysterious and seductive woman with a pearl necklace and perfectly manicured fingernail, entitled “PRESUMED innocent”. Who was this lady? An intriguing brunette like Mary Astor in the Maltese Falcon, or a cold and blonde Hitchcock heroine like Kim Novak in Vertigo? What was her crime?

On its website, the winery warns you: “Be careful, it's an iron fist in a velvet glove. You are "Presumed Innocent" until you have a glass or two...

When I finally turned my attention to the side of the label, the whole truth came out: she was guilty!

What about the wine itself? It has a bright bloody ruby color and an attractive nose of fresh cherry with notes of cinnamon and cloves. On the palate, it is medium-bodied and dry with a earthy-spicy finish. It is a fine Russian River Pinot Noir that should be delicious with a Salmon with Indian Spices.

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