Traverse City Record-Eagle

Food

February 6, 2014

From sweet to sassy, a Valentine wine selection

All wine pairs well with romance. But some bottles really wear their hearts on their labels.

Whether you’re interested in the Birds & bees sweet red wine or want to cut straight to the chase with some Simply Naked chardonnay, bottles abound with labels that range from sweet to saucy.

Feeling true to the one you love? Perhaps Monogamy wine is what you seek. Or maybe the mood calls for Menage a Trois, a popular line of California wines from Trinchero Family Estates. (For the record, the name stems from the fact that the flagship wine, a red blend, is a mix of zinfandel, merlot and cabernet sauvignon.)

For a wine that makes a definite statement about your intentions, the Taken Wine Co. has one wine called Taken and another called Complicated. A third, Available, is planned.

The company was founded by Carlo Trinchero and Josh Phelps, childhood friends who grew up in the Napa Valley and both have family in the wine business. The inspiration for the company name, launched in 2010, was when they joked that all the names they wanted were, literally, taken.

But after a while they began to explore the idea of marketing their wines with a wink to modern romance. The result was wines that take their names from the frequently used social media statuses. Taken is a red wine, a blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot; Complicated is available in a red blend and a chardonnay. Available will also be made in multiple varietals.

“Wine has a history of romance, and Taken Wine Company is putting a new millennial spin on it,” says Phelps. “Taken is the perfect Valentine’s gift to let someone know how you feel — or even to propose with.”

Speaking of the married life, Monogamy wine comes from California-based Canopy Management and is available as a cabernet sauvignon or chardonnay. The company first came out with a wine called PromisQous, a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, zinfandel and petite syrah. At tastings, people would ask, “Here’s PromisQous. What about Monogamy?” says Mary Ann Vangrin, company spokeswoman.

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