Wine of the Week

(oops) they did it again

Wine of the Week

(Oops) They Did It Again

Chilean wines are some of the greatest bargains available today. The country's vineyards are producing a lot of wine, which keeps competition high. The wineries are also intent on crashing the U.S. market by trying to get enough shelf space, then displaying a label that is unforgettable.

In perhaps the zaniest single piece of marketing advice ever given to a winery, New York's Schwartz Olcott Imports have decided they know how to woo the American public. They have named their wine (oops). That's right, (oops). As in, oops, we made a mistake. Or, oops, what was I thinking when I hired that marketing company?

Under the school of "even bad publicity is good publicity," perhaps they are on to something. The label is instantly recognizable on a crowded shelf. And hidden in the densely packed label is a surprising amount of useful information about the grapes' history, growing conditions, flavors, and food pairings.

Of course, none of this would matter if the wine wasn't so good that it warrants the embarrassment of going to the checkout counter. (Oops, I meant to get a Chateau Lafitte Rothschild. How did this bottle get into my cart?) My favorite of their wines is what they call Voluptuous Beauty. It's 84% Cabernet Franc and 16% Carmenère. Both grapes can taste thin and vegetal if not grown and vinted perfectly, but when they are on, these are complex tasters with scads of depth and big raspberry and chocolate aromas. Try it with a beef and mole sauce or grilled lamb chops. (oops) wines are available at the Target stores that carry wine, Costco, and Cost Plus/World Market. Expect to pay between $9.99 and $11.99.

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oops, Schwartz Olcott

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