The 6 Coolest Bottles of California Wine (That Taste Great, Too)
Because it's how you pick out wine anyway
Sure, we’re basically next door to wine country and surrounded by amateur sommeliers, but we’ll admit it: We choose our wine based on the label. Some are just sooo pretty. But why not have the best of both worlds--pretty and delicious? Here, six California wines that actually pass the taste test and will make a very stylish addition to your bar cart.
BARREL + INK
Try: 2014 Interessante white blend ($28)
This bold blend of Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Roussanne is indeed interessante. Artist Jessica Hische chose storybook-like typography that looks like overgrown vines to illustrate the rustic, natural terrain on which the grapes were grown. The complex but refreshing white blend is perfect for everyday summer sipping.
ROOTS RUN DEEP WINERY
Try: Educated Guess 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ($25)
The name is spot-on--for most of us, wine selection is little more than an educated guess. But this bet pays off in the form of a rich and ripe Cab with notes of cherry and chocolate. The folks at Roots Run Deep partnered with design group CF Napa to re-create the chemical equations explaining the complicated winemaking process right on the bottle’s label.
ERIC KENT WINE Cellars
Try: 2015 Sonoma Coast Rosé ($22)
For each of the boutique Sonoma brand’s labels, the winemaker’s wife picks a different artist to collaborate on the bottle. Here, Yellena James’s abstract shapes kind of remind us of an underwater jellyfish version of Alice in Wonderland… in a good way. Get a bottle of this complex but refreshing cherry-red rosé before it sells out.
CHARTER OAK WINERY & VINEYARDS
Try: 2014 Zinfandel Mind TZM ($60)
Co-owner and artist Layla Fanucci etches and hand-paints each design before it’s sealed and waxed onto Charter Oak’s bottles. Just like the bold, Picasso-esque art, the fruit for this ripe and jammy old-vine Zin is handpicked and bottled in small batches.
VASCO URBANO WINE COMPANY
Try: 2015 “Speck” Grenache Rosé ($24)
This one’s for the history lovers. Well, the local history lovers. Look out for fun caricatures of historic Livermore Valley figures by artist Vasco Urbano Loureiro on these bottles. Speck--a beloved local who owned a soda shop and delivered blocks of ice by horse-drawn carriage--is a fitting match for this fruity, juicy Grenache rosé, best served chilled on a hot summer day.
MODERN HOUSE WINES
Try: Help Is Here red blend ($13)
Vintner Alexis Swanson Traina wanted to do something different with her Modern House Wines--a favorite among our fantasy BFFs Gwyneth Paltrow and Oprah. So she actually crowdsourced the label, a first for a major winery. Find the easy-drinking red blend Help Is Here at your local Target.