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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
Best of Five: BATTLE OF THE CUTESY ANIMAL WINES
If there are two things I love in this world, they're the Beatles and myself. But, if I had to pick another two, they'd definitely be animals and wine. This month's installment of Best of Five with Laura Jane investigates the recent influx of animal-themed wine that have hit the consumer market. Sure, they're cute; sure, they get you drunk. But which, my friends, is the cutest and the drunkest? I am happy to report that you will find out soon enough.
Location of Origin:California
Classification: Pinot Grigio
Year: 2006 (Wine is weird. Before this exact second, I'd never really considered how creepy it is that when I drink wine, I am essentially consuming rotten fruit from two years ago. Barf!)
Price: $13.95 CAD
Alcohol Percentage: 12.5%
Cuteness Quotient: This shit is a little too much, even for me. Oh, is this "Patches'" Pinot? Well, whoop-de-doo. How invalidating. I'm not even allowed to own my own drunkenness; according to the "Dog House" vineyard, my current state of inebriation "belongs" to some dog from NoCal. Well, fuck that. I'm sure the real Patches is pretty cool, but the haute-adorable, sketchily-rendered little pupsqueak staring at me from my wine bottle is annoying the Helen Keller-vetica outta me right now. I thought Patches' Pinot was kinda cute back when I was sober, but what the fuck did I know? Sober Laura also thought it was a good idea to wear a faux-fur jacket in the pouring rain, and had the audacity to contemplate purchasing a $15 Christmas ornament shaped like a grasshopper from Pottery Barn. I hate Patches. Ew. This wine SUCKS. TOTALLY NOT CUTE. 19/100
Taste: Dude, I don't know! I drink to get drunk. Actually, fuck. Yes I do. This wine tastes like shit. It's really acidic, and not in the LSD way. I think I hate Pinot Grigio. How is this grapes? I can tell they're rotten. I feel terrible about my life right now. Some stupid dog from California is forcing me to drink battery acid; stop laughing at me, Patches! Patches is making me feel like an alcoholic because he tastes nast, yet I am continuing to drink him. Patches is an enabler. Patches could not taste worse if he tried. I hate you, Patches. 0/100
Quality of Drunkenness: Hi, Patches! Have I told you lately that I love you? Because I do. You're adorable, not to mention delicious. It is now three hours and half a bottle of you later, and I feel really chill. Patches-brand drunk feels like a really lovely midpoint between drunk and stoned. Maybe this has nothing to do with Patches and everything to do with my general fatigue, but then again, maybe it has everything to do with Patches. I fear that Patches and my relationship is becoming unnecessarily complicated. Do or don't I love Patches? God- or maybe Patches- only knows. 62/100
OVERALL SCORE: 27%
Location of Origin:Southeastern Australia
Classification: Chardonnay/Riesling (What does this mean? I thought it had to be one or the other? How is it both? I'm dumb about wine. Oh well, awesome! The more the merrier!)
Year: 2007 (also awesome: the grapes in this one are less creepily rotten, unlike stupid Patches, my enemy. Oh right, I forgot- I love Patches now. Kind of)
Price: $9.95 CAD, but it's a really small bottle, so its not as great of a deal as you may think.
Alcohol Percentage: A whopping, mondo, gargantuan 13.5%- maybe it is that great of a deal!
Cuteness Quotient: Off the freakin' charts, bro. The Little Penguin makes a way smaller deal of himself than showy "I wanna be famous" Patches. The Little Penguin accepts the fact that he is little more than a corporate logo. I love that about The Little Penguin. He's so real! The Little Penguin is cute, but not cutesy. If you showed up at a dude's house with a bottle of Patches, it would make you seem lame, like showing up at a dude's house with all your My Little Pony dolls. But showing up with a bottle of Little Penguin and a toothy grin would confirm to any dude in his right mind that you are fun and adorable. Which you are! 92/100
Taste: This stuff is SO good! I like Rieslings; I know this about myself. I like Rieslings because they're sweet and grape-y, and I have an unsophisticated palette. Little Penguin spritzers taste like good bar spritzers, which are different somehow. This is probably the best wine I've ever bought in my life, I guess. 98/100?
Quality of Drunkenness: Whoa! I'm drunk. I got really drunk, really fast. Two generous spritzers + 45 minutes just equalled actually kinda beligerent. After downing them, I went to my local Internet Cafe because I had to write a nogoodforme post and don't have the Internet right now (FYI: It's hard to be a blogger with no Internet). Instead, I paid $2.63 to knock over a garbage can and sit staring at the contents of my gmail inbox for twenty minutes. Then I started drunk-dialing people. 74/100
(really, it should be 100- 13.5% does not mess around!- but I'm still pretty pissed off that I wasted $2.63, and twenty minutes. I feel like that little bitch Penguin stole it from me.)
OVERALL SCORE: 88%
Location of Origin:The Western Cape of South Africa
Classification: "Sensuous" Sauvignon Blanc
Year: It doesn't say. Maybe that means it's from this year? I hope so. I'm tired of eating rotted grapes.
Alcohol Percentage: 12.5%
Cuteness Quotient: This wine is actually Not Cute At All. What it is is creepy. The zebras on the front of the box are totally necking! Ew! They're frisky. That means they're going to have sex! That is so totally gross. The last thing in the world I want to be thinking about right now is the sex lives of zebras. This wine is for fucked up perverts. The only reason I'm giving this weird boning-animals wine 4/100 is because it comes in a Tetrapack, which is cool to me. If it came in a normal bottle, it would get -5.
Taste: Oh my God! I can actually discern that this wine tastes different from the other two wines, and that I like it for that! Holy Crow! This is amazing! I am becoming such a seasoned wine drinker. Just call me Laura "Whatever Paul Giamatti's Character in Sideways is Named' Jane Faulds. According to the box, Frisky Zebras taste(s) like "rich tropical fruits, lemongrass, and white spices." According to me, it tastes like pears, kind of, or maybe kiwi. According to me, it tastes fucking AWESOME. 99/100
Quality of Drunkenness: Well, I'm definitely drunk. Something you may (or may not) know about alcohol is that it depresses the central nervous system. I'm not really sure what this means, except that I get the impression it explains why sometimes you can drink the same amount of Zebra-wine on two different nights, but get totally faced on Night A, and just get tired-and-kind-of-drunk-but-not-really-drunk drunk on Night B. I also smoked pot tonight, which makes everything hella vague-er. But really, the crux of my point is that I spent my evening with a much-loved Pisces girlfriend of mine who I haven't seen since forevs ago, and so got cutey-cute girl-wasted accordingly, which obvs has nothing to do with boning zebras. But really, fuck: it's wine, it got me drunk, there I go, goody goodbye. 50/100
OVERALL SCORE: 58%, which I am bumping up to 70% (because it was SO DAMN DELISH)
Location of Origin: France, duh.
Alcohol Percentage: 12.5%
Cuteness Quotient: In addition to sharing an identical price/percentage ratio to Frisky Zebras, French Rabbit is also packaged in a lightweight, eco-friendly Tetrapack. I love Tetrapacks. They're the digipacs of wine. I kind of hate digipacs, though. Well, I don't. I mostly just having to exist in a time where the word "digipac" is a semi-significant component of my cultural vocabulary. It's ugly and stupid. Either way, French Rabbit's design concept is totally off the chain in terms of cutenss. It's really subtle. The French Rabbits are rendered in silhouette, and then the Bs in "rabbit are drawn as little bunny ears. Unlike that dipshit Patches, the French Rabbits are not anthropomorphized. They are just sweetie little personality-free bunny outlines that remind you of how bunnies hop about, and you love 'em for it and don't eat meat, cuz you're a BUNNY'S HONEY. 90/100
Taste: I'd probably kill myself if wine wasn't vegan, so don't tell me if it's not. Please. I think I like Chardonnay. This box-o-drunk tastes like white wine should: light and pastoral, like a garden in springtime; of greyish sunshine,. parasols and the past. On a grimy Toronto night in Dirty December, life got kinda gay thx to this magical elixir. Wine- it just gets better and better! 99.5/100
Quality of Drunkenness: Did you not hear what I just said? Getting "springtime in a Provencal garden"-drunk on the Oscar the Grouch of Thursday nights is enough to make me believe in God, or at least that the ghost of John Lennon is mega/mecca-watching over my scrappy-ass soul. Points docked for alcohol percentage, but never-the-lesser, French Rabbit scores a solid 80/100
OVERALL SCORE: 90%
Location of Origin: Bernkastel-Kues, Deutschland (that means Germany, idiots)
Price: $9.95, but, like the Little Penguin, it's a really small bottle. That being said, the bottle is silver and shaped like a cat, which justifies almost anything. In the world.
Alcohol Percentage: A paltry 10.5%. Presently, I am up in the air as to whether the cat bottle makes up for such a "pussy" (ha ha!) booze score.
Cuteness Quotient: This is a tough one. On the one hand, THE BOTTLE IS SHAPED LIKE A SILVER CAT AND THAT IS THE COOLEST THING IN THE UNIVERSE. On the other hand, Mosel Cat Wine is sort of incredibly fucking lame. I felt like a gigantic loser buying it. It was a legitimately embarrassing situation. Also, the novelty of this stuff wears off pretty fast. It's really funny to bust it out in a social situation, though. People like it. It makes them happy. I'm giving it a 50/100 to reflect my indecision.
Taste: I'm disappointed in myself. Why am I not making more feline-themed puns? I feel totally unclever. If I were a gross dude, I would definitely use this "cat"-egory (Yes!) as an excuse to make some sort of "cat piss" joke, but I'm a lady, not a gent. Either way, this Riesling was a bit too sweet, even for me. Silver Cat Wine tastes like alcoholic apple juice. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but, compared to the lovely bouquets of Zebra Sex Wine and Well-Designed Bunnies Wine, this shit's kinda middling. 62/100
Quality of Drunkenness: Truth be told, I've only ever drank Silver Cat after I was already mondo-inebriated, so I don't really know. I mean, it definitely got me drunker- let me think. Well, all I can really vouch for is that, last night, Silver Cat bumped me up from "Needing to listen to the Beatles really loud"-drunk to "One of my eyes is half-closed and I am explaining to my ex-boyfriend how I have traversed thousands of spiral staircases in my past lives while watching the pattern of my bedsheet turn three-dimensional"-drunk. I think Silver Cat may be my new spirit animal. Insert some sort of "nine lives" joke here. 85/100?
OVERALL SCORE: 66%
IN CONCLUSION: THE BUNNY TAKES ALL
1. French Rabbit
2. Little Penguin
3. Frisky Zebras
4. Silver Cat Wine
Since completing this incredibly important exercise, things have really changed for Laura Jane. I take my own word as gold, I mean, champagne. Gone are the days of liquor store indecision; never again will I wonder if that lame wine in the cat bottle is worth looking into; never again will I let that smug little Patches deprive me of my sense of self. French Rabbit Chardonnay and Little Penguin Riesling are the Rubber Soul and Revolver of Cutesy Animal Wines. One's probably better, but barely. I'll just switch it up every other purchase, and I advise you all to do the same.
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