It’s time once again for our monthly roundup of those wine-related samples received here at 1WD HQ that aren’t actually wine. While the last few months have focused on wine book releases, this month features… well, a wine book release, but also some other stuff that involve your wine-lovin’ eyeballs.
First, let’s get the book thing out of the way; my friend and fellow Philly-area-drinks-type-guy Jason Wilson has a new tome available for your reading pleasure: Godforsaken Grapes: A Slightly Tipsy Journey through the World of Strange, Obscure, and Underappreciated Wine (Abrams Press, 320 pages, about $20).
The premise of Godforsaken Grapes is that it’s a wine book that isn’t really a wine book, focusing on fine wine grapes like Ramisco, Bastardo, and Mencia that just don’t see the luv in terms of production volume, mind-share, and media coverage. The book also favors a quirky travelogue format, offering chapter titles such as Chateau du Blah Blah Blah, How Big is Your Pigeon Tower?, and The Same Port Dick Chaney Likes; so you know at a glance that you’re in for at least a little bit of Gonzo-style journalism. In other words, regular 1WD readers ought to love this tome.
Next, we move away from books but stay on print in what might be one of the stranger recommendations for me to have made in the wine product roundups; at least, until we get to the last recommendation in today’s post. I was contacted several weeks ago by the folks at FreeArt.com, who sent me over some of their free wine prints for consideration (the only difference between you ordering the free stuff and me ordering it is that I didn’t have to pay any shipping because review guy!).
There are thousands of wine prints available on their site, with the deal being that they will not charge you for the smaller sizes of said prints (but will charge shipping, framing, etc.). Granted, there’s a lot of filler/fluff among those images, but some of them are pretty badass, and the quality of the prints is very, very good. If you’re looking to round-out the decor for your cellar, or are a winery looking for tasting room art on a budget, this could be an interesting (and cost-effective) way to go…
Finally, we have an item to help protect those weary, book-reading, artistically-discriminating eyes of yours: Vineyard Sun, a “lifestyle sunglass line” that was inspired by a trip that its founders took in Texas wine country, and employs a unique design in which much of the structural elements of the glasses employ cork.
Currently, there are two designs available, and each will set you back $70: Cabernet Sauvignon (with violet mirrored lenses), and Syrah (a Clubmaster-style model). Both have 400 UVA/B rated lenses, and while not flamboyantly styled, they’re not exactly wallflowers, either. The Syrah model that I checked out was well constructed, functional, certainly a conversation-starter, and seems more durable than you might first think considering how much of it is made from cork.
Regarding the price tag: it’s not cheap, and you’re definitely paying for the styling and the cool/kitsch factor… but then, I could say the same thing about a crap ton of actual Syrah and Cabernet releases, too…