It’s Friday in Wine Country. The grapes of this year’s harvest are memories. Crush’s scent of Cabernet has dissipated from the valley, leaving leaves taking on the colors of a Minnesota Autumn. The streets and sidewalks packed with European tourists last weekend are slowly returning to simple, slower, residential traffic.
We all become a product of our environment, forgetting at times the assets of life, where we live. When I lived in
Kenwood Vineyards initiated the artist series with a simple idea: handcraft the best possible Sonoma County Cab and bottle each vineyard with a unique label showcasing a work of fine art. The original bottle featured a work created expressly for the label by famed poster artist David Lance Goines. In subsequent years the artist series presented works by Miro, Calder, Picasso and Van Gough. An impressive collection of artists for an idea hat began as something so simple, so long ago.
In a recent interview Dan Aykroyd explained romance with wine began while filming The Blue Brothers. His palate was experiencing more Beaujolais Nouveau than Cabernet back then until a friend introduced him to Cabernet. Today, DeLoach Vineyards produces a variety of hearty reds for the entertainer.
Wine production is an immense undertaking. For the vintner and the growers and the experts who tend the grapes it is a full time, year round project partnering with Mother Nature.
But for restaurant owners, private wine labeling is not out of the ordinary. Programs vary in cost and quality, but surprisingly, there is a wide array of quality wines the small restaurant owner can bottle and label under their own brand for sale in the restaurant.
It takes time and effort. Label design and development is not costly, but it needs to be done with a creative flair and branding in mind. Once the label is completed, it needs to be approved in most states by the Liquor Control Commission. Once that process is complete- which is relatively simple- the label is glued on and you are suddenly the proud owner of your own wine label.
This will be a large ego boost. You’ll give a case or two away, the first weekend you have it delivered. You will walk the dining room letting people taste it. And then you will realize that the perception of what you have done suddenly elevates the stature of your restaurant if the pour is worthy.
Private wine labeling is an enjoyable winter project. It is cost effective, it’s a tremendous way to “raise it up a notch” and it is something to talk about to your customers. Ask you wine representative for more information on how to develop your own private label wine.
Simple ideas often turn into great ventures. Take a look at the 2005 Kenwood Artist Series Cabernet.
Have an enjoyable weekend. Could someone please send me a pastrami sandwich?