At this point, we’ve seen wine lists organized in myriad ways – by region, grape variety, price, even by the soil type of the vineyards where the grapes were grown. Over at Xixa in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, however, Heather Heuser has categorized her wines by the iconic women the wines share personality traits with. This list is playful and excellent.
“Wine is sensual – it’s about a story and a place,” Heuser told me. “I like to think of rich, round Chardonnays being like Marilyn Monroe. Cleopatra makes sense for big, beautiful reds. What are you in the mood for? Something sultry like Josephine Baker? Or something light and fun, like Lucille Ball.”
The list of women runs the lady and wine spectrum from Mia Farrow (off-dry, ripe, fleshy, reflective) to Scarlett O’Hara (sensual, earthy, seductive, dynamic red wines).
Here, Heuser’s picks for the Twiggys, Courtney Loves and Elizabeth Taylors of wine:
2012 Von Winning Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Trocken Riesling
“When you think of Twiggy, she’s bright and fresh, but without much body,” says Heuser. “Riesling is such an amazing grape. Sure it can be off-dry, but the Twiggy wines aren’t that at all. This is Riesling is crisp and minerally and even comes in a long, beautiful bottle.”
2009 Domaine Berthet-Bondet Tradition Côtes du Jura White
“Courtney was the first woman on the list. One of the words I like to use to describe some natural wines is ‘schizophrenic.’ Courtney Love is kind of wild – sometimes she’ll put on a dress and behave and sometimes she’s out of control. These wines have a lot of energy. This bottle from the Jura is a favorite amongst people who are in the wine and restaurant industry.”
2000 Ravenswood Pickberry Vineyard Zinfandel
“I really want to get people to try older wines, so I have a bunch of them that are at an approachable price point. This is on my list for $75 and it has 14 years on it. The juice is so bright and rich. It’s like jam on your tongue, but then it’s also softened a bit.”