Cute Bottles, Great Wines
2013 Finca Os Cobatos Godello ($13)
How happy-making is a bunch of weeds blowing around in the breeze? This medium-bodied white from northwestern Spain is bright with grapefruit and tropical fruit notes—excellent with summer seafood.
2014 Domaine Roc des Anges L’Effet Papillon Côtes du Roussillon Blanc ($12)
From the southern French region of Roussillon, this organic Grenache Blanc is wonderfully fragrant and full-bodied. And the pretty, sophisticated butterfly on the label makes it a great host gift.
2013 Fontanafredda Pradalupo Roero Arneis ($25)
Arneis, Piedmont's token white grape, gets eclipsed by its popular red Barolo and Barbaresco brethren—a bummer, because the wines can be really beautiful and concentrated. This, from Fontanafredda, is stylish not only for its simple golden stripes but also for its floral, almond aromas.
2014 Bonny Doon Picpoul ($24)
This easygoing Picpoul (a grape native to southern France, but here grown in California's Arroyo Seco) is a good alternative for the Pinot Grigio set—light and nicely tart. This label features line drawings by artist Wendy Cook, which are a play on the meaning of the name Picpoul or "lip stinger."
2014 Indaba Chenin Blanc ($12)
Perennially a fantastic and affordable example of South African Chenin Blanc, this juicy, tropical fruit-scented one from Indaba looks like it's decked out in stained glass flowers.
2014 Love Drunk Rosé ($17)
André Hueston Mack's wines benefit from from his past as a sommelier at the French Laundry and Per Se, and their bottles benefit from his moonlight career as a graphic designer. Made from Pinot Noir, this lively strawberry and watermelon-scented rosé is made with grapes sourced from Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
2014 Domaine Fontsainte Gris de Gris Corbieres Rosé ($15)
A classic southern French rosé with a label that recalls a shiny golden version of French street signs. Pair this with bistro food—anything from tuna niçoise to roast chicken.
2013 La Maialina Chianti ($12)
For those who can appreciate a cute animal on a label but don’t want to go so far as a penguin in a bathing suit, this ebullient, red-cherried Chianti is just the thing.
2013 Bodegas Luzon Luzon Verde ($10)
Spain’s Jumilla region produces excellent fruit-forward, medium-bodied red wines from the Monastrell grape. This organic one has a summer-perfect dragonfly on the label and is great with anything off the grill.
2013 Domaine Rimbert Cousin Oscar ($14)
Chilled down a little bit, this organic Cinsault from France’s Languedoc is the epitome of a summer red. And who doesn’t wish they had a cousin Oscar?
2013 Tendu Red ($21)
For their Matthiasson wines, Steve and Jill Matthiasson use all Napa fruit, but for Tendu, a side project, they’re sourcing Aglianico, Montepulciano and Barbera from a few vineyards around the state. It’s full of fresh crunchy berries and spice and comes in liter-sized bottles decorated by the Matthiasson’s partner, Matthew Plymton.
2013 Hayden Fig Pinot Noir ($24)
Erin Nuccio of Evesham Wood and Hayden Fig is making some of the most delicious, compelling Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley. Anyone with an owl’s wisdom will love this dark-cherry and violet-scented one.