Everyone and their Labradoodle seems to have a branded wine these days. You can join NPR’s wine club and get your very own bottle of “All Grapes Considered” in addition to a curated international selection of tasty grape-treats. There are Turner Classic Movies wines, The Bachelor wines; Star Trek wine. Some are great wine. Some… not so much. Some are clever and some are cringe-inducing. Some are “lifestyle brands” that might make you question your lifestyle. Some are mystery-brews no one will be straight with you about.
And some are good fun. Now, Lord of the Rings people, your wine has arrived!
In collaboration with Lot18, a Fellowship of Warner Bros execs, elves, dwarves, wizards, sommeliers, hobbits and winemakers have come together to produce a quartet of fabulous and very giftable wines. These bottles retail from $20-$25 each, or just shy of $100 for the whole Shelob. I mean Shebang.
The Lady of the Wood is fittingly represented in a crystalline, mineral-forward white wine with stony undertones. High clarity. Soft florals, austere structure; might produce the ability to see the past or the future.
While of course Real Hobbits drink ale, the Ring Bearer’s tenacity and survival capabilities are truly best expressed by the “Bring it, Bitch!” Great Survivor of the wine world: Old Vine Zinfandel (in this case from the exotic land of Lodi, CA). Out of food and water? No problem. Drought? High winds? Fire? The lava fields of Mount Doom and the lidless eye of Sauron glowering at you relentlessly? Zin can take that and more, and deliver a sturdy, jammy, very tenacious wine with brambly wild blackberry dominating the palate.
OK: I admit it, if I’d been on this project I would probably have been a major pain in the butt in meetings, demanding that Gandalf the Grey simply could not be represented by anything but a gris de gris, and that even after he became a White Wizard he ought to have been rendered as a Grenache Blanc. Maybe I’m too literal. These guys went with coastal climate pinot noir from Monterey, which is, admittedly, a grape worthy of Gandalf for its shapeshifting tendencies and general quirkiness alike. Cherries, earth, tasty spices.
Le Roi Est Retourné! A kingly red blend from Lussac-St. Emilion that combines velvety Merlot texture with sturdy tannins and deep, dark fruit notes. Plummy, decent ration of oak. Structure for days. Imposing yet approachable. Highly tasty.
The labels are great, the wines are really quite good, and the quartet makes a gift of high fabulosity. Green Dragonize your holiday table or stuff the stockings of your local Tolkien freak! Or keep them all to yourself, Precious. It’s all One to us.