It wasn't that long ago that we started seeing a variety of beers catering to the Steampunk crowd, so why not some wine?
I was at home last night, minding my own business, when one of our friends brought over a bottle of wine that practically screamed "Steampunk!" I mean, I shouldn't really have been surprised. To the average drinkers, most alcoholic beverages in the mid-range are pretty much the same, so it's up to their advertising departments to come up with reasons for people to buy their liquor over someone else's. With the veritable explosion of craft beers lately, I've started seeing all sorts of drinks aimed squarely at nerds. Like so:
Obviously wine should be no exception. Of course, many of us remember the days when wine was somber and classy; it was an upper-class drink, and the labels reflected exactly that. They were rectangular white (or cream) labels with a fancy print that wasn't in the least eye-catching.
Today, wines are trying as hard as they can to catch your eye with a flashy label so that you'll pick their brand over a competitor. So when a friend brought this to my house, I was understandably amused:
Cryptic wine! It's hard to make out all of the details in that picture, but the label wrapped around the bottle looks like a Steampunk watch, with Roman numerals from 1 to 20 counting around its face. Oddly, the numbers don't start at the "12" position on a normal clock, but at the 11 position. The wine is, indeed, cryptic.
In backwards letters, it reads "with wine and desire anything is possible" around the face. Slightly provocative, I would say.
Cryptic is more than just a name, too, as it has its own little riddle on the back. As you saw on the front, it didn't actually describe what kind of wine it was, beyond "California red wine". If you want to know what the blend of this particular wine is, you need to solve the puzzle!
As you can see, it reads:
I figure I'll go ahead and spoil it for you, so if you don't want to know the answer, skip the next paragraph.
The answer is cabernet sauvignon, petite sirah, and zinfandel.
As for the rest of the back, with its claim of dark and mysterious, velvety and alluring, cherry and raspberry... Well, I'm not sure that it lives up to its self-proclaimed hype. The taste is very fruity, yes, but it's also dry and shallow. Ironically, the wine with a complicated bottle has a simple taste and at an $18 price point, that may not be what you're looking for in a wine.
In my personal opinion, Steampunks should probably pass on this one, in favor of better wines at a similar price point!