I am a lot of things, but also a Winemaker.
One of my favorite steps in making wine is getting the opportunity to name it and create its personality. Since the gestation of wine can be quite long, there is an anticipation that grows in wanting to meet it. Creating labels for our wine allows me to stamp on the character and tells its story which most of the time is based on major events in our lives at the time. Time has a factor to it that is ingrained into our conscious minds. Like photographs, creating these labels also helped to tell our story. As our lives continue on, so will our labels and the wine we make. This page will be updated with new labels as time goes on.
Note: Some of the labels are completely original and others are partial original artwork manipulating public domain images.
Name - The Peacemaker
Ethnicity - Cabernet France/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot
Named Peacemaker for its ability to calm the senses and make peace with even those you don’t want to be around. Being we are also from Chicago, a town of Old Italian mobs, we wanted to preserve the history of what they use to call the guns they used to make their own peace.
Name - The Surge
Ethnicity - Riesling
My Mom lives in Connecticut and was being hit hard by Hurricane Irene at the time we started bottling this wine for the first time. As we watched the news, they kept stating how it was the surge of the waters everyone was worried about creating the most damage. Thus, The Surge was born, in memory of all those left with Irene’s wreckage.
Name - Menehune on the Mainland
Ethnicity - Cranberry Cinnamon Vanilla
When we were on our honeymoon in Hawaii we knew when we got back it would be time to bottle our Holiday wine. So throughout our vacation we thought about ideas of what to call it. We learned that Menehune are the legendary Hawaiian elves that are said to be master craftsmen. They built structures, roads, houses, and more with great strength overnight. That’s only something Santa can do over here on the US Mainland, of course with the help of the Menehune on Christmas eve.
Name - Cupids Panty
Ethnicity - Chamblaise
The first time we bottled this wine it was around Valentine’s Day and we wanted to associate it with the holiday. We imagined Cupid, since its arrow always induced a love-like trance, sort of what enough wine can do to someone. We were curious why cupid always wore a diaper and decided we wanted to mature our cupid a bit. So cupid got a panty, and thus our Cupid’s Panty was born.
Name - Papa Smurf
Ethnicity - Blueberry Pomegranate Blackberry
We are both 80s babies and grew up in that generation. When we made this wine, it was very bluish and purplely due to the ingredients. At the same time, the Smurfs were coming out with their first movie and a commercial for it came on TV. We were reminded of all the episodes we watched as kids, and how much the blue reminded us of this wine. We called it Papa Smurf, since he was always the one that was mixing up concoctions to keep everyone happy. Many of our friends tell us we do the same thing when they come over and we pull out a bottle from our winery.
Name - Flungshot
Ethnicity - Pineapple Coconut
Our nephew had just gotten a new slingshot for his birthday. One day he came over and was playing with it. He said “look how far I flungshotted it.” It was at that moment the name of our next wine was born – Flungshot, in loving memory of its former name, Slingshot.
Name - Moonshock
Ethnicity - Zinfandel/Cabernet
The theme for our wedding was “Wine and Music Under the Stars.” Our daughter took a picture of us which we turned into a silhouette. This became our logo for all things having to do with our wedding. After, we decided to use the silhouette on the next batch of wine we bottled. The wine was named Moonshock, since it was the power of the stars that brought us together.
Name - Lahr Milk
Ethnicity - Liebfraumilch
We had a very hard time pronouncing the name of this varietal as it’s a very long German name with many consonants. In trying to pronounce, it sounded very close to Lahr milk. Since Lahr is our last name, we went with it. We talked about how milk cartons use to have missing people on the back. We made our dog Jackie the ‘missing’ in the back of the label for this wine, as she is so tiny, she can easily become missing.
Name - Serenade
Ethnicity - Apple Pear
This was our first fruit wine and when we bottled it, the taste was very light cool and refreshing when cold, yet very high in alcohol content. After 2 bottles we were signing, serenading each other under the stars in our hot tub. Then the name was born. Our apple pear became our classic Serenade.
Names - Last Call and Off The Grid
Ethnicity - Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir
We decided to move out of Chicago and into a neighboring suburb. During the home-selling and buying process we had to close up our winery in preparation for the move. These were our last two wines we were making at the time. Living in Chicago is typically referred to "living on the grid" because of how grid-like its streets are designed throughout the city. Thus, we named these last two wines made while living in Chicago, Last Call and Off The Grid to commemorate our move.
Names - Two Loaves Short of a Miracle
Ethnicity - Pinot Noir
We started this wine around Easter season, which is a holiday we no longer celebrate. Bothered by what religion has become, this play on words is the testament of a recovering Christian.
Name - Project X
Ethnicity - Triple White
This was our very first wine and label. It was certainly a lessons learned in many respects. We messed up and had to do it over again a few times until we figured it out. In the end we called this one Project X, as it was indeed a project where we learned the winemaking art and science.
Name - PayDay
Ethnicity - Chardonnay
We bottled this wine on a payday, and it was an exciting payday because we were going to order our next batches of wine. That evening we ended up bottling our Chardonnay and decided to call this PayDay Chardonnay from the events of that day.
Name - I Gotta Story To Tell
Ethnicity - Bergamais
We were in the process of bottling this wine and a friend came over to vent about some personal issues she was going through. We enjoyed a bottle of this wine and listened to her story that made her life difficult at that moment. She had a story to tell and the wine helped ease her pain. So we named it I Gotta Story To Tell since just about everyone does.
Name - Oceans Arrival
Ethnicity - Strawberry White Merlot
We bottled this wine two weeks after our son was born. We really did try to get to this done before he was born, but being nine months pregnant and bottling wine was not on the top of my list of things to do. Since it bulk aged longer than we planned, we decided to name the wine after the arrival of our little one Kai, whose name means ocean in Hawaiian.
Scientific randomness in the universe goes beyond particles at the molecular level and can extend to everything we encounter in our lives. Random Convo is a series of my random conversations with people, or my overhearing of one. This is an exercise of listening and being aware and mindful in the moment.
This past weekend while I was at a wedding I had a random conversation with a women who told me that she noticed how much her dogs were genderdized liked us humans and took the distinct personality of a male or female. She went on saying that her female dog is such a girl and their male dog such a boy, that they do things that are typical of these human genders. She postulated that this could mean that dogs are intellectual like us humans and that what’s innate is really encapsulated in our gender.