grape juice

do aliens make out of this world wine?

As you know, people send me a lot of pictures of what their drinking which I love. But this was one of the most intriguing bottle pics I got in the past few weeks, from my friend Abby:

bonny doon cigare volant alien

Why an alien on the screw cap? Why a UFO with a beam on the label? The Bonny Doon winemaker, Randall Grahm, is known to be a colorful character. He’s also one of the guys who’s been instrumental in championing Rhône grape varieties (FYI, the primary ones are Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre) in the US, so much so that the industry nicknamed them “Rhône Rangers.” I love Rhône wines and the grapes that make them, so couldn’t be happier about all that.

randall grahm book

this is randall reading his book – you can see the cigare volant on the back cover

Who knew about the alien theme though – maybe Grahm is a huge X-Files fan or something? I follow him on Twitter, so tossed the question over to him. “Did in fact enjoy X-Files,” he tweeted back to me, “but enchanted by bizarro French ordinance prohibiting flying saucers, flying cigares.”

It would’ve helped if I’d actually had the bottle in my hand, since the back label explains it all:

“In 1954 the village council of Châtauneuf-du-Pape was quite perturbed and apprehensive that flying saucers or ‘flying cigars’ might do damage to their vineyards were they to land therein. So, right-thinking men all, they passed an ordinance prohibiting the landing of flying saucers or flying cigars in their vineyards. (This ordinance has worked very well in discouraging such landings.) The ordinance further states that any volitional object that did alight was to be taken immediately to the pound.”

Crazy! These people kept spotting UFOs (or at least they thought they did) and their biggest concern is that it would ruin their wine! What huge, huge grapefriends!

Btw, the Vin Gris is a rosé (“delicious,” according to Abby) made from 73% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 8% Grenache Blanc, 5% Roussanne, and 4% Cinsault (these are all Rhône grapes). It’s $16 and you can buy it here.

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