Sunday, January 12, 2014

Civello -- the nicest little white wine nobody will try

From Civello Winery, in Graton, California. In my little corner of retail, nobody will try it. What puts people off? I suspect it's the marketing. The label's tagline, "Sexier than a pinot grigio, Naughtier than a chardonnay," means exactly nothing, even less than nothing. Memo to the powers that be: please do not not tell the public, sort of, what the wine might or might not, possibly perhaps, be made of, and then try to be cute about it. What with that, and the $12 to $14 price tag, and the fact that no one knows what Civello means, you have a formula for customer frustration and increased sales -- for Robert Mondavi and Beringer.

Mind you, I wouldn't know what Civello means either, except that at leisure I can look up the website and learn that it's a brand of the Row Eleven wine company, along with Stratton-Lummis. (The first time someone knowledgeable asked me about Row Eleven, I thought she was saying "Rowy-Levin," and went home to google that. Dead end.) As a matter of fact Civello, online, is refreshingly informative. Would that they might fit half of that information on their label. For that matter once you trace Row Eleven, you find this parent company is informative, too. I like it when wine producers are honest about the business of wine. After all, you know -- after a while, Passion, Integrity, and Respect for the Land becomes self-parody; a love of pH levels and soil composition is really for the very few. Tell me instead, "we are a company and we own three brands" -- brands! and they admit it! -- and my respect for you soars.

The wine is what I would call Very Nice. Moderately sweet, moderately tart, moderately syrupy, moderately flowery and and refreshing, it is just all around what you ought to try if you are a chardonnay drinker and are in the mood for something moderately different.

Retail, call it $13. Do splurge.

And don't forget our theme for the year, which is the Baroque (and lemons, though the two themes don't always have to go together. Perhaps Civello's lemon-yellow label inspires me). I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying my new clock radio. Why in twenty-four-and-a-half years of marriage did I never think to buy myself a clock radio? Somehow I assumed that his beep-y alarm was enough for the two of us. Now I climb under the covers at a bedtime that is so grandma-ish I would be embarrassed to admit to it, and I set the radio's timer, and the (often-Baroque) strains of WFMT lull me to sleep. That is, unless the announcer announces something REALLY LOUD.

Surely there is no better Baroque to listen to, today, than Vivaldi's Spring. The temperature outside is 20 F and blustery, but we can dream.

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