If you're feeling Grinchy this holiday season, it's because 2020 stink, stank, stunk.
But at least we can count on local vintners to make wine out of proverbial sour grapes, and these cheeky, oh-so-2020 wines are ready to help us properly bid farewell to the year we hope to forget. Plus, they'll make for great last-minute gifts.
Wipe 2020 away with T.P. Reserve Wine.
(Courtesy of T.P. Reserve)
Never have we all given so much freaking thought to toilet paper as we did in 2020.
Featuring a roll of the year's most coveted stuff on its label, T.P. Reserve (Toilet Paper Reserve Wine) was first released in May after several weeks of a nationwide toilet paper shortage.
"So much of what we were going through in this country was a very serious situation, yet there just happened to be a singular subject that was allowed in all aspects of comedy: the toilet paper running out," said founder and winemaker Grant Long. "I just thought it was funny and yet also timely, and I thought it would be really fun to put a toilet paper roll on the label and go with the pun, 'We're all in this sh*t together.' This was one thing everyone shared and it was a fun way to bridge a tension-based environment."
Don't let the name fool you though, for this wine isn't just a novelty made to sit on a shelf. Long was able to source excess juice from a few of his high-end winery clients to make a bold Bordeaux-style red wine blend and a chardonnay sourced from Napa, as well as a fruit-forward, easy-drinking grenache from the Sierra Foothills. His clients were scaling back as a result of the pandemic, and it was an opportunity to help them get some cash while also creating a fun and relatable product.
Long says T.P. Reserve is the perfect holiday gift for 2020 that can help "wipe away" the last nine months. "The gift of a laugh is really kind of the ultimate goal, and this is an affordable way to bring a smile to someone's face," he said.
Priced between $25 and $35 a bottle, you can purchase T.P. Reserve Wine online with free shipping. Order by Friday, December 18th to guarantee arrival within the Bay Area by Christmas; tpreservewine.com.
Give this year the Middle Finger with an appropriately named wine from Tank Garage.
(Courtesy of Tank Garage Winery)
If there's one gesture that perfectly sums up our feelings about 2020, it's the finger, which is prominently displayed in gold on the label of Calistoga-based Tank Garage Winery's newest release: Middle Finger. Winery founder James Harder didn't mince words regarding the inspiration for this one-off bottling.
"It has been a fucked up year to say the least, just a wave of rolling disasters—the global coronavirus pandemic, systemic racism, devastating fires and hurricanes, political bullshit all around, and of course, the catastrophic loss of life," he said. "So many wonderful things got taken away from us this year. This label is just our small statement of defiance to say 'Fuck you, we won't stand for it.'"
Only 325 cases of Middle Finger were produced. The bottle is a 2019 Italian red wine blend of barbera with a touch of primitivo and graciano sourced from the famed Shake Ridge Vineyard in the Sierra Foothills. The tasting notes have us yearning for the good old days: "strawberry gusher with tart strawberry, blue Icee, and creamy vanilla bean flavors."
The bottle itself is a looker, dipped in black wax with the striking label designed by Italian artist Alessandro Paglia, who created a sculpted, hyper-realistic gold middle finger by superimposing several layers of chaotic lines on top of one another.
Instead of popping the traditional bubbly, a bottle of Middle Finger might be more fitting as we ring in 2021. "While most of us likely will not remember 2020 with any sort of fondness, perhaps adopting a "Fuck You" mindset will help us all move forward out of this shit show in a more positive direction," said Harder. "We faced the very worst, now let's together rise up and be the best."
Purchase Middle Finger ($75) online or in-person at Tank's 1930a-era service station tasting room in Calistoga. Online orders should be placed by noon on December 21st for delivery by Christmas. Use code FU2020 for $1 shipping on three or more bottles; tankgaragewinery.com.