Here at Lazenne we love a great name, and there’s certainly no shortage of them in the wine world.
In fact, New World producers have not been backwards about coming forwards with their wicked sense of humour, naming wines everything from Ménage à Trois to Sweet Bitch and Stu Pedasso (best to try to say that one out loud!). And they are the ones we feel comfortable putting into print!
But whilst these commercially-minded winemakers have cottoned onto the fact that a little controversy sells, some wine regions boast traditional names which sound more than a little risqué when translated into today’s language.
It’s these unintentionally rude wines are the ones which make us giggle the most!
Bouzy, a village in Champagne, offers a gentle introduction to the world’s cheekiest wine names. It’s actually a very smart name as well, since we all know what happens when you enjoy a few too many glasses of bubbles. It’s almost as if the producers are offering us a warning on the label!
It’s not just Bouzy that has us blushing, however. If you are a fan of French Chardonnay from Burgundy, you may know any wine with the word Montrachet in it is a veritable form of liquid gold. But next time you’re treating yourself to a glass of Bâtard-Montrachet, one of the region’s Grand Cru vineyards, add an ‘s’ between the second and third letters of the first word to find the English meaning. The bâtard was the illegitimate son of the lord (Chevalier) of Montrachet village, and Chevalier-Montrachet is another of Burgundy’s great Grand Cru vineyards.
Those Burgundians must have a thing for a spicy name or two, as further down the road you’ll find the vineyard of Montrecul. Translated into (polite) English, the name means to show your bottom; a nod to the vertiginous vineyards which challenged the modesty of local ladies who worked them wearning skirts!
Not to be outdone, neighbouring Switzerland has a dry white wine named Orny. Perhaps that’s the reason why you never seem to find Swiss wine outside of the country; they want to keep it all for themselves!
It’s not just the Europeans with a monopoly on the racy names, however. In the USA, the state of Virginia boasts a rather unfortunate sounding AVA (American Viticultural Association) called Rocky Knob. A tiny 36km² in size, mainly producing Riesling and Chardonnay, unsurprisingly it is a name rarely used by the regions winemakers!
Are there any other cheeky wine names which make you giggle (or blush)? We’d love to hear!