I appreciate pretty packaging, clever marketing, and in particular, good design. So how, oh how, could a fashion and vintage-lover resist this bottle of French Merlot with its Belle Époque era illustration? Not me, and I don’t even drink red wine! But that didn’t stop me because Jay does.
La Belle Angèle was a famous character of the early 20th century. Known for her beauty and joie de vivre, she was the muse of many French impressionist painters and artists. The period was known as The Beautiful Era, The Golden Age, or The Gilded Age, and conventionally dates from the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914. It was characterised by opulence and decadence, the birth of haute couture, the building of the Eiffel Tower, the Moulin Rouge, and the pursuit of leisure and pleasure.
The wine itself, as it turned out, was rather nice: light (12.5%), plum- and berry-scented, and lovely for a Spring eve. Although the winery has a range of 7 varietals including a Chardonnay and a Syrah rosé, only the Merlot is currently available where I shop.
The wine in the bottle speaks of place and terroir, the label on the bottle evokes a time and an attitude.
À ta santé.