An American Revolution-Locations Wines

You may recognize the label even if you haven’t tasted the wine. Perhaps flying past you on the Autobahn, adorning a neighbor’s Volvo 240 wagon, or through your fingers as you covered your eyes, held on a prayed in a taxi in Rome. The oval stickers on European cars denoting the country of origin have found a new home.

Dave Phinney introduced a line of wines with labels resembling the stickers, containing wines that represent an amalgam of the country as a whole. Because of production laws. creating wines that combine regions would land his wine in a “table wine” category, Phinney had to get creative. Since he happens to be one of the more creative winemakers in our generation, that wasn’t a problem. Locations Wines could be considered a mini-rebellion, a challenge to traditions, a little wine revolution.

I have been eyeing these wines for a while now, so when I was offered the chance to sample a few, I hopped at the chance. I’d hoped to turn it in to a blind-tasting-guessing game with friends but my curiosity got the best of me.  Instead, I chose to taste without reading to try to guess specific regions/compositions.

F5-French Rosé Wine ($18)

Pink like a watermelon jolly rancher, this is 100% Grenache from the south of France. A bit heavier in style than Provencal pinks, a good warming rosé for cooler months. Ripe strawberries and stone fruit, minerality that reminded me of slate, salty slate. A nice appertiv.

I4-Italian Red Wine ($18)

This is a blend of Negroamaro and Nero D’Avola from Puglia with some Barbera from the Piedmont region.  My guess was that the majority of the fruit came from central to southern Italy. The fruit has a baked quality which is commonly found in warmer regions. Notes of black cherry and allspice on the nose, jammy blue and black fruit with medium tannins and some hints of wintery herbs. The Barbera surprised me, pleasantly.

P4-Portuguese Red Wine ($18)

When I think of Portugal, I think or Touriga Nacional. When I think of Touriga, I think of big tannins, tobacco or leather, cocoa, black fruits. This wine fell right in line with expectations. It is blended with Touriga Franca and Trincadeira, mostly from the Northern Duoro and the rest from Alentejo. Some of the best wines at the best prices can be found in Portugal. This wine isn’t shy. And why should it be? This was my favorite of the three.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw the stickers. As a family, we took a six-week road trip through Europe the summer before my senior year in 1990. We’d purchased a Volvo, picked it up in Sweden and drove it around the continent before shipping it home. While there was no stolen camera, there were many other stories that could bring the Griswalds to mind. And while our car came home without a sticker on the window, it did ship with many tales to tell. Perhaps one day I’ll embarrass my own children while they try to name the countries by the stickers. In the meantime, I can open a bottle and tell them a few stories of my own.

{These wines were provided as media samples. I received no other compensation. Thoughts and opinions are my own.}





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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

3 thoughts on “An American Revolution-Locations Wines

  1. I ashamed to admit that only now I realize that the shape of those labels is not an accident… Feel bad at the moment… But the wines are surprisingly good and have a sense of place. I didn’t have any of the wines you mentioned here – more to look forward too.

    I’m very particular about my Portuguese wines – really need to find the bottle you mentioned and try it for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful! My husband picked up Italy on the fly & we really enjoyed the Location! Dave Phinneyvhas something special & fun going on. Will look for the rest to “visit”.


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