Who’s Your Mommy?

Let the mommy wars begin … quaffing. Or not. When I first saw Mommy’s Time Out pinot grigio in the liquor store a couple of years ago, I thought it was a joke as the date was somewhere around April 1. I had never known the owners to play tricks on their customers, but there’s always a first time. The first trick may have been that the wine is 70 percent garganega and 30 percent pinot. So why is it allowed to call itself PG?

Anyway, I’ve not gotten around to trying it, and on the basis of what I’ve read, I probably won’t. Nicole gave it positives: light, super refreshing, and delicate. Others were less enthusiastic. Wineguider, a fellow WordPress blogger, found it “very easy to drink” but Bob Galivan writing in the Examiner gave it one star out of five, calling it insipid, metallic, candy ginger. To quote Mad magazine, blecch.

Ditto for the red version titled “Rosso Primitivo” aka primitive. Wine Cask says the logo is the best thing about the wine, calling it biting, acidic, unbalanced, unrefined, and unpleasant. Since I’ve never seen it the store, I’m even not tempted to try it.

Now this cute wine is battling another cute wine, calling itself MommyJuice, which comes in chardonnay for the white and a red that’s mostly cabernet sauvignon and merlot.

Mixed reviews, here, too. Simply Stacie, who was flogging the wines, opined that the red is smooth, moderate tannin with fruit, tobacco and florals, while the white was refreshing with a “lovely” fruit essence. Random Blogette rejected the red because she doesn’t like them – sort of like saying one doesn’t like cars. The white was described as lacking the oak of a “normal” chard but as clean and crisp. I hope every French vintner, most Australians, and a growing number of California wine makers will explain that oak was not “normal” for the first 400 years or so of winemaking.
Back to the fight. Juice wants a declaratory judgment that it’s not violating Time Out’s trademark. Trademark protection, as The Daily Mail points out, exists to prevent brand confusion. The site has a great side-by-side photo of the labels. I don’t think they could look more different: Time Out has clean lines and a spare image with minimal color, that line drawing of a chair in the corner facing the wall with a glass and bottle on a table within reach. Juice has what looks like an Anglo version of Kali, the Hindu goddess with four arms who is said to represent death (sort of), sex, and violence. The images of her are pretty gruesome, depicting her overcoming evil spirits with a head in one hand, a bowl to catch the blood in another, a trident in a third, and a blood-covered sickle knife in the fourth. She also wears a necklace of severed demon heads. Juice’s mommy is sitting in a yoga pose (recommended for before one drinks wine, not after), but she has more innocuous stuff in her four arms: computer, house, cooking utensils, and a teddy bear.

As for telling Time Out from Juice, the contents may be equally reprehensible, but somehow I think even the most wine-addled mommy could manage to distinguish the labels on the bottles.

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2 Responses to “Who’s Your Mommy?”

  1. Jayme Says:

    Gee, what are your credentials to make you the expert wine connoisseur. I am not just some idiot mommy. My husband also tasted the wine and he is a wine expert so we do know what we are talking about. We were trying to explain the flavors of the wine as compared to current wine. How about you stick to writing what you know about instead of bashing others.

  2. lizr128 Says:

    I wasn’t impugning your qualifications, merely noting that Chards (which I first tasted in Burgundy in the 1980s) were not heavy in oak until California made them fashionable. My credentials include editing food and wine columns for a national newspaper and assisting the food writer, formerly at the San Francisco Chronicle, now at the Chicago Tribune.

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