Winery: Padthaway Estate
Region: South East Australia
Offered in a restrained but rather attractive bottle, I had reasonably high hopes for this sparkling shiraz. It poured with a pinky mousse, and held cranberry, aniseed and peppermint on the nose. The medium body felt a little watered down, alas. Tart berries and faint hint of dark chocolate. Meh.
The label was better than the wine 2.5/5
Bought at Vintage Cellars, Mosman, for about $30 | Padthaway Estate
Above: American Horror Story title sequence (far better than the show itself)
A wine label has much in common with the title sequences of films and television shows. In fact, much of what is written here, by Forget the Film, Watch the Titles, parallels the role of wine packaging and marketing:
You know what they say about first impressions…
Title sequences can be engaging or wildly entertaining, funny, exhilarating, or simply drop dead beautiful. They can be oozing with visual poetry and sophisticated imagery while others hit you hard with their bold and audacious stylistic gestures. And let’s face it, everybody loves a good title sequence.
The very best title sequences not only succeed in putting the audience in the right mood for the movie, they transcend their proper function and venture off into the realm of something far deeper and far greater. They are the signifiers of contemporary pop culture and an art form in their own right.
Whereas some wines have splendid packaging that matches the quality of the wine (such as Tuesner’s Sparkling Shiraz), other wines rely too much on the labels, packaging and marketing rather than the wine itself (indeed, in some instances, the packaging and marketing is a way of avoiding the fact the product itself is absolute shite).
Some television shows are actually overshadowed by their title sequences; American Horror Story (above) and True Blood (see below) are prime examples. Unlike AHS, TB, the title sequence – as with the wine label (in this instance, the Eliza) – should be a complement to the show (or wine), as is the case with Dexter (also below).
Above: Dexter title sequence (by Digital Kitchen)
From Art of the Title: A blood valentine to the fucking madness, the opening title sequence for Showtime’s “Dexter” is a veritable annunciation of an unholy but likable embodiment of the common rage we can root for. It is a sociopath’s ability to focus on the little things.
While stabilizing sources suggest Dexter’s episodic beginning was carefully designed, it is also enjoyable to view it as slick Grand Guignol, relatable and savage. Here is a killer consumed by the pursuit of an unattainable satiety, all jaw and maw, whetting this morning-time macabre in florid, ratcheting fashion. With a twisted lick of piano wire/dental floss, a favored mosquito going red, and food gone wild, we are able to refine and contextualize the shape, scream and vision of one Dexter Morgan. The butter of all that blood, shaving to bleed and the tang of hot sauce pyrotechnics, plays toward our tendencies of psychiatrist and sidekick.
Below: True Blood title sequence (Digital Kitchen)
For more excellent title sequences, some of which are better than their actual shows, see this article by Mole Empire.
Not in the mood? Clonakilla’s 2011 Riesling is pretty rad, especially if you can get it for $25 (maybe buy some online from the winery?). I’d have no hesitation in saying you should buy this instead of the Eliza; there’s no contest. We had a bottle last week, and I want more!