Though I know it’s meant to indicate that its wine is robust, the name “Rex Goliath” seems like overkill to me.
Rex — latin for “king.” Goliath — a ruthless Philistine warrior whose biblically declared height was “six cubits and a span” (about nine feet and nine inches). On the wine’s label these potent words hover above an image of a giant, colorful rooster.
I can’t think of three more canonical markers of traditional masculinity — political authority, military faculty and cocks.
As it happens, the most cursory research reveals that “HRM (His Royal Majesty) Rex Goliath,” a 47-pound bird billed as the world’s largest rooster, was “the treasured attraction of a Texas circus.” The image on the label, the winery claims, “replicates the one-of-a-kind vintage artwork from the circus banner that hung above Rex’s roost.”
The next bit, concerning Rex the rooster’s connection to Rex Goliath wines, deserves to be fully quoted:
“Our wines are a tribute to Rex’s larger-than-life personality, with big, fruit-forward flavors that are sure to please. In essence, Rex is all about letting that robust California fruit express itself in an easy-to-drink, worry-free fashion. Enjoy!”
I’m certainly not out to clash with the RG folks, but my RG experiences have never been quite as exciting as they’ve promised. But this is far from a complaint — when I buy a bottle of RG, I know I’m buying something pleasantly boring.
It’s the wine of which my father has always got an opened bottle on the kitchen counter, and it’s the wine that I pour into a metal water bottle and tote to parties when I’m trying to have an exactly good time. It is, to borrow a phrase of my friend Joel’s, “comfort wine.”
It’s also comforting how little it costs — at Harris Teeter last week, I took advantage of a sale and purchased a magnum bottle of RG Cabernet Sauvignon for $9.99.
My choice of the “hearty Cabernet,” the label told me, meant I was in for something “dark and intense — it’s long on fruit and short on attitude.”
The RG website provides further instructions for maximizing the gustatory delights of its Cab, asserting that it contains “hints of cedar and oak, with layers of raspberry, plum, mocha and currant.”
Though my wine-tasting palate remains in its rudimentary stages, I do like to think that I have above-average taste discernment abilities. Yet the most concrete tastes I can pluck from the depths of this RG C.S. are “red,” “grape” and “alcohol.”
But when I buy RG, I’m not expecting an intricate symphony of flavor, or even “the ultimate hamburger wine” (quoth the winemaker’s website).
I’m expecting an uncomplex, baseline wine and the satisfaction of 10 dollars judiciously spent.
Perhaps I’m unrefined, but I think that’s enough to crow about.
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