Once in a while something comes along and reminds us that wine is just a bunch of grapes. Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape, a book by Peter F. May, is one such reminder.


Subtitled “Odd Wines from Around the World,” Marilyn Merlot is a great read. And it’s a great (very funny) gift. This one was given to us by a DIA girlfriend.


Amazon sums it up best:


Within these pages are more than 100 of the oddest wines ever produced. Some have unusual names, like Fat Bastard Chardonnay and Lazy Lizard Shiraz. Others feature curious artwork of singing frogs and UFO invasions. Still others boast unique production features, such as Braille typography, heat-sensitive ink, and lenticular art.




Along with full-color reproductions of the original labels, author Peter F. May shares stories about the origins of the wines and provides helpful tasting notes. Readers will learn about unusual vineyards (like Cleavage Creek, which donates its proceeds to breast cancer research) as well as the most innovative artists working in the wine label medium. Finally, there’s an appendix of resources that will help you locate these wines—so you can savor them yourself.



The book is charming. Really. It’s been around since 2006. We’re already looking forward to a sequel.