Maker: Funky Llama
Packaging: Bottle, artificial cork
Our Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Wine packaging seems to have two major variants these days – traditional packaging designed to imply centuries of winemaking, and funky, playful, modernistic packaging designed to appeal to a casual wine-buyer. Funky Llama Shiraz is definitely in the latter category. We picked up a bottle on sale for a fairly amazing $5, hoping to venture back for a dozen more if the tasting went well.
The first thing one notices is the bright yellow cork. It nearly glows with neon intensity, and features a picture of a llama. It’s a nice touch – no wine damage from spoiled corks, and a marketing boost from a cork likely to attract the attention of everyone in the room. A year from now, a brightly colored cork may be no big thing, but at the moment it stands out.
If only the wine were as distinctive as its cork. The aroma is faintly floral, and the color is a nice, deep red. The wine combines moderately weak dark berry flavor with spiciness; it’s a bit thin compared to bolder Shirazes. The finish is faintly bitter and peppery. It’s not a bad wine overall for the price, but there are others in this range that are better.