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September, 29

Plug-n-Play Dessert Wine

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Eject cork.Apparently, if it?s not from Portugal, it?s not port ? it?s dessert wine. This is a new mutation of the name game the Champagne region of France plays with ?sparkling wine? made anywhere but there, or Kobe beef, versus ?Kobe-style,? when outside of Japan. The fine minds at Peltier Station Winery, however have found a work-around the venerable EU. The winery?s 2004 zinfandel dessert wine is cleverly dubbed ?USB Port? and features the iconic digital device plug design on its label. Designed by Jeremy Trettevik of Lodi-based 6 West Design, the bottle?s front label depicts an old vine made of binary code, which translates as the winery?s name.

?It?s evoking a weird reaction from people,? says Trettevik, who says that the label has been ?polarizing? in terms of how it sidesteps the EU convention. In the tech-savvy blogosphere, however, it?s clearly a hit. ?God, I love semantics, don’t you?? blogged Brian X. Chen at Wired.com. Andrew Boatti at Gizmodo.com blogs ?So cheers to ?Peltier Stanton? for sticking it to the EU in the geekiest way possible while still getting us drunk with our cigars.?

?It?s had a reaction that has just floored me,? says Trettevik. Peltier Station Winery owner Rodney Schatz has likewise been surprised by the kudos, especially when he submitted the label to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

?We usually get them back in a week. This one took a while. We called them and they said ?We?ve been looking at it and we?re infatuated with it,?? recalls. ?They asked for a couple small changes, but they loved the back story.?

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