Popped into the Fresh Market on Sunday for eggs and water crackers. (They've also got an awesome deal on bulk spinach.)
Rounding the final corner before the cashier, I passed through the wine section - holy crap! Is that Big Tattoo?
And it totally was.
I tried Big Tattoo White two years ago and really enjoyed it. It was the first wine where I could actually taste some of the flavors listed in the tasting notes - one of which is "stone." Stone? Really? But on that night when I first tried Big Tattoo, I listened to my palette and it told me, "Yeah, Kelly. Stone." And I was all, whoa.
Anyway, I liked it and bought a few more bottles before it disappeared from the shelves of Wild Oats. Later, I asked an employee about it, and she said that the vineyard was all out, but perhaps they would make more eventually. (She also said I wasn't the first to ask.)
And thus ended my love affair with Big Tattoo White - until that chance encounter in The Fresh Market. (If by "chance encounter" you mean "huge display of bottles that you'd have to be blind - or drunk already - to miss.")
The wine has a novelty name, a strikingly designed bottle, and a backstory (two brothers - one a wine importer, one a tattoo artist - unite to create a wine to honor their late mother). Mr. Wufflekins has pointed out that these are generally the telltale signs of inferiority, but I find them charming in this case. Also, my purchase of two bottles ($9.99 each) cause a tiny donation to be made to breast-cancer-related charities, and since I'm not running Race for the Cure, it's the least I can do. (That "least I can do" is very close to literal, since the donation per bottle is 50 cents. Still, Big Tattoo's website claims the wine has raised more than $600,000 for charity.)
I'm starting to think maybe I prefer blended wines to pure varietals; I can't remember liking a Pinot Grigio as much as I've liked Big Tattoo or Barefoot Beach White ($5.99 most places - awesome!). Or maybe it's just that those blended wines are sweeter than the Pinots or Chardonnays I usually try (I've backed off from Sauvignon Blanc altogether for being too acidic).
Do I sound like a wine wonk? Don't be fooled - I still can't identify the notes of cantaloupe and citrus and (I dunno) old library books with yellowing pages in most wines, I fill my glass to the top instead of leaving some room for swirling, and I pretty much refuse to pay more than $10 a bottle unless it's something really special. Perhaps I'm less of a wine snob and more of a wino.