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Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape.  Add/Read Comments

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Many across the UK wine scene will know of Peter May. He is the chap who has done so much in support of South Africa's Pinotage grape (and opened my eyes to the grapes diversity). You may have run across his wine label website - a pioneer from the first flush of wine websites (and perhaps in need of a little web2.0 design updating).

This wine label site has led to Peter producing a book - Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape - that has just been published. And what a handsome little book it is.

It is a celebration of the oddest wines in the world - from those sporting braille typography on the label through to heat-sensitive oils and wines named after obscure 16th century writers bawdy characters.

Each label, and there are more than 100 detailed, comes complete with background details and often a tasting note. Did you know that the Paddarotti wine celebrates Luciano Pavorotti's visit to the Cape but also that the route frogs take in the run up to the mating season is Paddagang in Afrikaans (frogs path). It is all great stuff.

What it is not is a weighty, in-depth tasting note book, although some notes are included. It is more of a 'fun' book aimed, I guess, at the wine inquisitive rather than the knowledgeable expert.

Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape (ISBN 1-59474-099-2) Available from for $11.02 and for £7.25 RRP £10.99. A celebration of the miniature works of art and inventiveness of many wine producers; as well as some stonkingly bad wine labels too.

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