The Fabulous World of Gay Wine

Categories: Wine
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Dave Lieberman
As I was scarfing down empanadas today at El Gaucho #2 in Anaheim, my eyes were drawn to cases and cases of wine below the all-fútbol-all-the-tiempo big-screen TVs. Cases of wine are not exactly out of place in an Argentine market with a fantastic sandwich counter, but somehow this stuck out: the boxes read, "Arcoiris Gay Wine--Cabernet".

I spent several minutes trying to figure out how this could possibly be a hysterically-funny bit of mangled English when the Spanish-speaking part of my brain kicked in and said, "Arcoiris means rainbow, you dork." Arcoiris, text printed in pink, could it be that they really meant gay wine?

El Gaucho #2 also sells gay Merlot (which, I'm fairly sure, most gay people know not to pronounce "murr-LOTT"). I was fascinated, but Google was not a lot of help; a search for "arcoiris wine" turned up a bunch of results for a venerable, if not especially memorable Mexican restaurant in L.A.'s Northeast.

It turns out, though, that there's actually quite a lot of gay wine.

New Zealand led the charge with Pansy!, a non-vintage, non-varietal that retailed for a stunning amount of money given its humble origins.

Spain wasn't far behind with Mundo Gay, a Spanish Ribera del Duero, two years ago. According to its makers, it was meant to honor Spain's commitment to marriage equality and to broaden the thinking of grape growers in the Ribera del Duero region.

Hot on Spain's heels was Tendre Bulle Gay Vin, a Languedoc-Roussillon sparkling rosé from France whose name means "Tender Gay Bubble". The mind boggles; despite the fact that France has a dual-marriage law (first you get married at the mairie for the legal benefits, then if you want you can get married at the église for the religious benefits), they have yet to allow gay civil marriage, so to claim this is in honor of anything is patently bollocks.

Finally, while our marriage-equality track record here in California is pretty pitiful, we do have Rainbow Ridge, wines made by two gay partners from Palm Springs out of grapes grown in Lake County. This might have the best pedigree of all: gay wine made by actual gay people.

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