There’s gonna be a Hardy-ache tonight

My grandma used to have this pair of diamond earrings she called her “Canardlys.”  When you would ask what Canardlys were, she would say, “They’re so small, you can hardly see them!”  This weekend, the family and I broke out one of the nine newly acquired bottles from last week’s Gross Out Winopalooza.

This cool vino was a clear pick when compared to the other dozen or so blasé bottles occupying the rack. The tattoo design on the label is hip and edgy with what appears to be one seriously pissed off eagle keen on  ripping someone’s lungs out, quite possibly in mid-flight.  But after several sips,  I “Canardly” understand why this wine would have any popularity at all if it weren’t for the funky design on the bottle.

The 2008 Ed Hardy Cabernet Sauvingnon can only be described as unremarkable.  I must confess I didn’t hold out a lot of hope for this vino from the get-go.  Brad had a co-worker purchase the same variety at the Grocery Outlet a few days back; she described it as tasting like “rotten fruit.” I don’t know that I concur with rotten fruit, because honestly it didn’t taste like much of anything.  We did however, find  at least one reviewer who likened the smell to “asparagus piss.”  We tried aerating the wine, letting it hang out for awhile and I personally swirled it until I was dizzy, but after all that, the only thing to linger in my mouth was the taste of bitter disappointment.  This promising Cab had no body, no real flavor and ended on a very flat note. I had hoped this wine would be more in tune with the label and that somehow I would experience a provocative, robust explosion of spicy structured goodness the moment it hit my tongue.  And that somehow, the screaming eagle and lightning bolt from the label would propel itself onto my taste buds! But, it never happened. It’s a dirty rotten shame too, because everything that bears the name Ed Hardy seems to turn to gold.  Make that, almost everything.

However, something good did come from my less than pleasant tasting experience that you fine readers might find interesting.  After a little research, I read that Don Ed Hardy, the renowned tattoo, graphic artist and author from California, had been fascinated with the art of tattooing as a young boy. By the age of 11 he was drawing complex tattoos on friends with colored pencils.  Colored pencils? I wonder what cancer causing agent could be found in those back in the 1950s?

As an adult he spent time in Japan where he studied tattooing with the classical tattoo master, Kazuo Oguri (known by his tattooing name, Horihide) in 1973 and throughout the 1980s.  It was highly unusual for a person of non-Asian decent to gain access to the art of traditional Asian tattooing. As a matter of fact, prior to World War II, tattooing was forbidden in Japan. Horihide began his rigorous training with a tattoo master right after the war ended at a time when apprenticeships lasted five years and pupils were nothing more than house servants to their masters, given little food and in the case of Horihide, sometimes beaten for the first two. Pupils would learn the ancient art and meanings little by little.

Ed Hardy was able to fuse his newly acquired techniques with his classic American style, and create a uniqueness  all his own. His designs exploded in popularity. In 2004, a gentleman by the name of Christian Audigier walked into Hardy’s shop looking to buy his entire portfolio and later licensed the rights to produce the Ed Hardy clothing line, which is based on his imagery. And what do you suppose Hardy’s commission check was after the first year of sales?  You’ll want to sit down for this one. Go ahead. I’ll wait… Hardy’s proceeds ended up being around 50 Million. That would buy a LOT of colored pencils!

How's about a little Spam Sushi to go with that fine wine? It's all the rage. Promise.

A French native, Audigier left school to start a career at the age of 14 with fantasies of  living the American dream.  In 2000, the accomplished fashion designer moved to L.A. with just $500 in his pocket, quickly gaining a clientele of celebrities eager to strut around in his fashions. This master of marketing paid paparazzi to photograph celebs like Brittany Spears and Madonna emerging from his shops wearing his clothing and hats, but Audigier had a broader vision. He made certain the Ed Hardy brand is plastered on everything from something called “structured water” to belts, sunglasses, shoes, lighters, stemware, trendy night clubs and pricey vodka. Not only is he a marketing genius, he’s attractive, tan and every word he mutters is sexy as hell because he’s French. Circa 2008, Audigier teamed up with Nicholas Wines, an importer of French vino, to bring us his very own line of Ed Hardy wine.  And this, my friends, is where I think he should have stopped at just making vodka. But what do I know, he is worth over $250 million,  and just this year he sold the Ed Hardy brand for a cool 62 mil. We bought his wine for $3.99 at Grocery Outlet.

Personally, I think a little vino can only help some of us be more artistic. But rarely does the artist help to make a good wine. Anyone up for a free tattoo and swanky new outfit?  I’m feeling artistic, have a can-do attitude and plenty of cheap wine on hand!  Better yet,  I’ll just stick to sampling vino and rub-on Ed Hardy tats.  C’est la vie!

Aromatique: Nondescript aroma. Mild spice. Described by one reviewer as smelling like “asparagus piss.”

SipQuips: Probably won’t be the worst wine you’ll ever taste (see review for Buckley’s Cove). But it will be the worst wine you have today.

Kitchen Couplings: Asparagus. Rotting fruit. Anything strong enough to cover up the flavor of the wine. Anchovies, etc.

Dare we try the Rose’ ?  Click the pic! We are still laughing! Enjoy!

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