Paul Bonarrigo of Texas' Messina Hof Winery is famous for his appearance -- call it Winemaker Red. If Paul is at an event, he's probably wearing his red cap and his red suit. Paul also favors purple and blue, and there is even some sort of white outfit with white pants, white vest, and white sport coat decorated with black illustrations. His look is even more distinctive than the Wine Curmudgeon's fedora, and that's saying something.
So imagine my surprise when I was browsing the Texas wine section at Kroger the other day and saw the picture posted to the left. It's called a neck hanger (since it hangs from the neck of a bottle of wine), and wineries do them to highlight a favorable review or to make special offers.
This one was on several Messina Hof labels, describing a charity promotion. My surprise, of course, was not the special offer, but Paul's appearance. Let's be honest -- how many Kroger shoppers expect to see something like that when they buy a bottle of wine?
Which, of course, is probably the point. Messina Hof, like other Texas and regional wineries, doesn't have huge multi-national wine marketing budgets. But it does have Paul. So why not use him? Who is ever going to forget that picture?