Jacob’s Creek Shiraz 2008, Australia.

When I smelled and tasted this wine, music wasn’t necessarily the first sound that came to mind. It was the sound of some guy named Jacob walking across some “creaky” wood flooring – the same kind of planks that barrels are made of and added into certain wines to give them that wood barrel taste.

The back of the bottle quotes Jacob’s Creek winemaker Philip Laffer’s product description as “Plum, pepper and spicy fruit flavours with subtle toasted oak.” and the front of the bottle states that this is a medium bodied wine. I think they nailed the plum, pepper and spicy fruit flavours, but were far to modest when describing the toasted oak that covered up the aforementioned tastes as subtle and the body being medium. Modest to the point of being dishonest. I found the wood to be front and centre and the body to be Katy Perry ample. None of that makes for a bad wine and millions of faithful drinkers can’t all be wrong.

Musical Match: The full bodied Katy Perry puts wood forward on this acoustic version of her electro pop hit Hot and Cold. Like the singer, Jacob’s Creek might never be the first choice of aficionados but they can both be proud of their success and being a notch better than many others. Ms. Perry proves she has some substance here when she tears off the electric artifice.

Smokey-oaky wines are often accused of simply throwing lipstick on a pig, but if Mr. Laffer turned down the wood, we might see that the beast in this wine bottle might not need any lipstick.

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