“Get Gunked” is screen-printed on the Organic Baby Bodysuit ($24.99), the “Classic” Thong ($10.39) and everything from Mugs to the Dog T-Shirt ($22.99). Luckily, nothing actually related to wine bears the Shawangunk Wine Trail’s attempt at shoot its fleeting reputation in the foot. Would you even know how to gunk yourself if your glass had that printed on it?
Wine tasting should be fun, but advertising that your region’s merits boil down to not just getting drunk, but something more akin to getting junked, funked, or worse, punk’d relegates your wine to shower grime or is-your-refrigerator-running prank calls.
New York wine has struggled for decades to gain a laudable international reputation, yet it still serves wine as if it were cheap beer or vodka shots. Tourists will go wine tasting anyway. Why not treat them like adults? Teach them to enjoy exploring wine for more than its alcoholic effects. Drinking can tell them so much about a place, from a year’s weather and geography, to the people and their traditions.
Beneath the Get Gunked website campaign are paragraphs promising that “The eleven wineries on the Trail all follow the tradition of the fine winemaking established by the early French Huguenot settlers who brought their wine making expertise to this valley over 300 years ago.” Sound legitimate-ish right? With descriptors like “well crafted”, “beautifully made”, “majestic Hudson River”, “memorable experience”, “prize winning” and only a two hour drive, I thought, why not drag the wife down?
With the Hudson Valley’s identity crisis in mind, let’s go wine tasting!