Labels with Luster: Board Track Racer 2008

Our first installment of Labels with Luster, the fashion-friendly side of wine.

Do fashion and aesthetics come into play when browsing the shelves of your favorite grape juice shop? Without the assistance of a wine steward, the cover art on a bottle of wine can be a major selling point for what you actually take home, and unfortunately beauty can sometimes only be label deep.

Thankfully, we’re doing the dirty work for you, thirsty Seattleites, by singling out our favorite swanked labels to discover fine wines that also look hot in their outfit.

Board Track Racer 2008 The Vincent

Plastered with the artwork of Portland silk screen printer Gary Houston, the Board Track Racer 2008 The Vincent red blend is as pronounced of a wine as is its label for fashion.

Winemaker and owner, Mark McNeilly is known in the Woodinville wine community for his love of rock (seen in his wines under his Mark Ryan label named after Pearl Jam and the Afghan Whigs songs) and the artistic demeanor that can come with it. His tasting room in the Hollywood Schoolhouse district is laced with Houston’s work and framed posters of Nirvana albums, including several that are poised above a vintage motorcycle McNeilly was able to score a few years back for decor.

A badass on wheels, this 60 percent Syrah and 40 percent Cabernet Sauvignon blend is the table wine answer to the artisan winemaking of McNeilly. Although it is bottled under a separate label and sold as its own line of wines (next out is white and a rose due this spring), this red blend doesn’t fall far from the tree of Mark’s namesake wines.

Fully loaded with aromas of black fruits (think blackberry and black cherry), spice (like ones you’d bake with) and leather (both in aromas and flavors), the wine is firm and polished, carrying its youth ruggedly in its back pocket next to its razor comb (think Fonzy).

Mark Ryan Winery | 14810 NE 145th Street, Bldg. A-1, Woodinville | (425) 481-5387