Hearty Red Wine with a Naughty Name

If you've got a 'Beavis and Butthead' sense of humor, you'll love ordering this one
Jane Bruce

The If You See Kay wines.

Napa Valley winemaker Jayson Woodbridge — once hailed by Robert Parker as "One of California's (perhaps the world's) most flamboyant, talented, contrarian wine producers" — is best known for the intensely flavored, prodigiously expensive single-vineyard cabernet sauvignons he releases under his Hundred Acre label. He also markets the far more reasonably priced Layer Cake wines, drawn from vineyards around Australia, Argentina, Italy, and Spain, as well as various parts of California.

Now, Woodbridge has branched out with a dark, mouth-filling, attractively grapey wine from Italy's Lazio region — mostly cabernet, with some petit verdot (a minor Bordeaux variety) and primitivo blended in — bottled under a name apparently designed to appeal to the sniggering set. It's called If You See Kay. That's the title of an old blues song, recorded by Memphis Slim, among others (and by several more contemporary performers). If it isn't already obvious to you why sniggers might be evoked, just sound out the title slowly, perhaps while lounging in some comfortable cotton garment from the clothing chain French Connection UK (whose logo is FCUK).


"The bottom line," writes Woodbridge on his website, "is we don't care what anybody thinks." OK, fine. But I'm going to tell you anyway: I think the wine is pretty good. And the name is pretty juvenile.