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As if Hello Kitty had not invaded enough bags, purses, make-up cases, pens, lunch boxes, and clothing lines, the sweet little kitten has decided to grace a few wine labels. The Italian company Sanrio, which has owned the brand since it was created in 1974, has partnered with Tenimenti Castelrotto or “Torti” to produce four wines with the adorable creature gracing the bottle labels. I dare say I was in the loop with these wines long before your average person, as I was responsible for getting the labels approved by the federal government. It has been a long wait since the initial label approval in November of 2008, but I finally got my hands on a couple of bottles.
The Hello Kitty Sweet Pink comes in a 375ml bottle. Most striking about the bottle is the base of the neck, which is shaped like a heart and has a gold heart label embedded within the glass. The wine pours well, is sparking, and has a nice rose coloring. On the palate it is actually a bit dryer than I expected give the name “Sweet Pink” and the Hello Kitty label.
Something about Hello Kitty just makes me think of the dump truck load of saccharine that it takes to give a lab rat cancer. The wine is actually quite pleasant, with hints of red fruits and a nice floral bouquet. It is not cloying at all, as some sweet sparklers can be.
The Hello Kitty Brut Rose comes complete with a Hello Kitty pendant necklace draped over the neck of the bottle. Does this seem like an overkill of ornamentation? No, not at all. I mean Hello Kitty can get away with almost as much as a 6’6” drag queen with pink hair – almost. The color of this Rose is a bit yellow to me – seems like there should be more pink present. The bubbles are plentiful, but could be a bit smaller and more refined. On the pallet the Brut is sweeter than expected. I think it also leaves too heavy of a mouth feel. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good long finish, but this sparkling Brut just seemed too chewy.
To sum up, I definitely liked the Sweet Pink better than the Brut Rose. Both wines are quite decent though and the labeling/branding is ingenious. Given these factors I expect Hello Kitty wine to fly off the shelves, making appearances at many rosy cheeked girls’ 21st birthday parties. If you want some for Valentine’s Day 2010 I would recommend finding it now and cellaring it till then.
Torti is also producing a Hello Kitty Angel and Devil, which will both be still wines.
Once I am notified of a shipment leaving Italy I’ll be sure to get a couple of bottles reserved so I can write up another review.