Three “Back to School” Wine Brands

It’s always a little sad when summer comes to an end. Trading in BBQs and bathing suits for school nights and sweaters can seem like a raw deal on paper, but there’s a special kind of buzz to the start of fall.

The bustling of a new school year, the energy in the air as the weather shifts to cooler temps, and for parents, there’s the sweet, sweet freedom that comes with having your kids finally return to the beautiful, state-sanctioned-daycare that is the standard school day.

As you collect books for reading lists, refresh your kids’ school supplies, and mentally prepare for upcoming homework battles, don’t you think you deserve a little something to get you in the “back to school” spirit, too?

We found three wine brands that will make you want to sharpen your pencil and take notes. Except all you really have to do is grab a corkscrew, sit back, and pour yourself a glass.

For the Bookish: J. Bookwalter Wines

back to school

While your 5th grader is tackling that book report, why not tackle a glass from J. Bookwalter Wines of Richland, WA? The award-winning winery makes good on its name with each of its wines assuming a literary title: from the “Chapter 9” Bordeaux blend to the “Double Plot” Chardonnay. The J. Bookwalter wine club is the affectionately named “The Book Club” and the full-service restaurant in its Tri-Cities tasting room is the “Fiction.” And you can use their tagline as a quick lesson in the proper use of the word “Literally.” “Literally, the Best of Washington Wine and Food”— they mean it. They’ve got bonafides from the likes of Sunset and Food & Wine magazine.

For the Science Geek: Substance

back to school

Acclaimed Washington winemaker Charles Smith has an impressive roster of wine brands, with the Substance brand standing out as the starting point in his mission to produce the best value-priced Cabernet Sauvignon in America. That means for a cool thirteen bucks, you can get a Substance Cabernet Sauvignon that consistently clocks above 90 points with each vintage. And the periodic table-themed labels tell it to you straight, with a simple Cs for the Cabernet Sauvignon, Sb for Sauvignon Blanc, and a Me Merlot. Substance brings it back to the essential elements, and if your kids ask what you’re drinking, you can give them the Charles Smith definition: something of Substance, or “the quality of being important, valid & significant.”

For the History Buff: 19 Crimes

back to school

For a bit of interactive history, the 19 Crimes wines definitely make the syllabus. The brand gets its inspiration from the “Punishment by Transportation” decree from Queen Victoria during the Industrial Revolution that would send 165,000 convicted criminals from the UK to Australia for banishment between 1788 and 1868. Each 19 Crimes wine label features the image of one such unlucky banishee and the story of what landed them forcibly Down Under. For a bit of extra credit, the brand created its “Living Wine Labels” App that lets you point your phone at the physical wine label and see the “The Infamous” come to life and regale you with their historical stories right out of the bottle. The stories, at least, the whole family can enjoy.