Cleanskins, give them a chance!

Cleanskin wines. We have all seen them in the bottle shops, going out for cheap and we all avoid them. But why? The poor cleanskins seem to have a reputation that really isn’t desirable. More often than not, we won’t even consider buying cleanskins unless its for our uncles, cousins, twice removed birthday present.

Well it’s time to look at the poor cleanskins in a new light. Having worked in the industry I can tell you that not all cleanskins are the crap, not worth drinking wines. There are many reasons a winery will release their wine as cleanskins. It could be as simple as bottling too much wine and not having enough labels. Or with the many export regulations wineries have to adhere to, it’s not uncommon for a winery to have incorrectly label wine without the correct mandatories. Business must go on, therefore one of the best options is the sell the wine as cleanskins. I’m not saying that every $3.50 bottle of cleanskin wine will be great and drinkable. Far from it really. You will still find cleanskins that are bin ends or the wine that didn’t quite make the grade. But when you pay under $4 for a bottle of wine, you need to be realistic in your expectations.

So now you know that not all cleanskins are rubbish, I want to share with you a little trick I have been doing lately. As mentioned, cleanskins have a bad rep as most people don’t like wines without a label. Solution? Get creative. Recently I gave my in laws two cleanskins for their 30th wedding anniversary. Sounds cheap I know, but that was just part of the gift. What I did was print a label with a picture of them from their wedding day and one of them from this year. It was a beautiful keepsake for their anniversary, plus they got some great wine to enjoy.

I also gave 6 bottles of a beautiful sem/sav blanc to a friend who was having a tough time at work. But it wasn’t just any bottles of wine, I created yet again, personal labels for her (picture below). She loved the labels and the wine!

So next time you are at your bottle shop or even a winery, don’t over look the lonely cleanskins. Give them a chance as hey, if the wine isn’t drinkable you can always throw it in your spag Bol!


A little wine between friends!



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