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Palin wine caught up in US election

Palin Syrah, a small organic wine from Chile, has found itself embroiled in the turmoil surrounding the Republican campaign in the US presidential race.

The wine, linked, for obvious reasons, with Republican vice-president candidate Sarah Palin, has drawn media attention in the US. News organizations in the country are tracking sales of the brand and connecting the label’s fortunes to the popularity of Palin’s right-wing politics.

Chris Tavelli, a partner in San Francisco’s Yield Wine Bar started serving Palin Syrah before Republican presidential candidate John McCain asked Palin to be his running-mate.

Following Palin’s nomination, sales of the wine plummeted in liberal San Francisco. But Tavelli is reluctant to take it off his wine list.

‘It’s good, organic and affordable,’ he said.

The bar’s proprietors have invited customers to write in their own impressions of the wine. Recent popular descriptors include ‘moosemeat’, ‘gunpowder’ and ‘hockey mom’ – all words associated with Sarah Palin.

According to Fox News, however, sales of the wine in the more right-wing town of Houston, Texas have been strong. The news organisation added that the wine was popular in the Democrat heartland of New York City, although for different reasons.

‘The reason is that some people are going to buy it and cross out her name and maybe write Obama,’ said Scott Pactor, who sells the wine in his shop Appellation Wine & Spirits.

Palin (pronounced Pay-LEEN), only in its second release, is named after the ball used to play an indigenous Chilean sport similar to grass hockey. Palin Syrah, Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon are made by Alvaro Espinoza, a leading Chilean proponent of biodynamic and organic winegrowing. He’s best known for his highly-regarded Maipo Valley red blend, Antiyal.

Written by Tim Teichgraeber, and Oliver Styles

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