The Barber’s Wine

My grandfather was a barber . . . back when barber shops had poles.  When I saw this wine label, my morning came to a screeching halt, and I indulged in a little fit of nostalgia.

The barber pole is a symbol that dates back to the Middle Ages, when shave and a haircut wasn’t the only thing on the barbering menu.  Barber surgeons, as they were called, also pulled teeth and performed bloodletting.  Yes, with leeches.  The barber pole itself is gruesome symbolism.   After a bloodletting, barbers would hang the bloody bandages in their doorway to dry (because naturally, they reused them). But they were also advertising how successful their bloodletting services were.  The bloody bandages would twirl around in the wind and . . . the barber pole was born. The blue stripe on the barber pole is said to represent arterial blood, but a more likely story is that it was an American addition — so the pole colors would match the flag. The ball on the top of the pole represents the leech basin.  Told you it was gruesome.

But back to the wine . . .

Meet Rasurado . . . which means shave in Spanish.  I could stare at this animation all day.  It’s simple genius.  Also hypnotizing.

barber wine

Spanish graphic art studio, Moruba, designed the wine label for Rioja winery Bodegas y Viñedos Arranz-Argote.

A rough translation from their website:

“The barber shop is the center of the world for the inhabitants of rural areas. It is a meeting place where mundane chat mingles with ancestral wisdom.  In this place something important starts.  It’s the wine of the barber.

Bodegas y Viñedos Arranz-Argote is a small winery (the smallest according to their website) located in Navarrete, Spain . . . in the heart of Rioja.  Their vineyards are primarily Tempranillo, with small plantings of Graciano, Grenache, Mazuelo and Maturana Navarretana.  Arranz-Argote wines are sold under the name ARAR (the marriage of Arranz-Argote).  I’ve never tried an Arranz-Argote vino, but I’m on a mission to fix that.

I’m searching for a bottle of Rasurado . . . I can’t think of a more appropriate wine to toast my barber grandfather.



  1. Grandpa would be SO proud! His barber shop was like a newspaper — all the latest gossip could be heard at the barber’s. And I know he and his patrons fixed world problems and plan their next fishin’ trip. I wish I had dad’s old barber pole — but I do have one smock, and three pairs of his scissors. Salud, dad!


  2. interesting info regarding the barber pole…checked our lcbo website and couldn’t find anything here in Canada…but there are many wines I find in the US that I can’t find here…
    I toast your grandfather…Salud!


      1. when you spoke of your grandfather with such kindness & pride it reminded my grandfather who passed away a number of years ago at 99, and to this day I miss him…


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