Uttering ‘Merlot’ in certain circles risks provoking a reaction akin to Paul Giamatti’s acerbic wine snob in Sideways. It's fair to say the reputation hovering around the drink since that film was released has been slightly unkind.
This collaboration from Boston-based retailer Concepts and running shoe brand Brooks could change all that, and while you can’t drink it in, at least not in a literal sense, much like a fine wine, this pair of shoes will only get better with age.
After all, it’s not only a nod to a vintage year of running culture, it’s a nod to Brooks’ Washington state origins, where, and here’s the tenuous link, you’ll also find one of the largest productions of Merlot grapes for wine in the US.
Look closely and you’ll see that the trainers have even been designed via colour bases to replicate the transition of turning Merlot grapes into booze, morphing from dark navy at the heel, to lighter blue in the middle and finishing with the sort of rouge that will makes it look as though you've spent the morning stomping on grapes.
You’ll be able to snap up a pair online from 13 September. We’ll raise a glass to that.