• Catarina Alexon

    The labels are definitely important. Even so more so considering that the vast majority of people are not connoisseurs,

    A great example of a similar product is when Jerry de la Femina got the task of promoting a mediocre whisky called Chivas Regal. He created a label and packaging that made it look expensive and promoted it as the best whisky in the world. And an abundance of people hence consider it the best in the world.

    • Scottmhuntington

      It really is amazing what you can do with presentation. However, you need to be careful… I’ve seen another winery try to pass off cheap wine for super-expensive, in snobby-looking bottles, and they got some pretty harsh feedback.

  • Cheryl Therrien

    As a person who cannot drink wine I always look at the labels. Susan – I think you and I have had a conversation about labels. If I had to choose a wine, aside from getting advice I would look to the label to make my decision. Great post!

    • Scottmhuntington

      The funny thing is that before I worked at the winery, I wasn’t into wine at all. Now I’m constantly looking at the labels even when I’m not buying.

  • Jacqueline Gum

    Fascinating information! I was wine shopping yesterday and the selection was so vast that I got carried away by the labels! It’s true that we taste with our eyes first, and this was enlightening in terms of wine labels.

    • Scottmhuntington

      Yeah on a large shelf each bottle has a ton of competition! Glad you enjoyed the post!

  • What’s in a label? Seemingly everything!! I have to confess, I also go by the visual appeal if I don’t know the wine. -that and the price, type of wine etc. One label I really like is Ravenswood, especially as they have the interlocking ravens feet on the top of the cork too. V. Interesting post.

    • Scottmhuntington

      Ravenswood has a great logo. I didn’t even talk about the cork, but that’s another thing we spent a lot of time on. We ended up putting something like “Remember __/__/____” so that people could write the special date and save the cork. Was pretty cool!

  • I loved this post, Susan! Thx to Scott for sharing his knowledge and expertise. It is indeed an intriguing topic. The label definitely affects whether I will pick up and subsequently purchase that bottle of wine. I totally agree that all our senses have to be engaged in order to experience full satisfaction.

    • Scottmhuntington

      Thanks Doreen! I think each winery is totally different, to. The one I worked at sold most of their wine at the winery itself so we would have people there to describe the wine. But it’s a whole other story when the bottles are lined up on a liquor store shelf… then the labels have to do all the selling.

  • Fascinating. I’ve never even considered all the rules and regulations that come with designing wine labels. I can see how it would be a challenge.

    • Scottmhuntington

      Yeah it really is a challenge! I had no idea what I was getting into haha, but learned most of the rules pretty quickly.

  • Jeri Walker-Bickett

    My recent obsession with wines are labels with bones and/or dead bodies… It got started with my birthday Cabernet from Palermo which had a corpse on the label and no writing. I picked up a bottle of Poizin Zinn this weekend and loved it. Just visited their site, and noticed they have a version that comes in a tiny wooden coffin as well. The gimmick is just a boon to a good wine.

    • Scottmhuntington

      That’s pretty cool, Jeri! I saw a really well done “zombie wine” once. It was really eye-catching!

  • Greg Narayan

    Nice one Scott! That’s a pain about gov’t regulations. I’ve heard to avoid labels with animals on them…something about lower quality. That’s not true though, is it??

    • Scottmhuntington

      Labels with animals on them are perceived as less expensive, “fun” wines. You wouldn’t be able to get away with charging $40 for a bottle of wine with a pink cat on it, but you could charge $40 for the exact same wine with a black and gold label with fancy script.

      And of course, you can find some amazing wines with animals on the labels, and some awful wines hiding behind fancy labels. Usually you don’t know until you buy it though.

  • Jon Jefferson

    I like the new levels of art and design going into wine and beer labels. For many of these companies that don’t have big business deep pockets, this is a huge way they can differentiate from other producers

    • Scottmhuntington

      Right, you don’t have to have a major investment. There are plenty of freelance graphic designers eager to hop on a project like this.

  • HomeJobsbyMOM

    Very interesting. I had no idea how much went into making a wine label. Just never really thought about since most labels seem pretty basic to a novice like me.

    • Hi Kyrstle, It is interesting, isn’t It? When you think about it, it’s the face of the product making its appearance very important to the success of the product. 🙂

    • Scottmhuntington

      I had no idea how much went into making a wine label until I tried to do it myself!

  • Debra Yearwood

    What an excellent article. Even when it’s not intentional I have found myself drawn to labels or repelled by them. A few years ago many vintners started to take a humorous look at labels and suddenly we started seeing labels like, Sibling Rivalry, Hatfield’s Fuse and Cat Pee on a Gooseberry Bush – I’ve never understood why that name should prompt anyone to by the wine. There are many more, but suffice it to say the more bizarre names got the more I wanted to stop relying on the label and the more I wanted to learn about the wine itself. I try my best but the label still draws me in…or out. 🙂

    • Hi Debra, I do try to learn about the wine before I judge the label. It’s not always easy.

      I think the reason, in some cases, wine labels are weird or whacky is to garner attention. That it does, but is it in a way that encourages someone to try the wine? I believe it doesn’t, more often then not As least that’s the way it is for me. 🙂

    • Scottmhuntington

      Debra, a weird label can get a lot of attention, and often impulse-buys. We had one named Scrapple (for Sweet, CRanberry APPLE) and it had a pig on the label. I heard so many people say “well I just HAVE to try the one with the pig on the label!” even though they didn’t know anything about it. It was actually a really nice wine, so it sold well too.