First Impressions

5 Dec

We are taught that presentation is important.  The Dress For Success, and Make a Good First Impression mentality permeates almost every culture. But not wine? Sure, it’s all over the bottle- sometimes it IS the bottle, but it usualy starts with the label. When you see your favorite label on a bottle, what is your reaction? (Mine is a look of pure joy.) What about the label from a wine you found tainted with TCA? Not good, one would expect. (Shudder)

With all we pay attention to in tasting and rating wine, does a label really matter? It must, if some wines make their sale purely on visual appeal, which may be the only shot a winemaker gets to put a taste into the buyer’s mouth. As a matter of fact, the marketing gurus will argue that the LABEL is the most important impression of the winemaker, long before the bottle is uncorked- because as a consumer, you have already bought the product.

This article from the Daily Meal is what got me started thinking about how I don’t really like wine labels of a certain type (animals) but prefer art or abstract designs. Could you imagine hiring tattoo artists to design your labels?

I adore some crazy looking labels. Ignoring the salivation I get when seeing a classic label from a historic chateau, my (current) favorite labels are both from Orin Swift, a small winery by David Pinney. Check out his labels from Papillon and The Prisoner wines- they have names pulled from classic entertainment, which endorses it in your mind to start. But then you see the killer images:

Papillon Prisoner Bottle Shot Pretty interesting stuff, right? It’s certainly got more character than a plain beige label with a bland “classic” sounding name from Napa with no image to lock firmly in your mind. After seeing the label and drinking the Papillon in a restaurant, I knew I would remember that bottle in a second,  -and I did- when I next saw the wine in a store.

This article from the Daily Designer demonstrates the label design as part of packaging concept. And some of these are amazing, I’d buy them based solely on label.

Finally, I give to you my holiday gift:  a link to 30 of the coolest wine label designs, which has a little something for everybody, and may provide for you that amazing, previously unimagined holiday present for that special someone in your life. Do check ‘em out, you will enjoy them I promise!  I love the idea of the Boarding Pass Shiraz concept for your frequent fliers, the Rorschach Test bottle for your shrinks and counselors, The Return Of The Living Red for your Walking Dead fans, the gas can designs from Mini Garage Wines for your grease monkeys, the B Frank wine where you get to write your own label- the list goes on and on. And let me know if you buy something, or find something ELSE that you think is super cool!

à votre santé!

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2 Responses to “First Impressions”

  1. thefoodandwinehedonist December 6, 2012 at 1:56 am #

    I love The Prisoner’s label and it’s a terrific wine. I just picked up a few bottles of the latest vintage and am hoping to bust them open soon.

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. David Phinney & Locations Wine E4 | jvb uncorked - October 2, 2016

    […] Just this past June, Phinney’s Orin Swift Cellars series (featuring popular wines like Papillon and Abstract) was purchased by E&J Gallo as an addition to their luxury brand portfolio. Talk […]

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