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Do labels sell wine?



A tangent to the discussion to the Cherchez la femme topic got me thinking about labels and whether they influence my buying decisions. Created this thread not wanting to sidetrack that conversation.

Giving it a little thought, I thought I am moderately influenced by labels, but my decisions are not made on a label. In particular, I do like a front label without clutter.

This for example…

…appeals to me, over this one…

How about you?


I would go along with you. I like a simple uncluttered label. I recall something I read in a book set in Japan once where a local is explaining to a European that the less information on a Japanese person’s business card the more important they were and, if a card only had a name on it and nothing else you were in the presence of a seriously important person. The principle being that everyone should already know everything about them.

Then there was @Herbster’s comment:

which though I’m sure at least partly in jest does have an element of truth to it. There are certain styles of label that are almost expected for certain regions and styles. CNdP for example seems to require that certain old fashioned font.

One of the things I like about buying wine online is that here I find the label to be of much less significance as I’m not making my buying decisions by browsing a long row of different bottles.


Totally, and embossed bottles, too. I agree the importance of labels diminishes online… I still don’t like this picture (instead of the wine itself) on TWS:

Not that it stops me buying the wine :slight_smile:


Agree that I like to see the bottle as well, somehow the appearance of the bottle is a small part of the pleasure. However I prefer that image to some of the truly dreadful trendy labels I have seen. And on that note I think it would probably be fair to say that a label has never induced me to buy a wine but it has sometimes influenced me towards not buying one!


I picked up a bottle of this recently. I don’t mind the garish label because it’s an up-and-coming region trying to grab people’s attention and establish a name for itself:

But imagine that label on a bottle of St Julien or Hermitage. It shouldn’t matter, of course it shouldn’t. But it does. Right…?


… and a nice Mencia it is too! :grinning:

But maybe what you’re pointing to here is the context of the label and the assumptions we make based on that context. Good point! :thinking:


People far cleverer than me have studied this for MW and University thesis…

Is the label your first “taste” of the wine - is a traditional label going to mean a traditional style wine in the bottle ? Does the label direct the bottle to a certain market?

We do have to remember the constraints given in some regions as to what can/can’t go on a label…hopefully for some regions this is changing.

I’m not too fussed on the label…hopefully a little education has helped me decipher them…I do see some as works of art (and not just Mouton!)


And I’m sure that context has at least a subconscious effect on my decisions, however much I might resist it.


I’d say labels do influence my purchasing and they definitely at least get my attention but I wouldn’t generally buy a wine solely on the label.
I’m quite into fun/quirky labels and packaging generally on all sorts of products and really as long as there’s sufficient information as to the contents I wouldn’t be put off by a label that’s a bit different.


I like all kinds of labels…traditional , monochrome, flowers, birds, butterflies. Equally I do not like examples of the same groups. I have never knowingly rejected a wine just because of the label.
One of my favourite everyday wines has a very garish label, but the prix qualite of the wine takes some beating…:wine_glass::wine_glass::wine_glass::wine_glass:


It must be said that whilst I do find some modern labels garish and unpleasant there are some quirky designs that I love such as this:

I believe I read somewhere that each vintage has a different animal on it.


That’s true. I think in Burgundy there are regulations regarding the relative sizes of the lettering for producer name, appellation, lieux-dit, and so forth.

Speaking of which, I do prefer a nice gothic typeface on a bottle of Burgundy. Sylvain Pataille makes a lovely bottle of grog, but the label looks like it’s been knocked out on a Sinclair QL.

Weekend drinking thread [14-16 September 2018]

Pataille is proof (for Inbar!) that I do sometimes buy wines with rubbish labels…I buy many wines label unseen too, but a really cringeworthy label can put me off unless I know what’s inside is good.

I am with a simple uncluttered label too…you can always put it on the back.


I am somewhat colour blind, so I see the world a little differently.
I was 16 when I discovered that I suffered from this condition.
For example, when colouring in a map for “O” Level Geography, my Geography Master commented that my attempt was “garish!!” Having looked the word up (LOL!!) I was mortally offended as it looked good to me, but I would say that.
So I put little store on wine labels, with my impaired vision but more the quality/design of label has no association with the deliciousness of the contents.
A bit like (apologies here) the most gorgeous girl on the planet might not be a nice person, amazing if the she was but there can be no direct correlation between the two attributes.
The same obviously applies to men.
In my world, the same applies to wine labels and their contents.
Note that one boy in ten is colour blind to some extent, with girls it is one in two hundred. If you are can effect which jobs you are suitable for. Apparently crane drivers for some reason cannot be colour blind. So get your child checked out early to ensure that they do not pick the wrong profession such as a geologist, film maker or designer. The most amusing thing that I discovered was that although girls are much less likely to be afflicted, it is they who carry the gene gets passed on! How unfair is that!!:wink::laughing:


Certainly, after all it is advertising, a catchy label draws in the eye so even if you don’t buy the wine after inspecting the bottle your attention has been drawn to, as for the traditional labels they fulfil the same task because they assume rightly in most cases that the sort of people who will buy there wine know there label and see it as a mark of quality.
And many of the old “cluttered” labels are works of art in their own right, it is often said that the German gothic script labels are not to everyones liking but many are superb and very eye catching, but again many of the younger winemakers are taking the minimalist route now, nothing wrong in that but if they all went post modern it would be a very boring shelf to look at.


Agreed. Each to their own of course, but personally I’d much rather see a Maume label:

…than a Tawse:

And some of those over-the-top German labels are just fabulous.


Indeed - at least the ones I have had. Nice wine too.

Snap! I once observed elsewhere that they “…looked as though they had been knocked out on his children’s school inkjet printer.”

But it’s illustrative of one point at least - that one of the functions is recognition when you scan your eye along a merchant’s shelves. And in that respect it scores well.

The other main respect is the aesthetic value of the label when the bottle nestles lovingly in your hand. It doesn’t do too well on that score!


One of my favourite labels (and wine) are those from the Domaine Trevallon…


Father of the owner was an artist and friends with Picasso. Label is very distinctive when you see it.

TWS do stock it but doesn’t currently appear available.


You don’t get much busier labels than this one, but it’s great stuff…


I love the Trevallon label and the wine even more. Recently bought a bottle of the 2008, must have just gone out of stock in the last few weeks.