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Do labels sell wine?



Not sure if some post has gone to the wrong address, namely Cherchez la femme, but anyway …

I don’t think I buy wine because of the labels, but the labels certainly can influence which wines get more of my attention. The other factor coming into play is bottle shape. I’m just about to order some

The shape of the bottle, and the label design in fact, are what initially attracted my interest, and then various reviews have confirmed my choice. But I wouldn’t have looked at it without the great design package.


Good spot, kind of started this thread so no more label talk distracts from the other discussion.


What exactly it is that a wine is signalling about itself to a potential purchaser via its label is probably a specialised part of semiotics. But there really is something going on here. We have already identified a number of label types, e.g.

  • “critter labels”
  • elegant engraved “solicitor’s letterhead” labels
  • florid scriptiform labels
  • impenetrable gothic script labels
  • Old Skool Burgundy labels
  • etc.

I’m pretty sure if presented with just such a label we could have a stab at the sort of wine the bottle contains. We might be wrong, but it does at least show that labels are used for signalling all sorts of things to the potential buyer.


One of my favourites that I have some bottles of has to be:

And, I recently read about this from Catena, which makes me want to lay my hands on a few bottles… so, yes, arguably labels do sell wine, albeit only as one factor amongst many:




Under £10-£15 , yes,; over, no. (And probably under £5, no, because that will be sold on price and familiarity.) Some of us bought a Hungarian at Lidl recently for the label, and some of the labels above might appeal at that price level. But, to bring in yet another thread, no one would buy/not buy Yquem because of the label. TWS and others with websites may waste space on line (not in the printed lists and leaflets where space costs money) by insisting on showing the labels, but the search criteria (which presumably are chosen to meet what buyers really look for) do not include labels.


I don’t know about you, but to me this is the epitome of bad taste.


At best, there’s some kind of make-your-brand-stand-out-in-a-competitive-market tosh - I can see the Powerpoint slides now - and I guess it succeeds to some extent because here we are, but really, all I can wonder is how dire the actual wine must be if they have to resort to this gimmickry to get people to buy it.


I thought it was capturing peoples’ stories who arrived to Australia as prisoners. So don’t agree that it is in bad taste. On the contrary.


Agreed! There’s probably a direct correlation between the need to sell something that is unlikely to sell on its own merit - and the choice of tactic to ensure that it does sell.

Mind you, I remember seeing recently in Decanter a bottle of a South African wine - apparently an excellent one - where the label was a photo of a (beautiful) street child in Vietnam. It really put me off. Perhaps the producer (apparently very ethical on other fronts) thought they were doing something noble, but it just seemed exploitative to me.
I don’t think there’s room for posting human misery on bottles of something associated with pleasure and luxury.
We can watch the news for that.


We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one :slight_smile:
A work of art, a funky font, a rabbit in a UFO - yes.
Human distress - no.


In my opinion, it is also the clever use of technology is very impressive, it is the 21st century after all.


Hm… I don’t know. It’s a bottle of wine, not a technological aid. It all seems to detract from the thing in the bottle one should concentrate on…?


I think so, too. :slight_smile:
To me it does not look like exploitation of human distress, as all these people endured hardship and prevailed. Also the fact that it is the 19th century creates a different context. This is just my opinion of course.


And does the verbiage on a back label sell a wine?

I really want to try this (rude word alert!):



If we take a step back and forget about the topic that is controversial, I think this kind of use of media could actually enhance the experience, for example if the video would give some insight to some aspect of the wine that the wine maker finds important. Would you agree?


A case of Google translate gone awry, clearly! :rofl:


Right at the end of a clean as well, have they no shame!?


Yes, I can see that for some this would add to the experience, but surely this can be the sort of information already included on some labels? And how does that differ from simply finding the info on the producer’s website?

Still, I’m probably not the right person to ask- being a bit of a technophobe. If it helps others- I have no real objection.


Now, if it was at the end of a dirty, I would understand…!