So tired of meaningless labels

by Eve Resnick on February 1, 2008

in General

Again labels are in the news. As I stated in “Wine Brands”, labels are what customers see first when they browse the store shelves: kangaroos, dogs, frogs, rabbits and many animals attract the eye but what’s in the bottle? Good question that some consumers don’t ask themselves: when I was in the wine store of my friend Barbara Tyree, Under The Grape in Charlotte, N.C., a charming young woman walked in the store, started looking around and made a sudden and joyful move towards a bottle with a stylish “J” letter on the label. She didn’t even look at the back label to have more information on the wine before moving to the cash register and asking: “Do you have 2 cases of that wine?” While she was waiting to be brought the cases, I asked what attracted her to that bottle: “The “J” on the label, of course! It our anniversary and our name is Jones. It’s so great to have a wine with the initial of your name to serve to our friends tonight at our party!”

Got the picture? That’s why my friend and wine journalist Robin Garr, founder of the site titled his 30Second Wine Advisor Newsletter on January 30th, 2008: “Cute animal labels? Holy Cow!” Like me, like a lot of wine lovers, he’s tired of cute animal labels or funny labels hiding poor quality wines. Does it mean an ugly black and white cow is appropriate for a wine label? Why would a winemaker from Washington call his Chardonnay – as good as it is and I trust Robin’s taste – “Holy Cow” and design a cow on the label? To me it seems more appropriate to a dairy farm or a cheese store than a wine label!

Holy Cow! I’m so tired of meaningless or non related labels! Is it that difficult to design a label appropriate to the content of the bottle? Are we so sure it would impair the success of the wine? Let’s think about it and come back to the topic when I’ll be in a better mood!

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