Is it possible to tell the quality of wine simply by the label? Wine bottle labels offer more information to the trained eye than one would think. There are obvious wines that should be avoided just by the label. Without naming specific wines, there are a few out there with cartoon images of drunken sailors gracing their label. I can tell you from experience that these wines are about as cheap as they taste. Some are worthy of being sucked down via the brown paper bag they come in. Most discerning individuals can look at these wine bottle labels and offer the obvious opinion.
However, considering how difficult it can be to choose a good wine, the label is often the only indication of the wine’s quality. Most of us know from experience how frustrating it can be to run out to pick up a bottle of wine for the company heading over without being able to discern the right wine for the occasion.
When you’re really pushed for something special, or are trying to make a good impression without making a significant wine faux pas, you can now create your own personalized wine bottle label to express whatever you want. Anniversaries, birthdays, and other special events, custom made labels add something different to the wine bottle without disclosing the type of wine within the bottle.
Wine is one of those tastes that is as unique as the individual. Some prefer a sweeter wine while others prefer a drier wine. There are those who are unconcerned with whether you are serving Italian, beef, pork, or chicken, they only drink one color. Others are particularly discriminating and will only drink red with Italian and white with fish. This makes it difficult to choose a wine for someone else based on the label.
However, if you are looking to choose a wine for yourself, simply glancing at the label may or may not make a difference to you. Obviously, there are those that are more well known than others, thanks to television. Turning Leaf has become popular based on their commercial campaign. Well known wine labels are not a bad choice when you aren’t sure about which bottle of wine to grab. With so many options, sticking with what works for the majority is a safer call than getting really creative and serving a really bad bottle of wine.
New age labels on a bottle of wine, something that speaks of excessive creativity, is often a tempting choice. Again, it depends largely on the palate of the interested party, but they can be a huge hit or huge miss. These labels are designed to speak to the younger crowd, and thus tend to encase a sweeter wine. This is simply smart marketing. By making their wine label more “hip,” those in their twenties and thirties are more likely to try it. Since the younger generations tend to prefer sweeter wines, it is almost a sure bet that is what is inside.
The labeling of wine has been around for what seems like forever. Wine, which has been the drink of choice for civilizations over thousands of years, has also been marketed for thousands of years. In fact, the tomb of King Tutankhamen, who died in 1352 BC, was laden with wine bottles, or really jars, that had labels so specific that it could actually meet wine label laws of several countries. This tells us that even ancient civilizations were competitive with the sale of their wine and thus marketed via the label.
It wasn’t until the 1700s that wine labels in the United States became competitive and a marketing ploy. Displaying little more than their country of origin and a few other basic facts, the wine distributor counted on the knowledge of wine to sell the bottle for them. Now, marketing plans are based on demographics, target markets, and advertising campaigns.
Wine bottle labels have become so unique and competitive that many wine connoisseurs make a hobby out of collecting them and creating large, fantastic collections. If the label intrigues you enough to pick up the bottle, do so for your own personal use to test it out. You may just find a little surprise inside the bottle.