Subliminal Messages of the Wine Label

    Can you judge a bottle of wine by its label?


     And no.

     Let me try to explain…

     Wines & Vines recently provided a preview of an article on this very subject, to be published in the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice.

     The gist of the article is that design-savvy shoppers absolutely do equate the “look” of the label with the quality of the wine in the bottle. In other words, it’s very important for a classy wine to have a classy label.

     This makes perfect sense to me, especially since the opposite has been generally true on the other end of the quality spectrum.

     For several years, when Australian wines were flooding the marketplace, it was widely known that a bottle with a depiction of a cute animal on the label probably contained an average-at-best wine. But the label served its purpose because it attracted less savvy wine drinkers who weren’t overly concerned about quality; they were simply seeking a decent wine at a decent price.

     But put that same label on a $50 bottle of wine, and that bottle probably would have languished on the supermarket shelf. One who is going to spend $50 on a bottle, generally speaking, wants that bottle to look like it cost $50.

     According to studies, there are five types of package design:

     1) BOLD — Consumers expect inexpensive wine of low quality and sophistication.

     2) CONTRASTING — Ditto.

     3) NATURAL — Consumers expect the wine to carry a higher price and be of high quality.

     4) DELICATE — Consumers expect the wine to be very sophisticated and of the highest quality.

     5) NONDESCRIPT — Consumers have very low expectations for the wine, which is perceived as a mass-market product from a corporate winery.

     Image is extremely important because most wines are not backed by television commercials or mass-market magazine ads. It’s the label that conveys the image.

     Just be aware that not all wineries are marketing savvy, or can afford designers who will convey the proper message. In other words, it’s very possible for a great wine to have a lousy label.

     Yes, even one with a cute animal on it.

Posted in Editor's Journal
Members-only Wine sampler specials delivered straight to your inbox via our Cyber Circle newsletter.

%d bloggers like this: