News and Trends

Label Love

So how do you choose wine when faced with a wall of bottles in your supermarket or liquor outlet? If you’re not simply grabbing the cheapest bottle you can find (or, conversely, the most expensive, with the misconception that price equals quality), do you go with the tried-and-tested brands, perhaps even the ones your parents drank? Or the brands that advertise widely? It could be you’re a regular at public wine tastings, where you’re exposed to all manner of wines, or that you like to hang out at boutique wine retailers where the selection is generally thoughtfully picked and ready for you to grab just about any bottle on a whim, knowing it’ll more than likely be a good choice… The contents of the bottle aside, there’s no denying that labels play a huge role in the wines we’re drawn to. Call it superficial, but when your knowledge of wine is fairly limited, and you’re not interested in the boring mass-produced brands, your eye is going to shift straight to the bottle with the most attractive or catchy label. More and more, in an increasingly competitive environment, local wineries have to rethink their packaging to meet the expectations of an increasingly discerning and design savvy market of wine drinkers. Yes, there’s the heritage thing, which we understand, but leave the gables and family crests to those estates that have been around long enough to warrant using them as a means to sell their wines. For the newcomers, originality is often a matter of survival. What’s always satisfying, however, is when wineries that make really good wines also think about their product holistically, employing accomplished designers to complete the picture, so to speak. Sometimes great labels are strikingly minimalist, sometimes they’re really funny or just plain clever, and sometimes they’re simply beautiful or elegant. There’s something immensely gratifying about buying a bottle with a label that’s pleasingly designed, and then opening it and enjoying a wine that’s as exceptional. We’ve picked a selection of labels we love – and yes, the wines themselves are pretty good too! Tell us which wine labels you love the most and why. Post a picture of your favourite wine label on Facebook or tweet it (@houseleisureSA) to share the love...