Im the last person on the planet that can say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ when it comes to buying wine. I have bookshelves full of books with great covers that I haven’t read and im the sucker that buys the overpriced shampoo and conditioner at the supermarket, just because I like the packaging.
Its for this reason that I have always been aware of wine labels and the affect they have on me. I love them. With wine being my profession however, I always try to be as unbiased on this front as possible and just look at the wine in the glass when assessing its quality. But lets face it – we’re human – and labels and their design play a major role in the decisions we make when buying a wine. There’s nothing more I love than having a wine with a cool label arrive on my desk, or browsing the shelves of a great wine store – I could spend hours in a wine store, just as I could a book store, I know many people who feel the same.
Wine labels have cognitive effects beyond simply informing consumers about the bottle’s contents – region, vintage, varietal etc. Evidence suggests that labels can emotionally affect a consumers’ memory of a wine, their purchasing decisions, and even their perceptions of the wine’s quality. Hence, it is my opinion, that in today’s crowded global wine market, a producer would be crazy to believe that their label is irrelevant.
So this got me thinking – what is it about a wine label that appeals to people, the secret recipe that convinces them to spend an extra $5 than they originally intended. Generally I am all about the story behind the label, my job as a sommelier is to tell you more about a wine than the label can, but in #labellust we are going to focus on nothing else. We’ll be interviewing the graphic designers who craft them, the winemakers who go extra mile to stand out on the shelf, sommeliers and you the consumer to see what it is about wine labels that make us lust over them.