The International Review of Wine Packaging and Aesthetics, Vol. 7

Posted by Rob Walker on December 15, 2006
Posted Under: Reviews,The Designed Life,Wine Packaging

Pinot Noir. 2003. ($11 in Jersey City)

[Note: Speaking of JC, and of wine, there’s going to be a small avalanche of installments of the IRoWPaA over the next two weeks. I’m extremely busy trying to finish another project, and I have a lot of “inventory” of pictures and notes of wines we bought and consumed before we moved. So I’m going to be clearing that inventory out, and otherwise sort of neglecting this site through the end of the month. Just so you know.]

[Note: This is the seventh installment in a regular Murketing feature. For previous installments and an explanation, go here.]

When R. spotted this on a liquor-store shelf, he pretty much had to buy it. Yes, because of the label, but no, not because he thought there was anything inherently interesting in its design. R. bought it, of course, because of the blatant attempt to tie the wine to the movie Sideways. A film, by the way, that both E and R. hated.

For reasons that escape us, a lot of people liked Sideways, a movie about an unpleasant sad sack whose only supposedly redeeming feature was being an insufferable wine snob. It’s been widely noted that this character’s rant against merlot actually hurt merlot sales in the real world. The only thing dumber than being embarrassed to buy merlot because a fictious character sneered at the stuff would be buying a wine called Sidewise. “The very idea of trying to attract people who would be attracted to that movie,” as E put it, “is repellent.”
The actual label design is, of course, perfunctory to the point of hilarity: A script font paired with a simple font – and the word Sidewise rendered sideways! “How clever,” E says, dryly. Bottom line: ugly. And purchased only because R. found it revolting, figured that E would too, and simply had to share.

R. also adds that while he was amused that they went with a cap rather than a cork, he would have been impressed if whoever put this tiny sham together had had the guts to make it a merlot.

Regarding the actual wine: Stink-o. Big surprise.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

Uh, Rob, you do realize the label says “Sidewise” not “Sideways”, right? Or are you being subtly ironic and I’m totally missing it.

“Sideways” (the movie) was great, precisely because Giamatti’s character was such as sad sack. I wish I could so fully revel in self-loathing.

Written By mike d on December 15th, 2006 @ 4:12 pm

Not being ironic i’m afraid. Just sloppy.
I got to be more careful if people are actually going to read these things, I spose..
Anyway, fixing now thanks.

Written By murketing on December 15th, 2006 @ 4:20 pm

I actually ordered a bottle of the 2 Tattoos at a restaurant in Boston about a month ago. The reason why I chose it made for a good conversation starter. You should consider this a public service.

Written By mike d on December 15th, 2006 @ 4:27 pm

Miles (I think that was his name) would never drink wine with a screw cap, would he? So this would _really_ be for poseurs.

I didn’t care much for the movie either, for the reasons you mention. I did note my shift in just really hating the wine snob to finding him comparatively cute and adorable once you got to know his philandering soon-to-be-married friend. What a repulsive duo in so manyy ways. What really irks me is that it makes me feel silly buying Pinot Noir in a wine store anymore, like I made my habits based on the movie. (Too self conscious probably.) And I do like some cheap Merlots, which I will buy unabashedly. So there!

Written By chip on December 15th, 2006 @ 6:38 pm

Very funny. Wasn’t there a spike in Pinot Noir sales after the film? Not that I went for it. I did however wear a band-aid across my nose for a week or two.

Written By Marc on December 16th, 2006 @ 10:40 am
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