Wine-label humor: Dangerous?

Posted by Rob Walker on January 9, 2007
Posted Under: The Designed Life,Wine Packaging

This Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article on packaging (via Agenda) includes, toward the end, a little bit about my hobbyhorse topic: wine-label design.

In the past decade or so, winemakers have livened up liquor store shelves with colorful designs and oddly shaped labels. If those things don’t catch the eye, the words on some of the graceful bottles may. There’s Bonny Doon Vineyard’s Cigare Volant (“flying cigar”) and the distinctive Screw Kappa Napa.

There are exceptions, but labels with attitudes tend to be found on lower-priced wines.

“Humor is a dangerous thing to do,” offered Michaela Rodeno, chief executive officer of St. Supery Vineyards and Winery, a Rutherford, Calif., winemaker that commissions edgy illustrators annually to develop new artwork for its meritage wines.

How about a serious wine called Beauzeaux (pronounced yes, Bozo)? “We wanted to show that wine doesn’t have to be stuffy but can be fun,” said Claudia Schubert, senior director of brand marketing for Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines in Napa, Calif.

Even the French may be loosening up a bit as they seek to improve sales. An American who still eats freedom fries might be willing to try a bottle of Arrogant Frog, perhaps the Ribet Red, from the Languedoc region.

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

Reader Comments

Cigare volant is the french expression for “flying saucer,” isn’t it?

Written By Aaron on January 9th, 2007 @ 5:52 pm
Next Post: