The International Review of Wine Packaging and Aesthetics, Vol. 11

Posted by Rob Walker on January 22, 2007
Posted Under: Reviews,Wine Packaging

House Wine
Blends; Columbia Valley
$10 to $14 (Savannah)

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

Dr. Vino says: ” Think of this wine as punk rock in a bottle with its loud label and fruit at high volume. Charles Smith, who used to manage a punk band in Demark, now owns K Vintners as well as the Magnificent Wine Co. in Walla Walla Washington.”

Hmmm. With House Wine, we have a case of R. and E not quite seeing eye to eye.

R. does not care for this design at all. Ever the cynic, he sees it as a kind of double-reverse fakeout: A visual attempt at unpretentiousness that’s so ham-handed as to be not only wildly pretentious, but the worst kind of smug pandering. The only way this works is if the stuff truly is an amazing bargain. Which it isn’t.

E, while put off by the punk references (which also pop up on the little display cards at some shops that sell this widely distributed wine), concedes that it’s “a bit calculated,” but also sees something “kind of refereshing ” about it. On the punk thing, E makes the interesting point that really the design doesn’t say “punk” at all, so much as it says “child.” As in: Tell a child to draw a design for “house wine,” and you might get something like this, a kinda cute pun. In any case, E maintains that the design itself is solid: “Bold, legible, nothing superflous.”

Grudgingly, R. concedes that the label does “pop” (as you design pros like to say) on typical wine-aisle shelves, making it easy to spot. Which is presumably a big, and very challenging, part of the label-designer’s job. But every time R. edges closer to going along with E on all of this, the vintner’s name — The Magnificent Wine Company — intervenes.

Regarding the actual wine: E enjoys the white, but all in all nothing special. Definitely not worth more than $10, so shop around if you see it priced higher (a lesson we learned too late…)

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

Reader Comments

i thought that it was going for an indie-band flyer look . . . in other words, it looks like it was hand drawn by a 17 year old. i had the red at a party – ok, but probably because i’d already had a few drinks of something better. in other wine label news, check out tarantas – a spanish crianza i bought at whole foods in chicago for $10. very well pulled together design, painted glass & nice cork design.

Written By elena on January 30th, 2007 @ 8:12 pm
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