ave you been to a large wine retail store lately? I happen to visit fairly often as a part of my sales role with Talley Vineyards. Just the visual stimulation is worth the venture into the vast arena of what awaits you as you peruse the aisles of Whole Foods, Specs in Texas, Kroger's, Costco, Safeway, and countless others. In some respect, you might call it sensory overload, but if you are a wine consumer looking for something new and different this could be your entre into limitless adventure.
Have you looked closely at wine labels lately? There was a time not long ago that most marketing experts would encourage wineries to design labels that appeal to women. I know this may sound sexist, but it's been proven time after time that women shoppers buy more wine in these retail outlets than men, so labels with eye pleasing design and color became the norm. Sometimes something cute would grace the label, like kangaroos or monkeys. Even horses and dogs have had their images reproduced on wine labels. Of course, floral reproductions have been vastly popular.
So what has changed that encourages label designers to depict more serious and somber images? I have seen eerie and even morbid graphics on the labels of some newer products on the shelves. This includes a reproduction of famous artwork that depicts a handcuffed criminal tethered to a post, head hanging down and eyes hidden by a blindfold. I recently saw a Spanish wine label with no printing at all, but a vivid image of an elderly man. Have you seen the wine label that features a very scantily clad woman wielding a huge machete? It definitely encourages a second look.
I wonder what those wines taste like and if I grabbed one off the shelf would I end up feeling like the image on the label? Do criminals drink this stuff? Will paranoia set in if I try the one with the big spooky eyes? You see, wine labels do have some marketing impact.
I have to admit when I'm looking to purchase a wine I have always been drawn to the classic designs. Just tell me who produced the wine; if it's a domestic variety, I like to know the grape it was made from and the region of origin. A little vintage information is helpful and yes, I also look at the alcohol level. I know that it seems basic, but from these bits of info I can form a general idea and give myself reasonable assurance that I might enjoy what's inside. You could say I'm old fashioned, old school, or just plain old, but to me the classics are still my favorites and that goes for label design as well. So when people ask me ,"Hey have you guys at Talley changed your label recently?", I answer, "No, not in about twenty years." Classic tasting wines with classically designed labels: Talley Vineyards, celebrating 30 years of winemaking!