September 27, 2023

Episode #681 WineLabels and Packaging… the Good, the Great, and Plenty to Hate!

Wine labels frustrate us! David Wilson, the host of Grape Encounters Radio, welcomes a longtime friend of the program, Wes Hagen. Wes is the Brand Ambassador and California Market Manager of the Miller Family of Wines. (Correction: Wes just announced that he is leaving the Miller Family of wines to pursue a new career direction). Today’s topic: wine labels and packaging… the good, the great, and the bad or inappropriate. The show is inspired by the results of a highly-respected wine label and packaging contest hosted by Wine Business Monthly. Some of the entries were so unconventional that David and Wes had to discuss them off the air! One wine that caught David and Wes’ attention was a Snoop Dogg Rosé! Seriously?

It’s safe to say that wine labels and packaging have come a long way since the days of just slapping a name on the bottle and calling it good. But good is relative since many labels today do a questionable job of telling us what is in the bottle. That’s partially because the US government regulates wine labels, and there are rules that wine producers must follow; however, wine descriptions are only loosely held. And with graphic designers who may know very little about the wine inside doing the creative work, David argues there’s a significant disconnect, and he’s not shy about saying so!

Wes thinks David is a little too tough on some wine producers, explaining how hard it is to find ways to stand out on store shelves and how that can sometimes lead to strange results. All in all, it’s a fun show with two friends who love talking wine!

What are your thoughts on wine labels and packaging? Do you think they’re essential or don’t matter if the wine tastes good? The next time you’re at the wine store, take a closer look at the labels and see if you can spot any that make you do a double-take. And if you find one, be sure to let David and Wes know about it! Until then, happy sipping!

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