It’s not just our tongues that affect our impressions of wine. You and I know this, of course, since we talk about the smell and look of a wine every time we taste something new. But what about the label? How does that affect our impression of the wine?
Labels influence the drinker, and are not to be underestimated. The label can mean many different things, but when it really comes down to it the label is a reflection on how the company wants you to view the wine. It’s all marketing, and the aim is to match the wine to the drinker its intended for. So How Do They Influence You, REALLY? Old world (eg. France, Italy, Spain) wine labels tend to have pictures of vineyards and castles on them, and the language (when it’s in English) highlights history and tradition. These bottles are signalling that they are to be taken seriously.
“Look at my maturity and hidden depths! Sip me while reading Foucault and pondering the virtues of humanity.” – Old world label
New world wine labels (eg. California, Australia, Canada) tend to have more modern labels, with quirky images and names and vibrant colours. These bottles are signalling that they are friendly and accessible.
“Hey, girl, hey. I’m like that person you’re eyeing from across the room, all mysterious and cool. Have a glass of me at the cottage after a day of wakeboarding.” – New world label
I did disagree with this video’s opinion of sommeliers – bus boys with dubious credentials who happen to know a lot about wine? Ouch! This video doesn’t give somms enough credit – those people really do have a fair bit of training and tasting. However, this was still an enjoyable video. I recommend a watch if you’re into wine or psychology – or both, like me!