How to choose the right wine

The way I choose my wine is by the label. I can feel the eyes of the liquor stores’ employees on me as I wonder out loud which label is “prettiest”. I know they’re thinking I’m too young to be drinking and certainly too young to be enjoying wine if the only thing I take into consideration is whether or not the label amuses me. Sometimes I want to turn around and inform everyone that I’m a graphic designer and that I have certain appreciations for packaging that other’s do not have. In my opinion, if a company doesn’t have enough money or pride to enlist in the help of a designer then the wine definitely isn’t going to be worth buying and drinking.

And it’s not only the “pretty pictures” on the labels that I judge by, I’m judging the whole package. The bottle, the name, the way the label looks and feels are all important factors in choosing my wine. The following wines are all wines I found on or wines I have personally bought. And just in case you were wondering, I’ve never bought a wine by the label that I haven’t enjoyed!

Newspaper WineNewspaper wine

ribbon wrapper

The wine below intrigued me because who would buy a wine with garbage cans on the label? I read the creative brief on and found out that in Australia it’s common to refer to batches of wine by the bin number they were made in. In England, bins are garbage cans so an English design firm decided to take advantage of this fact and find bins around England with the house number painted on them to identify their wine. Very clever, very dandy.

Bin wine

This wine wouldn’t stand out to me in the store, and I probably wouldn’t buy it however the “brown” bag that the bottle is protected by mirrors the design on the actual bottle. And it is this bag that earns this particular wine a spot on my dandy blog.

intricate paper bag

This wine just reminded me of Dr. Seus with it’s whymsical characters and the topsy turvey way in which they are arranged on the bottle. Being especially interested in identity work, I’m not sure how happy I would be if it were my logo being covered up by these doodles.

Dr. Sues Wine

This next bottle is tequila, but this is how I would choose tequila. By the bottle! It’s not the label, although the label choice is perfect, small, out of the way and completely bland. You don’t need to over do the design of the label when each bottle is hand blown glass.

hand blown glass bottle

The next wines are some of the ones I have personally bought because of the label.

The name is what drew me to this wine but Joe Blow stands out because it really does look like your next door neighbour who makes wine in his garage took his sharpie out and wrote out this label. Perfect for the look and feel they were going for. I encourage you to go to the website to read the story that goes with the label.

Joe Blow

This next wine label isn’t especially interesting, but the name is dandy because of the picture that accompanies it. In this case, it’s marketing over design, but it’s still dandy!

Tall Horse

And last but not least, the name and sort of careless nature of this wine is what grabbed me. Feel free to drink this wine and then scribble on your own walls!


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