Wine’s Label-Conscious World Doesn’t Always Connect The Palette andThe Palate


Wine production
– it’s a long-romanticized labor of
love and a practice
in persistence, but
ultimately it’s a
business with a bottom line. That’s why
 every label, no matter the quality of wine
within, announces a sensual experience full of explosive
flavors. After all, who’s going to buy a big bottle of admittedly sub-par wine advertising weak flavors and a deficient bouquet?

Producers fold in some heavy-handed design techniques to appeal to buyers’ eyes, resulting in the purchase of an uninviting vintage before they even have a chance to ask an expert if it’s worth buying. Dramatic color palettes might indicate a dramatic flavor, and a gold-leaf foil stamp might signal an almost-regal endorsement, but unfortunately, what’s on the outside of the bottle too- often doesn’t really speak to what’s happening inside.

A group of L Style G Style staffers (with some input from Ross Outon, winner of the PBS reality show “The Winemakers”) came to a quick consensus of a few wine labels that we love to admire while downing the product within, a couple of wine labels that give us pause, and one in a category all by itself.

Labels that don’t lie.

Charles Smith Wines

Winner of the Food & Wine 2009 American Wine Awards’ Winemaker of the year, Charles Smith’s wines like Kung Fu Girl Riesling and Boom Boom! Syrah have drinkers coming back for the bottles’ almost-collectable appeal as well as a pretty accessible product. Check out some of the compelling label designs at

Bitch Grenache

There’s no shame in being a bitch, as long as you can back it up. Bitch Grenache’s label helps you practice truth-in-advertising while enjoying a solid red.

Molly Dooker Wines

A range of super-cute and friendly Australian wines deserve a line of super-cute and friendly bottles. Because we’re big art supporters, we’ve been known to investigate a bottle or four. Take a gander at www.mollydooker-

Labels that might be promising too much.

Big House Wines

We used to love you. What happened? Now you’re just so much eye candy. The illustration on the Big House red label said, “I’m a smart little bottle of wine,” but it feels like this wine doesn’t really make the grade anymore.

Marilyn Merlot

Oh, you sexy thing, with your tousled blonde hair and that oh-so-familiar sexy face, too bad you seem too be all gimmick. you look so alluring, spread across that label. We worked you open and took a taste, and we kind of wish we hadn’t.

Dishonorable Mention

Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay

While the Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay label isn’t the most creative wine label by any means, it’s lush, imperious, and ubiquitous crest seems to promise a decent wine. Know what else is ubiquitous? Mom jeans.