Thursday, June 10, 2010

What's in a Label?

When it comes to shopping, appearances mean a lot.

To me, specifically.

While reviews from friends or trusted brand names do matter...cute packaging or a darling logo make me a little more inclined to purchase certain items especially HBA's, kitchen accoutrement's and especially (though I am somewhat loathe to admit it) WINE

Now, it is well documented on this site that I love me some wine. Particularly bright citrus-y sauvignon blancs and fruity deep reds. I am also not a trust fund child, unfortunately. So my first concern with wine shopping is staying within my budget....but I have noticed that almost all of my now go-to wines, I first tried because of the label. Am I ashamed to admit this? Maybe I should be but I am not because I love all of these wines. They are not only pleasing to the eye but to the palette as well (and the wallet!). I did not put vintages here, because to be honest I don't find that it makes a huge difference except maybe with the Pinot Noir.

Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc ($12)

Have been drinking this for a couple of years now. What originally drew me in was the cute label - the cheery little Pomelos clustered on a counter. I wish I had that painting blown up and in a frame for my kitchen! But instead I just feature this wine regularly in my wine shopping list because in addition to the cute label it is deliciously grapefruity and refreshing and quite a bargain.

Seaglass Sauvignon Blanc ($10)
Another perennial favorite discovered because I thought the label was cute. I always wished I was one of those people who collected sea glass and either made it into something cute like a tray or just kept it in a jar for decoration. But alas if one cannot collect sea glass one can at least drink it! Citrusy and summery - I have brought this to a few parties and it is always a hit!

Big House Pink ($11)

Pink wine has gotten a bad rap in this country because of the sickeningly sweet White Zinfandel. What's a gal who loves a dry rose to do? She should give this berry explosion of a wine a try! I love all of the Big House labels (named after the Soledad State Prison down the street from the Winery) as well as their wine of course but the Pink is definitely my favorite. Hints of tropical fruit and strong taste of strawberries but in a crisp and refreshing never cloying way.

2005 Papillon Pinot Noir ($25)
This one is a little more of a splurge BUT perfect for a nice dinner party or as a gift to a friend. First of all - the label kills me. I actually bought this to have with my family on my mom's birthday because she had a Papillon growing up. Then it turned out to be a totally delicious wine! Robust with hints of chocolate and cherry. The boldness of the line totally contradicts the insanely adorable dog on the label.

La Vieille Ferme Cotes du Ventoux ($8)
I went through this whole rooster phase in regards to my kitchen decor from about 2003 to circa now (I have recently moved onto lemons....I know I have issues). In any case that is the only reason I first bought this wine, I had big plans to remove the label and do something decorative with it. Little did I know this little french red would become one of my favorite go-to everyday wines. Its fruity and spicy and a little peppery with just enough tannins to make you sit up and notice. It's also best served a little chilled (LOVE fruity red chilled wines). And you really cant beat the price.

Red Bicyclette Syrah ($9)
I never really drank syrah/shiraz before taking the "Que Syrah,Shiraz" class at the Boston Wine School. Since then I have kept an eye out for it as I have found that a great Syrah is less expensive than a great Cabernet. It's a nifty little grape. Of course the label first drew me in (look at that little man! and that bicyclette!) but this is a smooth, slightly sweet and smokey wine that is perfect for every day drinking (and actually perfect with a super sharp cheddar).

So that's my collection of Wines With Pretty Labels That Are Also Delicious and Relatively Inexpensive. Are any of these faves of yours? Or what labels/wines have I missed?


Erin said...

The top two wines your posted about are also some of my frequently purchased bottles. The artwork was also my original draw but they're so scrumptious I kept them around.

hope505 said...

Thanks, Sarah! I know jack-sh!t about wine, and I haven't drunk enough wine in my life to discover these things on my own....I can't drink beer anymore (my former go-to alcohol) because due to the crazy medicine I'm taking, I can no loger taste CARBONATION. I know, wierd, right?
How's about that wine, girlfriend! *haha!*
I'm gonna try that Pomelo this weekend!!

Jen said...

I am a total wine buyer based on labels. Lately, I stop at Gypsy on Fridays, on my way home from the T, and I am getting to know the wines a bit better.

Anonymous said...

i've never tried it, but i saw a bottle today called Sky Dog with the cutest label

frequent wine drinker said...

Sea Glass is a tasty delight. Not a fan of anything Big House puts out. Bought it b/c thought the label was cute, but hated the wines I've tried. My current favorite cheapo red wine is Rex Goliath merlot, (only on the day it's opened). Will give that rooster one a shot based on your recommendation. Like your post!

ryssee said...

I know this is a wine post but while we're on the topic of awesome packaging, let's talk about how gorgeous the look and feel of Fresh Sugar lip treatment is. :)

Kimba said...

I found seaglass a year or two ago, and got it because of the name/picture and because I was on the Cape at the time!

Lori said...

Conundrum (no explanation needed) or Evolution Lucky #9 because the label has a shamrock that mirrors my tatoo. Both are winners. I had a miss latey with O'Reilly's Pinot Noir that sports a dog on the label (also my dogs name) This was not a good selection.

BHWS / BHWG said...

So, Seaglass is definitely an appealing label - and it's a solid inexepensive wine; I loved the Papillion Pinot label, which I've never seen before! Must have a rep sample me out on it - I'd love to try it. Definitely loved the label on the French wine because I too love Roosters. Rex Goliath is definitely a fun label for the Chard. I like the label on Fetish's "The Watcher" Shiraz. I'm curious to try some of your faves because sometimes for me as a retailer, if the label is too cutesy, I hesitate. I mean, I sample everything first, but I will tend to have a preconcieved notion about the product based on the label,so I'm looking foward to trying what you've shared!