Always Judge a Wine by Its Label – The Importance of Package Design

The saying is, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but when it comes to wine, the exact opposite is true. People tend to purchase wine based on its label, so design it carefully!


Why the Label Counts

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The label on a wine bottle is of extreme importance because it’s memorable, eye-catching, and customers identify with it.


    • Memorable:  It’s much easier and more natural for someone to remember the design of a label than the taste of a wine. It’s for this reason that you should customize  your label in a way so it will be easily etched into your customer’s memory. A wine tasting was held at the Edinburgh Science Festival in Scotland not long ago which proved the strong impact of labels. People blindly sampled several different wines and they could not differentiate the wines based on their tastes alone. This proves that it’s the label that gives the wine its desirability. It’s even shown that many wine drinkers wouldn’t be able to recognize a re-bottled wine, even though it’s the same wine with a different design. A label forms a certain identity for its brand so when a consumer finds a memorable label, he or she connects with it, therefore connecting with the brand, wanting to contribute to the brand by purchasing its products. So basically, a well designed label leads to more profit. 


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    • Eye-catching: The most important part of your wine label is that it’s eye-catching. The wine business is very competitive, so you need to make sure your wine stands out amongst the rest. This is especially relevant nowadays, because Millennial drinkers (people aged 21-30) solely base their wine purchases on the label. Companies have to cater to the current generation; even though people should base their purchases on the quality and taste of the wine, they don’t. Some non-Millennials also focus on the label rather than the wine itself. If consumers think the wine label is cool or unique, they will buy it; if consumers dislike the design of the label for any reason, they simply won’t buy it.


    • Identifiable: People truly identify with a label; in other words, they judge a wine by its label. Brian Wansink, a professor of marketing at Cornell University conducted an experiment to show that people respond to and identify with labels. Brian set up a restaurant setting and labeled half of the wine served as coming from California, and the other half as coming from North Dakota. In reality, all the wine was the same and it was cheap wine at that, only $2 a bottle. The end result of the experiment was that the people who drank the “California” wine stayed at their table longer, ate more, and rated the wine and food higher than the people who drank the “North Dakota” wine. Both parties were drinking the same, low quality wine but their mindsets were completely changed because of the label.

A good way to make your label identifiable is to put an image on it; images of animals are actually quite popular these days. Many women claim to purchase wine with the cute animals on the labels because they feel like it makes the wine for warm and cuddly.


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All of this shows how the label and typography are of extreme importance when producing and selling wine. If you create a memorable, eye-catching, and identifiable label, you can make your wine more desirable than a more expensive wine with a boring label.



If you want to learn more about the importance of wine labels, you can check out the resources used to help build this article:,Charcuterie,%20Beer%20and%20Wine/1_Nielsen-_Oregon_Wine_Symposium_Wine.pdf