Wine labels, including the back label, are portals to a winery.
In the the late 60s, my friend Leon Pinkham said to me, “Album covers have the greatest art on them.” I hadn’t thought much about it before he said that to me. I had just taken it all for granted, but once Leon pointed that out, it was clearer than clear. Along with that musical generation came a platform for visual artists, too. They created, and if it was exceptional it became the lead into the magic, which was inside the cover.
Today, the same holds true for a bottle of wine. And, if you’re just beginning to enjoy wine, you’re the most susceptible, because you’re not bogged down by what you know. You’re open to the innovation that a wine label can and does bring to the bottle of wine… You can live the excitement, and you’ll also be building the brand. Packaging will either draw you in, or move you on down the isle to find exactly what you’re looking for. Before I understood (better than I do today) what was in the bottle, I was drawn to the label like a moth to a flame, bought the wine, and only then discovered what was inside. (Pretty interesting days.)
Before living in California, I lived in Maine and worked for WBLM radio station, in Portland, Maine. I was as far away from viticulture as is possible, but I loved my weekend food and wine adventures with my husband. We had a favorite wine shop that I’d go to each Friday. I’d buy a bottle of wine, bring it home, and we’d enjoy it over the weekend.
Finally, after months of doing this, Jose said to me, “Alright! I’m going to buy the wine this Friday, because every time you buy a bottle of wine, it has some flower or plant on it, like a Field Stone Sangiovese.” I couldn’t argue. He was right. So, off he went to Audie’s Wine Shop, and he bought a bottle of Clos du Val Cabernet. You know, that’s the label with the three graces on it… a.k.a. three naked ladies.
Versatility is how my friend Sue Straight, also known as The Wine Wench, is best known. She’s a wine writer, as well as a Direct-to-Consumer consultant, and has now branched out a bit more with her professional services as Back Label Girl. With Sue’s years of experience with writing about wine, she’s decided that she’s a perfect independent contractor to help brands write back label copy.
According to Sue:
Back Label Girl™ was created at my breakfast table. You know how most people read cereal boxes while they are eating breakfast? I read wine bottles, because my table is usually covered with them – I’m a professional wine writer and wine judge. While munching on my granola one morning and reading back labels, I realized that there are a lot of crappy back labels out there – miss-spellings, grammatical errors and boring information abound. You wouldn’t believe some of the information that wineries put on their back labels, and some wineries don’t put any information on their back labels at all! I asked myself, “Why would consumers want to buy these wines?” So, the light bulb went off above my head and Back Label Girl™ was born.
Sue has 30 years of working in the wine industry, coupled with being a professional wine judge and professional wine writer, she’s created Back Label Girl™ to be a specialized one-stop-shop. Wineries send her barrel samples, and she produces compelling tasting notes, tech sheets, and other marketing materials. The following are some of her offerings:
- Back label text
- Tech sheets
- Web content
- Social media content
- Email and direct mail text