Wine Marketing 101 ~ Labels: Telling the Story

In 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 a lead into the magic that was inside.

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 innovation… You can live the excitement, and you’ll also build a brand.

Packaging will either draw you in, or move you on down the aisle 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 exciting days.)
This is a Millennial generation thing…

I just received a new bottle of wine that reminded me of those exciting decision-making days, and this wine’s headed right for the Millennials: Loud River, subtitled “Roaring Red.”

Loud River… I’m already a fan, and I haven’t even unscrewed the cap… (Later I’ll write about this wine’s flavors: 50 percent Petite Verdot, 40 percent Carmenere, 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon… enticing, and listed right on the front of a label… the label’s totally innovative.)

The art on this wine? A roaring river, fish swimming against the current… What it reminded me of? Whitewater rafting. My connection was made, because the art reflects my own exciting adventure. I can see so many connections besides my own… Fishing, kayaking, camping riverside… the list goes on.

More later on the flavors of the wine. That’s not my rambling today, although I love the innovation that this wine blend presents right on the front label. You don’t have to turn the bottle around to learn what’s inside, and it’s totally enticing: Petite Verdot 50%, Carmenere 40%, Cabernet Sauvignon 10%, Colchagua Valley – Chile ~ another product from La Playa.

Here’s how wine marketing works, and it’s a personal story. I call it Wine Marketing 101, because it’s on such a basic level, completely proving my point about how we buy and what we buy… based on emotion.

Before living in California, I lived and worked for radio station WBLM-FM, in Portland, Maine. I was as far away from viticulture as 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. Rest my case!

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