I saw this bottle. I had no intention of buying any wine, I was just out to get some fruits and veggies, and a rotisserie chicken for my cat Buddy (in lieu of canned cat food). I was in Oliver’s Grocery Store in Windsor, California. As I turned from the rotisserie display, there it was… Right there, ready for an impulse buy.

I couldn’t wait to photograph it, it was so dazzling. There were so many reasons I wanted this bottle of wine:

  • The bottle’s artwork would make a great vase for delivering a long stem red rose to someone, from our bushes.
    • It would also be a great vase for white roses, found everywhere in our gardens.
  • This brut was made with organic grapes.
  • The price didn’t even matter, although it was a great price.

Notice, nowhere above do I mention that I even wanted a wine.

So why?

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. (Some pretty exciting days and some not so exciting.)

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.” 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.

Palama Rosé Brut

A blend of 95 percent Italian Glera white wine grapes and five percent of Raboso red wine grapes, the flavors of this sparkling wine didn’t disappoint. Chamat Method, the brioche flavors were present, lots of tiny bubbles danced in my glass and on my palate, and the finish was very refreshing. Produced by La Cantina Pizzoloto, this was really a delightful surprise… The flavors of excitement were the same as the bottle’s excitement that I had… One of those, Oh My Gawd shopping moments.

Here’s how wine marketing works, and it’s a personal story. I call it Wine Marketing 101, when you’re not going out with a precise shopping list or you’re not going to purchase a “library” wine, because buying wine is on such a basic level, completely proving my point about how we buy and what we buy… based on emotion.

This wine was NOT a sample.