Does a pretty picture hide an ugly nature?
I have generally always assumed that if a wine’s label was extra cool and pretty, it was likely trying to make up for being really shitty. This has been borne out several times when trying a new inexpensive wine.
Take, for instance, Anti Red “Denial” Red Blend and the Path Chardonnay (pictured below and reviewed previously). Their labels are very well done. Anti-Red is trying oh, so hard to be anti-establishment and the Path is trying for simple elegance. Their labels succeeded, the liquid inside? Not so much.
Then you’ve got Once Upon a Vine Red Blend which was decent and Root 1: Cabernet Sauvignon and Lo Tengo Malbec (unpictured) that are very good. Lo Tengo has a flipping hologram for crying out loud! It was the poster child for “get ready for the suck!” and instead it was really good. Now that we’re talking about it, I need to find that and review it again soon.
Usually the more costly wines tend to be understated in their designs. Rombauer and Thorne Clarke (unpictured) don’t make your eyes bleed from razzle dazzle but their wines are great. Then you’ve got Ideology’s “Blondie” Chardonnay with it’s cool lion picture colored directly on the glass and it’s an amazing Chard as well. That doesn’t help us judge a book by its cover consistently.
Where does all of that leave us? I think we can generalize that there are more inexpensive wines trying harder to win you over with graphic design. That may be about all we can say on this subject with any confidence though.
When it comes down to it I will still be a bit leery of some foil-embossed, painted, colorful, odd labeled wines that are under $10.