The times they are a'changing. "When wine was simply an accompaniment for food," writes Marianne McGarry Wolf in an article on Quartz, "labels could be dull and descriptive. But now their enhanced logos, images, and romantic stories reflect ... new uses." Long story short, people want their wine to not only taste good, but to also look good.
You shouldn't have wondered which people want this, but we'll let you hazard a guess. That's right; it's the millennials again. It seems that taste is no longer of the utmost importance when it comes to young wine drinkers. Those dull, descriptive labels of the past have suddenly become insufficient.
According to Wolf, 71 percent of American wine buyers are swayed by what's on the label. So, what are millennial-aged drinkers looking for on a bottle of, say, Merlot?
A research group conducted by Wolf asked men and women about their wine label preferences. "Women preferred more creative, eye-catching, colorful, and ornate wine labels than men did," says Wolf.
"Similarly, women rated plain, less colorful logos lower in attractiveness than men did. Wineries have used this kind of data to create wines targeted specifically to female drinkers. Some of those include Middle Sister, Cupcake, Girls' Night Out, and Mommy Juice."
The front label may catch a buyer's eye, but the back also matters. Wolf's findings show that including descriptions of flavors and aromas on the back of the bottle is important. They even said that having these sensory details may increase their likelihood of buying a bottle.
"They simply want to know what to expect from the wine," says Wolf. "That's more valuable to consumers than information about the winery, food pairings, history of the winery, or history of the wine."
2016 La Violetta "YÉ-YÉ Blanc" . $30 • Although winemaker Andrew isn't a massive fan of divulging the grape varieties in his blends, I'm going to spell them out for you just to paint the picture..88% Riesling- Mount Barker, 8% Gewürztraminer- Denmark, 4% Viognier- Perth hills • A complex and structured white wine blend that seems to have it all. Linear citrus acidity and layered mouthfeel are all players here. A rich and moorish wine that can be enjoyed casually, or as a match with some fresh seafood or pasta. Easy contender for one of my favourite white wine blends of the year! Try some out, you won't be disappointed
You know which wines you prefer. If you really think about it, why did you choose them?
We'd be willing to bet that the label initially drew you in, and Wolf's studies show that you're not alone.