Your Complete Guide to Wine Bottle Labels

Wine-Industry Experts Reveal 3 Essentials for Wine Label Success

While taste, aroma and balance may bring them back, consumers first must be convinced to try a wine in the first place – and that’s where brand and labels matter far more than most novice vintners might care to admit.

Consider these statistics:
  • Brand is second only to price when it comes to how American consumers select wine, according to the American Wine Consumer Preference Survey. Brand outranks vintage, country, varietal, and even medals (which has surprisingly little influence on wine purchasing.) So, conceivably, you could have a classic or superb vintage that has won medal after medal, but it will be overlooked for a lesser wine if your label doesn’t resonate.
  • Two out of three consumers have purchased wines because of their labels, according to a recent Gallo Wine Trends Survey


That’s why we wanted to give insight you’ll find nowhere else that will get your vintage snapped up and uncorked. We turned to the experts to help:

We hope their advice helps you get the marketplace buzzing and the revenues pouring in.

  • Keep Labels Simple


“Labels need to be eye-catching and not too busy,” says Debbie. “Make your wine bottle label clear because if it’s too busy and they’re not sure what they’re getting, people will overlook it.”

She also advises making them helpful. For instance, for her own wine label, Debbie added a sweetness scale.

“At our tastings we noticed people saying, ‘I’m looking for a sweet wine,’ or ‘I don’t like a sweet wine,’” she explains. “So we actually put a sweetness scale on the bottle so people would know what they’re getting.”

Ilona notes that crowded labels are harder to discern, and that clean lines makes the brand message instantly recognizable.

James concurs.

“Simplicity on the front label speaks volumes,” he notes. However, he advises if you want more information, put it on the back label. “I think a bit more information on back label soothes the need for knowledge about the wine.”

While simplicity is obviously essential, make sure your label speaks to your target market, notes Jennifer.

“My friends and I call ourselves casual wine enthusiasts because we don’t know a whole lot about the wine we drink,” she admits. Typically, she and her friends choose the wine bottle label that catches their attention.

“A lot of times I find myself remembering a wine’s label more than the taste of the wine itself,” she says. “So I believe the label design you choose for your wine is extremely important. I look for bright, vivid labels. I am, however, only a casual wine enthusiast, I can see where oenophiles would be looking for more of a cream-colored label, with cursive script. All in all, the most important element for creating an impressive wine bottle label design is your customer. Are you marketing your wine to a true wine enthusiast, or a casual one?”

  • Cultivate Your Brand as Much as Your Grapes

“Branding is paramount,” declares Ilona. “First impressions are irreplaceable; a clear message has a far greater chance of sticking with an audience.”

Debbie wholeheartedly agrees. “You want people to recognize your brand on sight and in words instantly.”

Find out how Debbie made that happen for her own wine label before the first bottle was even corked.

But branding is more than just an image or logo, notes James. “It stands not just for the bottle in hand but the promise of what is to come,” he points out. “It is vital to hallmark dependability and winemaking style; it’s the lifeblood of competition and the point of difference in opportunity.”

That’s why your brand should be your story, says Jennifer.

“What do you want your customer to feel when looking at your product? Excited, curious, passionate? These could all be feelings people are looking for while choosing their bottle of wine. If you’re not telling a good story, nobody will listen,” she says.

  • Be Authentic to Your Marketplace


This begins with knowing your product, says Ilona. “Take the time to conceptualize, process and assimilate your brand mission and its core values,” she explains. “If you embody the brand in an authentic manner, it will translate to the consumer.”This will naturally help you attract your target market, which is precisely what happened with Debbie’s wine label, Happy Bitch Wines. It features the tagline “pairs well with girlfriends and great memories.” Customers can relate to the story behind Happy Bitch Wines because it’s based on a book of the same name, which documents a challenging time that too many women can relate to. The wine’s co-founder and book author, Keryl Pesce, walked in on her husband telling another woman he loved her. The book is about how she lifted herself up from the depression this caused and went after what she wanted in life. The target market for Happy Bitch Wine is, of course, women who celebrate life regardless of what it hands them.

“Make sure you know who your target market is and what problem you will be solving for them,” says Debbie. “Get on the social media channels that your market uses. Begin to build relationships with your fans.”

Once that’s figured out, “go for broke” advises James.

“Consider attention to detail to be a foundation for your brand, not just something to start with,” he says. “Spend time in design of logo, label, website and balance that out with
unparalleled customer experience.”

Have you designed a wine label that embodies the advice outlined in this article? We’d love to see it. Share it with us on Twitter at @MeyersDirect. We love wine at Meyers Direct and we’re proud to be the label source for vintners around the nation and the world. Find out what we have to offer.