The Art of Wine Labels

When it comes to choosing a bottle of wine, do you make your purchase based on the brand or the taste?  Would you prefer a majestic bottle of Riesling with a Giraffe on the front, or an illustrious bottle of Gewurztraminer from a renowned German winery?

With the vast majority of adult wine enthusiasts being far from expert ‘winos’, a major purchasing decision trickles down to the brand and label.

The design of a wine label is more of an art form than you would think and is essentially a psychological battle over the attention of a consumer. Jonathan Becher from SAP explains in his article “The Psychology of Wine Labels” how wine labels are often designed to look at least $10 more than what they are really worth to increase the consumers perceived value of the wine and brand.


“A carefully crafted label can make us think the bottle is way more expensive than it is, and it can boost our enjoyment of the wine itself.”

– David Schuemann of CF Napa Brand Design



Becher explains how research has proven that the human brain’s pleasure senses are stimulated more when a person thinks they are drinking $90 wine vs. $5 wine, even if the two wines were to be the exact same. So the perceived value of wine is almost as important, if not more important, than its actual value when it comes to selling to a consumer.

So the next time you buy a bottle of wine, test your friends (of legal drinking age) and ask them to guess the cost of the bottle based on the label. Or just buy the wine with a fun inanimate object on the front of it, because, why pass up a pirate ship wine?



Want to learn more about wine labels? Read Jonathan Bechers article “Psychology of Wine Labels” here .