Labels most important when choosing wine

06th July 2010 - Fine Cut

Labels are what really count when it comes to choosing a bottle of wine, new research discussed in The Drum has shown.

An investigation by the American Association of Wine Economists, discovered that wine novices were able to determine the value of the bottle without tasting a drop. By simply studying the quality of the drawings and the words used on the bottle's label, they were able to accurately guess the approximate cost of the bottle.

Coco Krumme, who conducted the study asked hundreds of participants to estimate the price range of 300 bottles of wine. Results indicated that seventy-two per cent of the answers given were correct, suggesting that vintners should focus their time on designing the bottle's label, rather than pressing grapes.

Ms Krumme also analysed the language used in wine reviews and found that when critics used terms such as 'supple', 'velvety' and 'smoky' they usually were discussing expensive wines and used terms such as 'light', 'fresh' and 'pleasing,' when discussing cheaper bottles.

The non connoisseurs developed an effective method of judgement whilst partaking in the study, realising that an animal on the label indicated the wine was a cheaper product whilst images of abstract art or landscape meant the wine was more likely to come from a prestigious vineyard.

Despite previous studies proving that most people had an inability to differentiate between cheap and expensive ranges of wine based on taste alone, the design of the label was found to be a determining factor in drinkers enjoyment, with many participants turning their noses up at the brands they perceived to be cheaper.

Ms Krumme was cited in The Australian as saying: "This means that if you're having a dinner party, you should get a wine with a label that looks expensive, your guests will enjoy it more."

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