Outrageous Wine Labels – Smart Marketing Or Poor Taste?

There’s been a little bit of media hysteria lately – particularly in the U. S. of A. – regarding the release of a new wine from the Napa Valley in California, called If you See Kay.

Barely enough to raise an eyebrow – until your three year old says it out loud.

The If You See Kay 2010 is an Italian-style red blend (from California) and, as if to defend the label, the tasting notes say;

“We don’t care about status quo, and we know that you don’t care what varietal is on the label, you just want to open the bottle and think ‘this wine kicks ass’. Period. End of story – NO PRISONERS THANK YOU.”

I’m drowning in the testosterone.

But it’s selling well. Really well. And I’m not even surprised. It’s just the latest in a whole ream of poor taste wine labels that target the guffawing, toilet-humour-preferring consumer. Doesn’t even matter whether or not they like – or even usually buy – wine. If it’s got bum jokes, it sells.

Appealing to the basest level of human existence will move product in just about any market. There’s always going to be enough cashed-up 19 year old boys. But is it really doing the wine industry any favours?

Just as we’re sitting around discussing this very issue, the internationally reknowned The Drinks Business this week published their own list of the World’s Rudest Wine Labels.

Here are just two that defy the senses:

Bitch Wine

But do you really have to resort to describing sex acts to sell wine?

Wine labels are undeniably important when it comes to wine sales. Research shows that 62% of wine consumers are greatly influenced by the label when it comes to their wine purchase.

So, great labels sell more wine. But why not be clever, rather than crude – like the creators of this brilliant label of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc?

Or one of our other great favourites, the very tongue-in-cheek offering from Some Young Punks


With so much potential for clever and innovative wine labeling to grab our attention, is there really a place for poor taste wine labels?

I’m off to ask my 19 year-old neighbour…

Jane Thomson


  1. "With so much potential for clever and innovative wine labe ling to grab our attention, is there really a place for poor taste wine labels?" ..or is there really a place for BORING wine labels?? Maybe this is the next BIG THING in wine – unorthodox labels. Wine labels should be like the wine – tasteful!

    1. The Fabulous Ladies

      So true Meredith! There are far too many boring wine labels around. I'm all for interesting an unorthodox – but like you, I think good taste is too often left behind.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Louise Rhodes

    I Love clever wine labels – as much as pretty ones

    I've found that RedHead Studios have consistently clever labels, my fave, the "Night of the Living Red", complete with dripping red wax and a little envelope of 1920's medical drawings!! Great for halloween!

    1. The Fabulous Ladies

      Sounds amazing Louise. Will have to keep a look out for that one! Thanks for sharing.

Comments are closed.