When it comes to dressing, we all like to look the part. Whether for a special occasion, dress-down Friday or a flirty, playful date night… and so it is with wine labels.
We all love to drink with our eyes and a bottle dressed in black with a gold embossed label signals a wine with character and plenty of class, while a funky label suggests a New World wine that’s fresh and fruit forward.
Just like fashion, wine labels are designed to get our attention. Here are a few of our favourites worth snapping up…
1. Painted Dog Chenin Blanc Viognier 2017, Swartland, South Africa (£6.99, Aldi)
‘Paws’ for thought and this cute little fellow could strengthen your bond with South African wines. A fragrant, refreshing blend of chenin (its flagship white grape) and viognier, expect a little rush of juicy stone fruits capped with notes of peach and apricots.
2. Hans Baer Pinot Noir 2016, Pfalz, Germany (£7, Tesco)
With a keen sense of smell and a good eye, it wouldn’t take long for this playful bear to see the red berry fruits in this plush pinot are ripe for the picking. Silky smooth, sweet cherry and raspberry are wrapped around savoury cranberry fruits with a lovely, lingering finish.
3. Comuna Malbec 2016, Mendoza, Argentina (£7, Sainsbury’s)
Bringing to life the rhythm of the tango, this sultry dancing couple perfectly portray the sexy mix of blueberry and blackberry fruit entwined with plums, violets and sweet spice. Fragrant and velvety smooth with a little bit of grip at the end.
4. Marlborough Sun Pinot Noir 2014, New Zealand (£8.48, Asda)
A cheeky, vintage-style label with the promise of ‘a crazy kind of love’ that might make you want to skip naked through a wintry vineyard. The wine has a good streak of spice with flourishes of soft plum and black cherries, with a lovely silky texture and lifted strawberry aromatics. Bottoms up!
5. Climbing Shiraz Orange 2015, New South Wales, Australia (£8.99, Waitrose, in-store only)
If you’re a casual wine drinker looking to step up to the next level, this is a super shiraz for the price. So sumptuous and smooth with delicious spicy, plummy nuances and a lick of dark chocolate, you could easily find your head in the clouds after a couple of glasses.
6. Domaines Paul Mas Silene Chardonnay AOP Limoux 2016, France (£9.99, The Co-operative, in-store only)
With a mythical label straight out of Ancient Greece, this wine takes its name from Silenus (Silene), who, according to legend, was a companion to the wine god Bacchus.
As ever, it starts with the wine: “A glorious, intense citrus-laden chardonnay from Limoux… but we felt that the quality of the liquid needed to be matched by innovative and striking packaging,” says Ben Cahill, wine buyer, The Co-op – to make “a wine as eye-catching as the wine is mouth-watering”. Quite so.
7. Taste the Difference Zinfandel, Paso Robles, USA (£10, Sainsbury’s, in-store only)
Very comical, we love the zany caricatures on the front of this Californian zinfandel (aka primitivo). Rich and sweetly ripe, it’s loaded with juicy, blackberry, plum and damson fruit, with a kick of spice on the smooth finish. A delicious crowd-pleaser that will reward you even more if you let the wine breathe before serving.