Come the summer months, it’s not just fashion brands and the beauty industry gearing up to share their creative talents and put a stamp on summer style with nifty branding – winemakers and distillers see their label and packaging design as important elements too.
Whether inspired by sun-scorched beaches, flora and fauna from faraway lands, or a wine app complete with virtual reality for a super-contemporary take, these limited-editions and artistic labels stand out from the crowd and are beautiful on the inside and out – so you can enjoy drinking them and admiring them!
Here are a few of our favourites, which have been shaped by (cask) treatments, the intricacies of a palm print design and dressed in summer brights – this season’s most fashionable shade.
1. Ciroc Limited Edition Summer Colada Vodka (£39.99, 70cl, Selfridges)
With pink flamingos, swaying palm trees and showy hibiscus, Ciroc Colada has been given an exotic makeover that’s as radiant as the distinctive blend of vodka infused with coconut, pineapple and tropical notes inside. Enjoy neat on the rocks or in a sundowner, Panama hat optional.
2. Rock Rose Gin Summer Edition (£37.50, 70cl, Dunnet Bay Distillers)
In tune with the seasons, gin lovers eagerly await Dunnet Bay’s periodic releases – and nothing signal’s summer like their citrus forward infusion of lemon balm, lemon verbena and lemon thyme to build the gorgeous citrus elements, without the need for peel. Foraged from their distillery gardens, clover adds a touch of sweet earthiness, meadowsweet for a honeyed nose and elderflower for good measure.
3. Private Beach Rosé 2017, France (£9.99, Laithwaites)
There’ll be a wave of excitement when you add a splash of this stunning rosé to your favourite poolside stemware. The chic label is redolent of the fanciful beach umbrellas you find on the French Riviera, and the wine is just as engaging. A pale blush with subtle raspberry and strawberry flavours, the crisp finish lends plenty of freshness. Best of all, you’ll feel like you’re in the best beachfront hotel without having to tip for waiter service.
4. Grey Goose Limited Edition Quentin Monge Vodka (£40, Sainsbury’s – available from July)
Another bottle inspired by the Cote d’Azur (after all, who doesn’t long to escape to this summer playground?), Grey Goose have teamed up with French artist Quentin Monge, who grew up in the heart of the Riviera. Famous for his illustrations of bikini-clad women and minimalist characters, Monge’s bottle-adoring design features blue and white striped parasols to mirror the ones that line the sun-kissed coast of St Tropez and Cannes.
5. Malfy Gin Range, Italy (from £25.85-£27.95 each, 70cl, 31Dover.com)
Italian gin brand Malfy have also gone one step further by dressing their glorious gin in frosted bottles with eye-catching rings, to mirror the deep turquoise waters of the Amalfi Coast. With four expressions to choose from, Malfy Originale is a classic dry style made with Italian juniper and five other botanicals, while Con Limone has a distinct citrus element as the name suggests, Con Arancia headlines Sicilian blood oranges, and Gin Rosa features the likes of pink grapefruit and rhubarb.
6. XECO Fino Sherry, Jerez, Spain (£15.95, 75cl, Master of Malt)
Bone-dry, fino sherry is very voguish right now and we love the look of this cutting-edge bottle. Pronounced ‘sec-co’, Spanish for dry, it’s made from the palomino grape and aged for four years in American oak to create the fresh, savoury, tangy style that should be served well chilled in a large wine glass. High quality and food-friendly, it tastes just as delicious with a bowl of olives and serrano ham as it does with a packet of salt and vinegar crisps, which are notoriously difficult to match with wine.
7. Finca Decero The Owl and The Dust Devil 2015, Argentina (£138 for a case of six, Amazon)
Meet the latest wine app that combines augmented reality with an animation film and comes to life when held against the label. Cited as the ‘ultimate dinner party wine’ – with a multi-sensory experience which begins by either touching the screen to move the owl, or blowing it to form the Dust Devil – we think this would make a great gift for wine lovers celebrating a special birthday or anniversary. The Bordeaux-style blend of malbec, cabernet sauvingnon, petit verdot and tannat is a broad shouldered red with excellent structure that’s built to last, offering great ageing potential.