Join Us & Get Wine 101 Course 75% Off

Same Wine, Different Label: Which One is Better?

Written by Madeline Puckette

What makes you pick one wine bottle over another? A recent study conducted by Merril Research LLC showed that United States wine drinkers start first with grape variety and then price (e.g. “Pinot Noir around $20“). However, once wine buyers separate the two most important choices, there are still a lot of wines to choose from on any grocery store shelf.
How do we pick wine?

Which one would you choose?

What design appeals to you? When you look at the designs take into account your own age, gender and how much you usually spend on wine.
Lar da Paula is a small family winery in Rioja that is experimenting with the importance of label design. When designing their wine labels, they made two versions. A progressive label for the local Spanish market and an international design that would appeal to the US market.

The Importance of Wine Label Design

When you ask most small boutique wineries about their label they sometimes say “my kid designed our labels; aren’t they cute?” or “we never change our label.” Are these wineries missing sales because their wine labels don’t have an appealing design?
To test this theory, we took an existing wine label design and recreated two new versions. Below is a poll and you can vote for your favorite.
Wine Label Redesign (for fun)  McCrea Cellars
McCrea Cellars is a real Washington State winery. The designs above are not real, they were created only to see if a label design really makes a difference. Vote below to see the results.

Would you pay $36 for that bottle?

For fun, here are two imaginary wine labels for a real winery. If you were going to spend $30-40 on a bottle of Washington Syrah, which bottle would you buy?

Take survey above to view responses

Why a Pretty Wine Label is Not Enough

There’s nothing more annoying than being in front of two bottles of wine and not knowing which one to buy. Other than desperately searching on your smart phone for wine ratings, there’s very little information on the wine bottle itself. Once you find a wine review, oftentimes you’ll have to decode wine descriptions.

Potential Solutions for Wine Labels

Here is a very intelligent way of classifying red wine. It is a chart, split into quadrants, showing each wine’s intensity of fruit vs. earth and body of light vs. full

Basic Wine Flavor Chart

Basic Wine Flavor Chart
See this chart in action on Order Wine like a Sommelier

Here is another more detailed way of classifying a wine. A circular chart with a range of more detailed tastes and flavors of a wine and 3rd level of value. We found this at

Detailed Wine Flavor Chart


Different Types of Wine by Flavor

Check out around 200 different types of wine organized by flavor

Different Types of Wine Poster

Buy Now

Written byMadeline Puckette

James Beard Award-winning author and Wine Communicator of the Year. I co-founded Wine Folly to help people learn about wine. @WineFolly

Join Our Newsletter

Jumpstart your wine education and subscribe to the Wine Folly newsletter right now. Always awesome. Always free.

sign up free