They say you should never judge a book by its cover and never judge a wine by its label (or its price), but it’s hard for me to follow that rule. Really hard! The label is the first thing that pops out at me as I browse the aisles of sweet grape nectar.
Most of the time, I’m a loyal customer. I reach for the same tried and true wines. They’re like a familiar blanket that you can curl up with on the couch – no decisions involved and I will likely be dozing off with it at some point in the evening (a little wine humor). Every once in a while, however, my superficial side comes out and I spot a unique, or pretty, or interesting label that I can’t resist bringing home to display in my wine rack.
The labels usually evoke my mood at that moment. Some are simple but sexy, some are playful, and some just make me smile. Some are better left on the wine rack because no matter how magical the label might appear, they offend my ‘wine buds’.
For all my petty choices, I have to say, I’ve lucked out by being a label-judger. I’ve discovered some of my favorite wines that way.
Here are five times that being a superficial wine label-judger totally paid off:
1. Apothic Red
Label: This red blend has become my #1 go-to fall and winter red wine, and my love affair began with the label. A bold red “A” tangled in red vines and set against a black background is both mysterious and romantic.
Wine: I could gush, but I won’t. Simply said, Apothic is smooth and spicy without being overpowering.
2. Chateau Le Paws Chardonnay
Label: First attraction – there’s a dog on the label! Better yet, it’s an adorable shelter dog. Even better yet, the winemaker supports No-Kill organizations. I’m sold.
Wine: It’s not my #1 Chardonnay, but it’s easy to drink and it’s a fun conversation starter for a dinner party.
3. Lady In Red
Label: This super cute bottle has a Marilyn Monroe-type lady wearing a red dress and boa on the label. It has “chick-flick night” written all over it!
Wine: It’s a Syrah-heavy red blend. Not at the tippy top of my list, but if a fun and sassy atmosphere is what you’re after, this is a solid choice.
4. Thorny Rose Red Blend
Label: It features a wine glass with thorns coming out of the stem and small skulls in the background. Wild, but not too wild. I decided to tap into my dangerous side here, and it served me well.
Wine: This is a brand new discovery and ranks right up there with Apothic. I’m officially declaring it my #2 red wine. Everyone needs a backup.
5. Murray Cuvee Red Wine
Label: No surprise here, there’s another dog on the label so of course it caught my eye – a fancy dog too, he’s holding a rose in his mouth! These bottles are a perfect birthday or christmas gift for that dog lover in your life.
Wine: Easy to sip, and you’ll love to display it on the table. According to Hightower Cellars, this blend is high in Cabernet content if that’s your jam.