Following state-specific wine law in California
As this blog has discussed previously, the content of wine labels isn't just about looking good: claims made on labels need to correspond with the law to help enforce compliance. Certain states may have different rules concerning what a label should display. As a major source of wine within the United States, California has its own policies that winemakers must consider.
Writing for the Post-Bulletin, Ari Kolas of Apollo Wine & Spirits references the rules that apply to labels for wines from this part of the country. One of the key examples he gives is the term "produced and bottled". Although this term is usually found in small print on the bottle, it means that at least 75 percent of the grapes were under the direct control of the winemaker.
This statement of wine quality could influence the buyer's decision to purchase, Kolas implies.
"Produced and bottled lets you know that there is loving care going into each bottle," he writes. However, he is sure to add that "other terms, like 'cellared and bottled,' 'vinted and bottled,' 'made and bottled,' don't necessarily mean that a wine is not good. It just means that it doesn't have the same care and handmade attention that produced-and-bottled wines do."
Being specific also helps advise establishments that would sell wines. California has laws that pertain to when and how beverages can be served in restaurants and bars, as well as how much can be produced by a certain company, so knowing these could influence the language you use on the label.
When the specific wording and clarity of an item on wine labels is important, it takes a high-quality color label printer to render it correctly. A system that gives the creator of the wine control over how the information is displayed helps make it easy for buyers to read.
Unusual wine pairings could snag customer attention
Traditional wine pairings often include cheese and chocolate, but what about something not normally associated with the beverage? According to the Los Angeles Times, a new app specifically designed to pair wine with pizza recently launched, and while this may seem absurd to some, it opens up possibilities for what winemakers might include directly on their wine labels.
This new app allows users to access the website's database of taste information and find an appropriate type of wine based on the pizza they're eating. With just a few clicks, diners match desired toppings with either a red or white wine and the site offers up a possible beverage choice, along with a short explanation of why this wine is a good fit.
It's just one of the offerings from the company VinePair, which also features a more general app for accommodating different types of takeout food. However, it's worth considering whether these offerings really provide accurate information. The Times' S. Irene Virbila criticized the pizza app for not being specific enough.
"For anybody with more wine knowledge, the recommendations are just too general to be useful — since each of the wines recommended are made in many different styles," Virbila writes. "In an effort to be accessible and not seem pretentious, the site's founders and authors (all knowledgeable wine people) have perhaps gone too far in the other direction."
Since pizza comes in all sorts of styles, from the common "junk food" types to fancier "artisan" versions, wine companies could take a cue from this app and provide basic pairing options or information on the labels themselves.
With high-powered printing technology, independent companies have the means to use standard label-making tools to make creative and educational packaging that invents new ways to appeal to customer needs.