Don’t confuse a bad package with a bad wine!

Bad Packaging? What’s a girl to do? Oh, I mean what’s a buyer to do? You want a great wine and like life, first impressions are so important. You put your best foot forward and want to make sure you make a long lasting great impression. Yet, how are you to know what that great impression is or will be? Let alone, did you make a bad impression because you played it safe and wore neutral colors? Did you come off as too confident, because you accented your look with one bold color? Did you use big fonts and words people couldn’t understand? Or, did they just look at you and think ‘ehh, shrug their shoulders’ and pass you by?

Welcome to the world of wine labels? Oh, you thought I was talking about life? Well, I guess the popularity of labels, graphic designers, imagery and all that fun stuff does come down to life. We judge based on what we see.  It’s unfortunate, because there are so many wonderful people, oh I mean wines, in bad, not so great or unpopular packages.

Take D Cubed Zinfandel 2009, Napa Valley – An excellent wine sourced from some of Napa’s best zinfandel vineyards, including Howell Mountain and Chiles Valley Vineyard (where the owner also makes the highly allocated Brown Estate Zinfandel, and where your cherished Green & Red Zinfandel comes from too).  This fantastic wine scored high too, with 92 Points from Wine & Spirits Magazine and a Best Buy. Plus it scored 91 points from Wine Spectator.  The label is a bit outdated. Branding is expensive! But the wine is awesome! Think big black and red cherries, mixed with ripe boysenberries, a touch of minerality with depth and dimension finishing with dark chocolate and toasty spice. ($27)

Ottimino, 2010 Zinfinity, Sonoma County – The parent company for this wine, Ottimino has an awesome label. It is clean, elegant, easy to read and classic. I doubt it will ever go out of style, but the Zinfinity label is another story? What were they thinking? It is a flashback to the 80’s and Max Headroom, with the infinity symbol in red.  The infinity symbol looks more like a figure eight, because it is vertically aligned instead of being horizontal.   At any rate, their packaging is neither here nor there. The wine however is a Happy Dance Dude Winner! Fantastic food wine! Flavors of briary blackberry and pepper greet you at the front, finishing with a kick of boysenberry and nice balanced acidity. This wine is fantastic with BBQ foods or mid week pizza or Indian cuisine.  ($17)