Eye-Catching Labels, Delicious Wine

By Maggie Walters

No judgment here, we've all selected a bottle of wine just for the label. Sometimes you'll find yourself standing in front of a giant wall of wine bottles, every label blending into the next; until, like a beacon of light or the Holy Grail, one label will stand out from the rest. 

It could be a beautiful limited-release bottle with commissioned artwork for the label, or simply a cute fuzzy animal; but something about that label stood out from the others. 

When going to a dinner party, wine is a great go-to for a host gift. And who doesn't want a handsome bottle to present? I'm here to make some recommendations for great wines with great labels! Whether it be for a gift or for your own personal label collection, you will not be disappointed with the contents of these bottles! 

Melee Grenache, St. Helena, CA

This wine is a Tuck Beckstoffer colab, for all of you Beckstoffer fans!It's big, it's bold, and it's delicious.
This is great with heavier proteins, or, in my opinion, on its own if you enjoy heavy reds. 

The 2012 vintage Melée Grenache showcases how great Grenache can come from California. Sourced from two unique steep hillside vineyards, one in the central coast and one in Mendocino, this wine offers a kaleidoscope of aromas emerging from the glass. Hints of baked summer fruits, white pepper, lavender, underbrush and dry aged meats lead to an incredibly focused, yet elegant, balanced and graceful mid-palate. The finish is a blockbuster that exudes both power and finesse. This is truly a wine for the ages.
— Melee Wine Co.

Moon Duck, One Time Spaceman GSM Rhone Blend, Paso Robles, CA

Another big red that I love to pair with grilled food (especially BBQ).
This features a very futuristic label, so if you have any science fiction fans in your life, it’s a great conversation piece!

Observe the glory of the blue hue in this violet brew.  With aromas of purple fruit and fudge that do not budge this is a saucy tasty roux. The candied violet will bring a smile lit with hints of chocolate, plum and stew. A generous end to this rich dark blend will leave you feeling new.  So go ahead and open another and make a friend or two.
— The Authentic 3 Finger Wine Company

Cote des Roses, Rose from Languedoc, France

This is the only wine I'm writing about that doesn't technically have an interesting label, it is the bottle itself that stands out from the rest. The bottom of this bottle is in the shape of a rose to honor the region of Cote des Roses (slopes of roses). The wine itself will not disappoint either! It's rosé season and this wine is full of crisp, refreshing acidity that leaves you wanting more.   

A soft, pale, brilliant pink with bluish tints developing over time towards more orangey nuances. The bouquet releases aromas of summer fruits, cassis and redcurrant. Floral notes of rose along with hints of grapefruit complete the picture. The finish is fresh, offering notes of candy. On the palate the impression is fresh and full, with great aromatic persistence and balance.
— Gerard Bertrand, wine maker

Charlotte Red Blend by Charles Smith from Walla Walla, Washington

Blend: 47% Mourvedre, 37% Grenache, 6% Syrah, 6% Counoise, 4% Picpoul

Splurge alert! A little on the pricey side; but worth every penny. I recommend coming in on Wine Wednesday to get a 20% discount. 

If a wine can be described as feminine, this is it. It’s floral, elegant, and more reserved compared to the bold reds listed above. Charlotte is a deep, complex wine. Sip after delicious sip, this wine continues to open up and seemingly develops more flavors right in front of you.  

Charlotte, the wine, named after Charles Smith’s daughter born in 2012. Complex aromas of hibiscus, savory herb, cured black olive. On a feminine frame, but with a willful spine of minerality as they age. They both will become more and more beautiful.
— Winemaker

Label shopping doesn't always have to be frowned upon. You just have to know what to look for. Sometimes snazzy labels are all about marketing, and not so much about the wine. But there are wines out there that are the best of both worlds.

I hope you enjoy these wines as much as I do, and I hope they add to the conversation wherever you go!


Clark Trim