First we had “critter” labels for wine — you know, Yellow Tail, Little Penguin, Dancing Bull, Smoking Loon. Then came what I call “dessert” labels — Cupcake, Layer Cake. Let’s not forget the “mommy” labels – MommyJuice, Mommy’s Little Helper. Now we have what I’m calling “identity” labels – Middle Sister, Bridesmaid and Skinnygirl. Do we really need a wine label to tell us who we are or how we should Be?
I cringe when I see these labels. There’s the Be. label, where each varietal is labeled something different. There’s Be. Flirty, Be. Bright and so on. The line of Middle Sister wines breaks it down to Drama Queen, Goodie Two Shoes, Forever Cool and more. I’ve also seen Bridesmaid and Mad Housewife wine labels. Please please wine gods, make it stop.
I’ve written about how I think Skinnygirl wines – a concept where a glass of wine is only 100 calories (most wines are 120-130 calories per glass, so no big savings) is not only a bad idea, but I think it really denigrates women. On top of that, most of the wine in these bottles is plonk at worst to very simple and uninteresting but easy to drink at best.
You can be a Royal Bitch or a Sassy Bitch. Or you can be a Diva.
Have you noticed the one thing all these identity labels have in common? They’re all skewed towards the female wine drinker. There’s no Six Pack Abs or Manly Man or Daddy’s Little Helper wine labels (except for Fat Bastard). Why is that? Why do wine companies develop and market these wines with ridiculous names? I read over and over that the reason is because women buy more wine than men and that these labels help make them feel comfortable choosing to pull that bottle off the shelf.
To my dismay, the wines are selling. I guess we (well not me) must be buying these wines. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I am a wine drinker, not a female wine drinker. I drink the same bottles men drink. I don’t want to drink wine developed in a marketing brief to capture women buyers. I want to drink a wine that truly reflects the vineyard, the winemaker’s skill and passion for the craft. I don’t want a wine developed from focus groups or a study of buying behavior. To me, these are soulless wines. There’s no story there.
Of course wine labels can be confusing and intimidating. Sure these identity wine labels are light-hearted and fun, and what’s wrong with that? Indeed, wine should be fun and I’m all for that. I’m just not for wines specifically targeted to women. Some of the labels are degrading. I mean, do you really want to buy a bottle of wine with the label Bitch on it?
So yes, the one wine trend I want to go away, the sooner the better, are wines created for marketed to women.
My hope is that if enough people stop stop buying these silly labels is that the wine companies will have to start treating women as serious wine consumers, or in other words, as equals.