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Italian Eyesore

By Lawrence Bowden, Manager, Majestic Wine Leith Walk

Corks-shaped-as-bottleSome people buy wine by the label. Choice based on pure aesthetics alone. There is nothing wrong with that. Others make a more informed choice about their next tipple, but from wine novice to wine anorak, the label has a part to play in the selection process. Producers spend too much time and effort in deciding what will grab our attention for it to be of little relevance. The labels are an attempt to tell the consumer a little about the product. A bright, modern label might not necessarily be adorning your favourite Burgundy

So when I first laid eyes on the label for ‘I Satiri’ Salice Salentino Riserva 2005, I thought I knew what the wine would be like. The two-tone Greek style hieroglyphs indicated the suspected origin of the Negroamaro grape. But surely a wine with such a hideous label wouldn’t be up to much? Why would anyone go to the trouble of producing an outstanding wine only to dress the bottle in the worst label known to man? Thinking that the wine would be as shocking as the label, I saw it as my duty to try a bottle so I could warn off short sighted customers.

I got it wrong. This is a wonderfully complex wine. Negroamaro is produced in the Puglia, the very heal of the boot of Italy. It has a thick skin that gave the wine plenty of tannin in its youth and the potential to develop some real bottle age. These tannins have now dropped away and mellowed so you’re left with a smooth texture and medium body. The wine is an intricate mix of figs, prune and plum with a hint of bitter coco.

Unless you’re buying the latest Play Boy annual then you really can’t judge a book by its cover. Go into your local Majestic and buy the bottle with the worst label you can possible find and I bet the wine is a winner!

‘I Satiri’ Salice Salentino Riserva DOC 2005, Candido
£8.99 buy 2 bottles save £4 = £6.99*

Why not follow Lawrence and his team on Twitter? @majesticltw

*Price valid until 2nd May 2011

  • Arturo

    At least the lack of taste is confined to the label.

    I know that in the US they went far beyond that, by labeling a wine with such a name as “Fat Bastard”, and airing radio adverts with actors saying something like “Have dinner with a Fat Bastard tonight”…

  • Bethany Guard

    I’m pretty sure you used to be able to get that in the UK as well…and believe it or not the wine itself is French!

  • http://www.eclectictastes.co.uk Roger Sleigh

    Wine label design is an interesting area. Clear gender differences, I think I’ve seen more offputting labels though and at least like you the important thing was right, content quality.