Every Friday we raise a glass to celebrate some of the best new boozy bottles to hit store shelves, and this week we’re demystifying the complex world of wine. Does a Pinot Noir really taste better than a Merlot, you wonder? Once you’ve read this week’s Happy Hour you’ll be no closer to an answer, but we suspect you’ll care a lot less.
Moses Lake Cellars, by Thirst
Some wines are so special they don’t even exist yet, like this small batch selection from Moses Lake Cellars, in the U.S. This fictional winery is the brainchild of Thirst, an agency that creates packaging for all manner of liquid brands. Keen to show off the extent of its skills in the artisan wine category, it’s come up with this sophisticated concept for “a brand that works as a collective on a dinner table, visually tying together an eclectic core range of wines.” And what says sophisticated louder than gold foil?
Tohora Ma, by Stansfield Design Studio
Tohorā Ma is a small vineyard located in Nelson, New Zealand specializing in white wines, according to Stansfield Design Studio’s Elliot Stansfield. “Tohorā Ma translates to ‘The White Whale’ which echoes the Vineyard’s focus on Sauvignon Blanc.” But where a white whale conjures an image of bulk and heft, this particular packaging is anything but. Smooth, sleek, and typographically elegant, this is one wine we can imagine quaffing in classy company.
Subterránea, by Christian Pannicke
Like our pals up at Moses Lake, Subterránea shows its class with the application of a metal foil, but in this case the hue is bronze—warmer, earthier and spot-on for a rich Spanish Tempranillo. The label designs show the texture of slate—“an excellent heat accumulator and therefore optimal in colder areas for wine growing,” says designer Christian Pannicke. “Subterránea—‘underground’—plays on the invisible heat accumulator. Hand-applied bronze layers symbolize the emergence and growth of this hard rock.”
Majestic Wines, by Jean Jullien
They say that wine can be a difficult drink to get into; the simple enjoyment of your tasty, boozy beverage can be so easily marred by snobbery about the grapes, the terroir, the aroma, the palate, and god knows what other subtle differences a real connoisseur can detect. Does it taste nice? Will it make me feel nicer? These are the most important questions a wine label should address when you’re perusing the shelves at the liquor store.
And this is exactly what UK wine merchant Majestic has attempted in its collaboration with French illustrator Jean Jullien. Gone are the tasting notes, grape varieties, and overwrought spiel about the landscape of the vineyard, and in their place reside some cheeky characters that do more to communicate the characteristics of the wine than any amount of viticultural jargon ever could.