We all do it. We all occasionally buy a wine based on its label. If you don't you either are lying to yourself or don't go browsing through wine stores nearly often enough. We are creatures that like to collect, and we are also creatures who are attracted to, as a friend like to put it "bright shiny things," by which she means anything that strikes our fancy.
Apparently these days, the thing striking the fancy of growing legions of younger wine buyers is cute little animals. I shit you not. There are huge wine companies spending millions of dollars researching what makes twenty-somethings and early thirty-somethings reach out for that bottle on the shelf, and increasingly it's clear that the winning combinations are cute fuzzy animals in bright colors.
I mean, we all know that there's some truth to it -- Yellow Tail hasn't become one of the most popular wine brands in the USA just because it tastes good. There are plenty of wine brands that taste good at that price point that never go anywhere. So I've always believed that it had something to do with the kangaroos (oh, and the 150 million dollars they spent on marketing).
Apparently, though, this animal thing is serious business. "Is [this trend towards animals on the label] a fad? I don't think so," says one executive at the worlds largest wine company, Constellation Brands. "It is actually a representation of (new), younger consumers coming into the wine market and being excited by things that are different ... It may not be as explosive in terms of its growth in the future, but it definitely affords an opportunity for growth now."
They even have an industry term for these wines: Critter brands.
Like it or not, Yellow Tail has changed the way that wine will be marketed to US consumers, and we're in for a lot more of this stuff than we've seen already. Check out the story.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
Holiday Gift Guide for the Wine Lover Who Has Everything I'll Drink to That: Andrew McNamara of The Court of Master Sommeliers Vinography Unboxed: Week of November 22, 2015 I'll Drink to That: Bruce Neyers of Neyers Vineyards Vinography Images: Rows of Gold A Lonely Hillside: The Wines of Alto de la Ballena, Uruguay I'll Drink to That: Karen MacNeil The Most Untrustworthy Wine in the World Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 11/22 I'll Drink to That: CP Lin of Erewhon
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune