Did you just buy that for the sake of the label?

Posted on May 03, 2017

Did you just buy that for the sake of the label?

I think I’ve heard this “noise” more often than I’d like to remember – even though the whiplash dirty look that I return in disapproval of this utterance tends to have no effect whatsoever in deterring it from being uttered again!  Oh well, if the truth must be spoken, then yes, I confess...  I DO shop for wine labels!


Although, in my feministic defence if I may, it is certainly not only a “female thing” that we are visually attracted to items within the realms of retail, but this phenomena certainly also has its grasp on the male gender. (I’ve lost count of the amount of useless gadgets that have found a spot in our garage – mainly due to the packaging they came in...)But none the less, this is not about who did it what, but more about how it actually happens that we continue to fall victim to the simple plot of visual marketing and packaging for attraction.

Years ago, folks would go to the general store and buy a pound of meat, or flour or whatever household messages where required. These items where more often than not, cut or weighed on demand and you would receive it all neatly wrapped in a simple brown paper bag. Adequate and no extras caught your attention.  Basic necessities where what they needed to be and thus you took home only that which was truly necessary. (I need therapy for this)


Sadly though, in today’s world, things have changed dramatically and it’s become more about competition, increasing profits, up-selling and getting you to buy the extras.  Advertising is a remarkable magic that has proven itself without contest, but visual impressioning continues to play a silent and persuasive dark angel if you wish.   

Through visual connections and “commodity pairings” – you learn to believe that one without the other is an odd, and this is how we have become controlled in parting with our money.  Often you will not think twice to buy the item connected to the first item – even though you might never quite understand the connection in the first place!  (Like the olive oil and balsamic sets – why on earth would you need another salt and pepper dispenser with that?)  

This reminds me of those typical old American TV commercials that sold you a kitchen knife set, (not that you needed it) but you may just have been persuaded by the added value of “a free vienna slicer” that went along with it! (I’m sure that the knife set had something that could cope with that?)


But let’s get back to the point and more importantly the uncontrollable habit that I have of falling for a wine label.  I’m sure that if I started a facebook survey on this I would likely realise that there are very many of us around who simply adore the variety in wines  - and when shopping in haste, you really only have the label to go on – isn’t that so?  True, and this is why wine marketing departments are putting more emphasis and effort in the design of their labels.

There is a mysterious connection in the senses and therefore what meets the eye will speak to the heart. Strangely enough, this is often how you meet the person you choose to share your life with too. (I should make this comparison to my husband, and get him to stop with the purchase reprimands already...) Thus on the pleasant visual introduction of a wine label, you are already beginning to process a thought of why this is necessary to you, as opposed to why it’s not. This is how we’re wired, and nothing, not even therapy is ever going to change this! With this in mind, I’ve opted to be “happy within myself” and allow this reaction to items on the retail shelves to let me be who I am. If I like it, and it looks interesting, I match the price with my limits (sometimes not) and then I buy it. The fortunate thing with buying wine is that it never goes to waste – if we don’t drink it, we cook with it.

And on that note, I share with you one of my creative efforts in saving water:

– I cook with wine instead!

Cheers, Rene




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