Unusual Labels
page 3

Diversity in Wine

T here seems to be no end to weird names and funny or interesting labels. Here we have the worlds first Braille label, a red chardonnay, wartime booty, a label with an inbuilt thermometer, and a label that tries to hide its origin. Enjoy the following....

Ten Degrees France
This innovative label has a thermometer that changes colour as it chills. When the wine is at its optimum temperature of 10 degrees the thermometer column is deep red. .
Kenderman Germany
This label, and the clear Bordeaux bottle it is on, attempts to hide the origins of this wine. Only the word Pfalz indicates to those that know that this is a German wine. No tall brown or green bottle with a label covered in long names in Germanic script. Sales of German wine have plummeted while riesling sales from new world countries have soared, so Kenderman is copying the new world packaging. .
Red France
Another wine that tries to be something else. The bottle is red, the plastic 'cork' is red, the label is red and the name is Red, but the wine is --- white. Yes, it is Chardonnay in the bottle and what on earth the marketing department is doing heaven only knows. .
The Italian Job Italy
Sixties film The Italian Job starring three Minis and Michael Caine inspires this cheerful wine. Every year 100 minis drive from England to Italy in homage to the film, and raise money for charity. Over 112M pounds have been raised for the NSPCC so far and a minimum of 30,000 pounds will be added by sales of this wine. .
Reservee Werhmacht France
The worlds oldest wine society - The International Exhibition Co-Operative Wine Society 1874 - has imported its own label Champagne (sourced from Alfred Gratien since 1907) under the Special Private Cuvee 33 label. In the second world war the stocks reserved for the Society was bought up by the German army during the Occupation. They asked to keep the English label as it was considered a mark of quality, overprinting it in German. .
Rasteau France
The label of this Cotes du Rhone is thoughtfully embossed with Braille. Chapoutier was the worlds first winery to introduce Braille labels in 1997, and now their entire range is so labelled, some two million bottles every year.
According to the Chapoutier web site the whole process took over a year to research and refine and M. Chapoutier invested in a typography machine specially modified to print in braille. The Valentin Hauy Association for visually impaired people helped with the translations into braille. Coincidentally, the founder of this association, Maurice de la Sizeranne, nephew of Monier de la Sizeranne was the original proprietor of the eponymous red Hermitage vineyard now owned by M. Chapoutier.
In the hope of encouraging similar initiatives, M.Chapoutier would be delighted to share the research and methodology with any company who would like to follow suit. The information provided in braille on the label is as follows :
  • Appellation e.g : Hermitage
  • Name e.g : Monier de la Sizeranne
  • Colour e.g : Red
  • Name Wine Producer e.g : M. Chapoutier
  • Town / Country e.g : Tain / France
  • The last two figures of the vintage will be printed very soon...
This site applauds M Chapoutier, and hopes that other wineries will also producer Braille labels.

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U n u s u a l

11 July 1999