Monday, May 11, 2009

Wine Blogging Wednesday #57: California Inspiration

For this edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday, I have chosen a wine label from California that was part of my inspiration for beginning winelabelreview. For years, my memories of wine labels in the local wine shops where I grew up had boring illustrations of noble chateaus set in majestic vineyards on rolling hills in the countryside. Or, they had no illustrations at all, just the name of the winery in some sort of fancy script font (possibly embellished with a coat of arms or a flouncy initial). Yawn. One label seemed to blend into the next and there was no distinction. I am aware of the history, honor and tradition behind those boring labels, but times change and so should the labels.

I'm a "progressive" and I feel that as we (insert social network platform here) into the future, maybe some wine labels can modernize as well. I'm not talking about getting cheesy/cutesy with the design, just more up to date. Hell, if you don't update your label design how are you ever going to have a throwback label design (see Pepsi Cola)? Anyway, I'm going on a slight tangent here.

My choice for "California Inspiration" pokes a little fun in the ribs of the traditional wine label. My choice is Bonny Doon's Le Cigare Volant. According to Bonny Doon, it is named in honor of the cigar-shaped alien craft banned by decree of the village council of Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape in 1954, "the Flying Cigar" pays homage not only to the wines of the celebrated appellation, but to all forays into the world of the magical and unknown.

I love this label design. The chateau is invaded by the alien aircraft, a subtle unexpected spin is put on the mundane, tradition meets the future, it's what I'm all about! It is the creation of Chuck House, who has worked on other Bonny Doon labels such as Old Telegram, Pacific Rim Reisling, Muscat Vin de Glaciere and Ca' del Solo. Chuck is from They are a powerhouse in packaging design with a sizable portfolio of truly amazing artwork. My inspiration, my "cigare volant".

1 comment:

  1. I also thought that this label was clever, classic and subtle at the same time. The wine was also quite nice. I posted my short review on Twitter using @idrankthis. You can read it here: