Wine Slogans

Goats Do Roam Wine Label
I only chose the Goats Do Roam photo because, like Erté, I appreciate a bit of whimsy too! I’m not out to offend anyone in the wine industry by shredding their slogans. (We all play in the same sandbox, er, tank…per se!) But capturing the essence of your business (in this case the wine business) in one, simple slogan is enormously difficult to pull off.
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Let’s start with Paul Masson’s old line: “We will sell no wine before its time.” It lasted them decades, so it obviously worked at convincing the public that American wine was made to age just like French wines.
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In homage to the recently departed Jess Jackson, here was his slogan: “Kendall-Jackson. A Taste of the Truth.” Hmmm. Oenophiles have long debated about whether or not ‘truth’ can be bottled. My primary complaint about this slogan is that if you’re not familiar with the Kendall-Jackson brand, you may have no idea what type of product is being described.
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Sticking to the big brands, here are two of Ernest and Julio’s slogans: “California. The new art of wine” and “E.&J. Gallo. Everything we know is everything you taste.” I like both for the specificity of the product, location and brand. And the latter phrase is very personal, reinforcing the importance of the tradition of the family business.
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Here’s another E&J Gallo brand’s slogan: “Turning Leaf. Handcrafted for Perfect Moments.” If memory serves me (I can hear some of you laughing!), this brand was introduced during a period in which there was the beginnings of consumer backlash for the mass-production of wine concurrently with a growing recognition for smaller brands. Hence, this slogan did a great job of bridging the gap between both perspectives for consumers.
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Sutter Home gained fame through the mass popularity of its White Zinfandel across America. It continues to command a huge portion of market share in the U.S. Some of its slogans: “Sutter Home Wines. Life uncomplicated (UK and US campaign).” Also “Way too focused on the wine,” “Taste the Commitment” and “They don’t need food to make sense.” I am less fond of these slogans than some of the above, but perhaps that is because I am not in their target market. I can admire these slogans for the market research that went into crafting words that resonated with their highly specific markets.
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Most often seen in commercials leading up to the year-end holidays, here is: “Korbel. Turning moments into memories.”
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And from another bubbly producer: “One word captures the moment. Mumm’s the word.” Can you tell they’re in competition? Does bubbly wine have a corner on making moments and making memories with wine consumption?
I thought we had the opposite problem with drinking alcoholic beverages?
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Continuing with our look at U.S. wine slogans, here’s another brand of E&J Gallo: “Satisfy your taste for Adventure!” and “Redwood Creek. Good things take time.” What I like here are the riffs off the brand name: Redwood trees are associated with outdoors. Taking a hike among them can feel like a mini-adventure. And ‘taking time’ to do something well (like grow a really, really big tree) has similar connotations with the time necessary to age good wine.
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What look at famous wine slogans would be complete without a nod to Robert Mondavi? “Woodbridge. Taste our small winery tradition. All You Need to Know About Great Wine” Of course, everyone has a different definition of what makes a ‘small’ winery!
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And there’s also the Fetzer Vineyards powerhouse: “Fetzer. From the earth to the table” and “True to Our Roots (European campaign).” In line with my previous complaint, their references of Mother Earth aren’t particularly specific. These slogans could work for any number of farm producers. And the latter slogan might work nicely for one of the hair coloring product lines….
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Moving outside the U.S., international wine brands often develop different slogans specifically targeted to the country they are exporting to. From Down Under, here is an assortment from the top brands: “Wolf Blass. Australian wine at its peak” and “Lindemans. Making life more enjoyable.” I particularly like this one: “Jacob’s Creek. Say when.” The simplicity of the words (considering the loaded meaning) is a terrific choice with an added touch of tongue-in-cheek humor. And this Aussie brand also uses a slogan with simplicity but a touch of elegance: “Black Swan. Let Your Senses Take Flight.”
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From South Africa, here’s a clear nod to the primary industry on the Dark Continent: “Leopard’s Leap… follow your instincts.” This slogan, while not clearly indicating a wine product, nevertheless impresses for taking a ‘leap’ of faith in using a gutsy tagline. It says, “Try me. I dare you!” It’s a direct challenge to the consumer to take a chance on an unknown.
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Also from South Africa: “Graça. The talking, eating, drinking, laughing, singing, sharing seafood wine.” These aren’t the only gerund descriptors used by South Africa’s most famous (and whimsical!) white wine in its collection of taglines. But if you’re wondering why a company would use so many descriptors in one slogan, it is another, quite clever method to make them stand apart…since a long tagline is very rare.
It also has great rhythm when spoken, which is a key element to choosing a memorable line. (Can we ever forget “Riunite. It tastes so fine. Riunite, pure and natural wine. Riunite’s so nice. Riunite on ice. Riunite! Riunite!”?) Somehow I just don’t think we can come up with anything quite as musical and lilting for “Two Buck Chuck.” It just doesn’t roll off the tongue so fluidly.

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