Friday, June 01, 2007

Making Wine III: The Great Label Contest!

I plan on bottling my first batch of wine this weekend, since I've been able to borrow my uncle's corker. This represents the final step before drinking my wine, so I'm a bit excited. Given this is a red wine, I still don't expect it to be very good until it's had a chance to sit in the bottles for a while, but I did let it mature in the carboy for much longer than necessary. I "cleared" the wine (using some odd chemicals in very small amounts) about a month ago, so the wine has effectively been sitting in one very large bottle for more than three weeks as it is - I suspect it's drinkable (though not at its peak) now. We'll find out this weekend...

Anyway, I realize that I do not yet have labels for my wine! While some home wine-makers I have met do not bother with such frippery, choosing instead to label with either the generic labels available from the wine-making-supplies store or just masking tape, or even no label at all, I'd like to put my own personal label on my wine. A good friend of mine had unique wine labels on the bottles served at his wedding a couple of years ago - the text of the label was mostly of the usual wine-for-wedding type, but the very fine print at the bottom of the label said "Till undeath do us part" and the background picture was of a bunch of zombies. The background picture was very faded and grey-scale, so it looked rather like just abstract shapes until one examined it closely, and saw the shambling hordes of undead. Apparently, the picture came from a digital scan of the box-cover art for a table-top or RP game of some sort. This is one good idea for my wine, I think.

So this is your chance, o reader, to help me come up with a label design for my wine. I'm hoping this design can be used for every batch of wine I produce, not just this one, though obviously the prominent text will be the batch name and year: in this case, that's "Rio Negro Cabernet Blend 2007".

Brainstormed ideas and suggestions are welcomed in the comments, and if you make a picture of some kind, even a rough sketch, please either email it to me (martinbrummell AT msn DOT com) or post a link to it in the comments. Above all, have fun with this! We're talking about home-brew wine, after all, so a certain (high) level of foolishness is encouraged.

There are lots and lots of personalized wine labels floating around the 'net. I'll have access to a colour printer (I assume), but not photographic quality. I'm not interested in the usual cheesy sunset / flowers / happy people / semi-abstract grape pictures. I'm not trying to impress my grandmother with this label...

There will be a prize for the winning design - one bottle shipped to you (if I can) if I use your design with some modification, two bottles if I use it without any modification. The contest is open as long as I feel like it, I'll announce the close when I close it.

12 comments:

TheBrummell said...

To get things started, I found this website: http://www.winelabels.org/
of unusual labels on commercial wines from around the world.

Theme ideas: Zombies, Skeletons, other undead, pirates, ninjas, giant robots, stupid superheroes, orcs, goblins, kobolds, mad scientists, cephalopods, fish

TheBrummell said...

More ideas: I live in a basement apartment, where this wine is made. It's generally colder in here than it is outside, which is nice in the summer, not so much in the winter. I'm a PhD student studying genome size evolution in invertebrate animals, so anything incorporating various less-than-charismatic inverts (snails, worms, insects, spiders, pillbugs, centipedes, etc) would also be appropriate. My M.Sc. was on guppy genetics, with comparisons to swordtails. I moved to Onterrible from Lotus Land recently. Anything else about my life (or your fevered imagination).

Laelaps said...

It's not wine, but my favorite label actually comes from a local brewery that sells "Flying Fish Beer";
http://www.flyingfish.com/

TR Gregory said...

I think the faint background should be the last page of the review paper you're supposed to be working on. ;-)

TheBrummell said...

...the review paper you're supposed to be working on.

Yes, yes, I'm working on the review paper, the rest of you work on this contest! Design a wine label, win some wine!

Necator said...

What about:

Brummell Brew: Here's to not going blind.

TheBrummell said...

Brummell Brew: Here's to not going blind.

Particularly good, considering my recent (very, very, stupid) inspiration of using leftover chemical reagents bottles for fermentation purposes. 5.0N HCl, Methanol, 'Glacial' Acetic acid, Xylene... what could go wrong?

I like it. Please keep the ideas coming. Another idea: I have a 'pet' spider, a rather large, black, female wolf spider named "Clarisse". I'll try to take a picture of her as soon as I track her down. She wanders around a lot.

Carlo said...

Your wine label should obviously compliment your personality in a unique way... what about "Rant-in-a-Bottle"?

Also, there should be a tag-line like, "...helps take away the pain...".

Anuminous said...

Well, it is not a perfectly apt use of the word, but a wolf spider face with a little blood on the pedipalps captioned "Clarisse's Claret" would be nice and creepy :)

(Claret is generally a British term for specific Bordeaux reds, but is also used for any full-bodied red in the US these days, and Wiki tells me it is used as slang for blood too)

Anuminous said...

There is a nice electromicrograph of a wolf spider at http://www.uglybug.org/images00/bug29.jpg

ThePurpleSeal said...

Hi there,

A while back I started brewing my own wine, I have really started getting into it and now actually sell my wine to friends and family. I wanted to add that extra touch to my wine so I designed my own wine labels and had it printed by a british labels company who did a excellent job. It has made my wine bottle look really great!

gonzo said...

I came across a company that makes barcode labels, self adhesive labels etc. But whilst looking on their website I noticed that they do labels for wine bottles. Might be worth taking a look at. Wilkl put link at bottom of post. Hope this helps

AC Labels