A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
In its inaugural China Label Report, Wine Intelligence teamed up with wine label designers Amphora to test eight styles of label in interview environments.
The sample was made up of 40 upper-middle class Chinese consumers from Beijing and Shanghai who drink imported wine regularly.
According to Wine Intelligence, the overriding need among consumers was for reassurance, which typically correlated with traditional labels.
The interviews also revealed that ‘funky’, ‘modern labelling’ tended to be treated with caution by respondents, though there was some appreciation for ‘elegant contemporary’ design, which incorporates traditional cues such as simple line drawings and landscapes with more white space and modern typefaces.
Jenny Li, author of the report, said: “The key thing to understand about wine labelling in China is the importance of the initial visual impression.
“This is a culture that is closely tuned to visual symbols, and in any case the wording on the front label is often unintelligible to all but the most sophisticated wine consumer.
“To succeed in China, brand owners will need to understand very clearly the visual impression that their wine gives through its label design, and use that information to build their brand story more effectively.”
The China Label Report is published by Wine Intelligence and available for £500 / €600.