Should You Judge a Wine by Its Label?

We did - and they're all under $20

Edina and Pasty in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. Picture / Supplied.

Fat Bird Sauvignon Blanc 2014 $8.99
Although it was in good company on the shelf at Kingsland Liquor Centre, the bottle of Fat Bird Sauvignon Blanc immediately stood out to me because 1. I’m partial to birds and 2. The label reminded me of a Karen Walker print from 2011. The $8.99 price card had nothing to do with it, I swear. It’s from the Marlborough region, so I figured it couldn’t be too bad, and it actually isn’t as undrinkable as the cost might indicate. The listed flavours are lime zest, passionfruit and herbaceous characters, but to me it tasted like… wine. — Jessica Beresford, digital producer

Cousino-Macul Merlot 2010 $13.99
I bought this from the well-stocked Village Winery in Mt. Eden. To pick a wine based on its label for me meant being drawn to more traditional looking labels. I liked the typography of this and it looked like a wine made by people who wear aprons, stomp on grapes and rip hulks of crusty homemade bread apart while yelling at each other. It tasted like a good Merlot to me and went down particularly well with a piece of steak. I’d buy it again. — Dan Ahwa, fashion editor

The People’s Pinot Gris $13.99 at New World
My German heritage shines bright when choosing supermarket wine. First criteria is, it must be under $15, second, which has the largest discount, and third, which bottle seduces me with its label? The People’s Pinot Gris is a usual suspect in my fridge because it consistently slays all three categories: it sucks me right in with its digger illustration and vibrant handwritten aesthetic among a sea of boring font crimes. It tastes good too, especially since it has a graph on the back outlining it’s qualities so I can pretend to know what I’m pouring. — Guy Coombes, photographer

READ: Best Budget Wines of 2016

Rabbit Ranch Pinot Gris $19.50
I scanned the shelves of Newmarket’s Brews liquor store, and the cute little bunny figure on the label of the Rabbit Ranch Pinot Gris stood out. I couldn’t choose anything else after spotting it! The simplicity is what caught my eye. I was very happy turning up to Friday night drinks with a wine that looked — and tasted — this great. After having a sip of a friend’s wine which was a lot softer, I noticed a distinguished difference with my Rabbit Ranch, which had a delightful tang to it. Both were enjoyable, just very different. — Lucy Casley, digital and design assistant

House Wine Pinot Noir $7.99
"I’ll have the house red," is a frequent phrase of mine while out, so I liked the idea of trying this House Wine Pinot Noir from the supermarket. I liked the bluntness of the branding: HOUSE WINE, with a little illustration of a house. Brilliant! Also, the price: easily the cheapest wine I have purchased since my younger sparkling pink Chardon phase. This was much more enjoyable than sugary pink bubbles, although to me it tasted like a ‘normal’ pinot noir: fruity, light, and delicious. It's also a wine of Chile, according to the label, which means something important, right? — Zoe Walker, associate editor

Veuve Du Vernay Ice and Ice Rose $14.99
On a recent girls’ weekend, we were loading up on bubbles at the Raglan Liquor Store and I bought these for $14.99 each. The white foiled bottle wrapper won me over, and the fact that it is actually made in France. And it had Veuve in the title, so it’s basically Veuve Clicquot, I justified. Wrong! It tasted like boozy lemonade. I wouldn’t buy it again... — Rosie Kelway, writer

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