Dumb wine labels

Dumbing down a wine label so that it says almost nothing about, uh, wine, is usually a good indication of what you're likely to find inside the bottle. So, when I read on a label recently that wines from a certain California brand "express clip_image002the fun, vitality and sunshine of the California lifestyle" my antennae went up. A label, let’s say, like the one I asked my 10-year-old son to draw to illustrate my point. The merlot from this California brand, it turned out, was soft and generic and did nothing for the variety's image. The lesson here, which I've learned time and again, is that cute labels and "fun" descriptions often mask not-so-great wines.

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