As millennial wine drinkers continue to trade up in price and quality, the number of imaginative, non-heritage brands seen entering the market is increasing as well. These new brands draw their personalities from metaphors, sensations and just plain attitude. Personality-driven, innovative brands are no longer the sole domain of the $10-and-under price point. Wine producers are now choosing to brand increasingly more expensive wines without relying on a prestigious family story or appellation. Instead, these brands are built on imaginative back stories supported by impactful — and sometimes unexpected — visuals. The majority of new brands seem to fall into the following trend categories:
With brand names that could double as titles of murder novels or horror movies, these dark and foreboding personalities are showing up in both mass-market brands — Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon being one — as well as premium-priced offerings like The Prisoner by The Prisoner Wine Company. The metaphor is apt: The suspense of tasting a new wine for the first time is not unlike waiting for the climax of a horror movie. Often they are gut-wrenching, but there is something that makes us want to see what’s behind the door (or under the cork) time and time again.