Is Hello Kitty wine the Joe Camel of wine? [poll]

In a collision of two of the last decade’s most absurd wine trends, celebrity wines and critter labels collide in the form of a new Hello Kitty line of wines.

Is this wine targeting minors, adding fuel to the fire of distributors who play the underage drinking card in the direct shipping debate? The wine’s marketer told LA Weekly: “My take on it is this: with over 60,000 Hello Kitty sku’s in the marketplace and at 35 years old now, she is definitely ready for more adult skewed products. I don’t think that the $15,000 dollar Hello Kitty handbags are aimed at children either.” What say you: is Hello Kitty wine the Joe Camel of wine?!?

Is Hello Kitty wine marketing wine to kids?

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25 Responses to “Is Hello Kitty wine the Joe Camel of wine? [poll]”

  1. Those wines are made by my friend Patricia Torti who has been selling the wines of her family’s cantina, Tentimenti Torti, in Japan for quite a while. Patricia is also tall, blonde and gorgeous and a former member of the Italian national volleyball team so she understands fashion, cross marketing and branding.

    With luck some of the purchaser will notice “Hey, these wines say they are from someplace called “Oltrepò Pavese….wonder what other wines come from there?”.

  2. I’m 27 and a Hello Kitty fan, as are many other women my age. We grew up with Hello Kitty, so I don’t really see Hello Kitty as something just for kids. Rather, she is emblematic of the Japanese idea of kawaii, or cuteness, and the love of cute things certainly extends beyond childhood, in Japan and elsewhere. Why a wine producer would pay to license Hello Kitty’s image for a wine is beyond me, but I really don’t think it’s reasonable to equate her with Joe Camel, given that Joe Camel was a cartoon character designed specifically to sell cigarettes, whereas Hello Kitty is just meant to be cute and sell cute. Unfortunately for the people producing this wine, I’m not sure wine drinkers are looking for a cute wine.

  3. My older daughter will turn 25 on Sunday. She was an ardent Hello Kitty fan as a kid, so… Then there is my friend, who is quite a bit closer in age to me, whose camera bag is festooned with Hello Kitty stuff. She also wore a Hello Kitty pendant when we went to a swanky 11-course dinner at a, um, swanky restaurant in San francisco.

  4. I’m 40 and still love Hello Kitty, to the chagrin of my ever-so-hip teenagers who have declared her “ridiculous”.

  5. I now a few HK fans who are well above the legal drinking age of 21. Are they marketing to kids? No. Are they marketing to wine connoisseurs? Also, no.

  6. Hello Kitty may be the most licensed character in the world, more so than the Disney stable of critters and princesses. There is also a Hello Kitty vibrator, which I can only assume isn’t being marketed to children…

  7. I asked this same question on Twitter a few hours ago. My 7-year-old daughter loves Hello Kitty, but I think the behavior of her winemaker dad is a bigger influence on her than seeing HK on the bottle. While I don’t think the producers are marketing to kids, I have no idea how the TTB ever approved this label.

  8. Before I started Candid Wines, I coached a novice girls High School lacrosse team. I hadn’t connected that team and wine in my head for obvious reasons until this post. It would have been a perfect group to test the cultural relevance of Hello Kitty among girls. And even the mention of it would surely have lead to me being fired.

    I am glad to see that some posted a mention of the person who actually makes this wine. The label and the marketing does not seem to place any importance on the wine’s place of origin.

  9. Michael Jackson juice gone sparkling!

  10. Yea but I remember when everyone had to pull all the Santas out of their stores because it was targeting children. I’m surprised the SLA let this slide

  11. Buongiorno to every one, expecially to my Friend Robert…that know me, my reality and passion that me and my family have for all our wines. Ciao Roberto…great to have your news. tks a lot ! you are great ! I hop e to see you soon.
    * * * IOMPORTANT * * *
    I’m the producer of hello Kitty Wines…I think that is nice enjoy moments, life in every seconds and think that life is beautiful …enjoy with a glass of wines…know his culture…his reality and to see the world with smiling eyes …and not think that all is terrible in the life…. Is nice to live dream..and smile …this is my message to every one that consider strange HELLO KITTY WINES …products produced with responsability, with nice packaging, to enyoy life with responsability. …Hello Kitty wines are only available in Selected Restaurant & Liquor store … where child are not allowed to buy ….this few words to tell to all of you that in a bottle of wines there is a lot of Job …of passion… and thinks ! Have a nice day …and SMILE ! This is my personal suggestion. Patrizia Torti ….Hello Kitty Wines Producer.

  12. Does Patrizia’s comment mean that they are not available for sale via the interwebs, where, according to so many States, children can buy wine at will?

  13. Wait, you need a third category: I have no flippin’ idea who they are targeting but I’m strangely confused and disturbed!

  14. ha, Sarah, your wish is our command! (Just added!)

    @ Jill – should we ask questions about your comment? Nah… (did you see the review?)


  15. Whatever you or I may think of “Hello Kitty” as a wine name, it remains a fact that booze of any kind is not legally sold to persons under the age of 21 in the United States. So it really matters not a whit whether the stuff is being marketed to people under the age of 21. They can’t legally buy it.

    Yes, I know all about underage drinking. It is facilitated by people who are 21 years old or older, who are breaking the law. This includes parents and other family members.

    It is true that I think American alcohol laws are both idiotic and chaotic, and based on unreason. But my opinion is totally beside the point: The law is the law.

  16. I am curious wines like “Bitch” from Australia or any other “non-sensical” labels that we find in our wine shops gain this much notoriety. Perhaps parents or guardians can shed light to the world we live in whereby cross-promotion, creative licensing and joint ventures are entrepreneur spirit that are not taught in school. So in fact this can offer good business lesson for young children to exercise their parts of brain that could help them to do good as they grow older in this world. Gary Vaynerchuk learned to flip his bad baseball cards to make money and create profit at age 13. Corollary here is while many of us choose to focus on the obvious, when we can also choose to turn it around to make positive out of such situations.

  17. When do we get a label of “Don’t whine, I voted for x”? or just WHINE! so I can give it to my ex and laugh all the way home. haha.
    I hate shocking word labels, I find them offensive and are NEVER on my buy list. When someone talks about them, I say they are for 12 year old humor. garbage. ok, so i’m opinionated. yes.

  18. Hello Kitty looks cute but she’s a licensing monster! Will she stop at nothing? There an interview with her here about the new wines.

  19. What’s up with this Hello Kitty wine? I’m indeed strangely confused and disturbed. Hehehe.

    Don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think wine is a good product to boast Hello Kitty sales, or is it??

  20. You have it backward, Sander.

    The wine isn’t to boost Hello Kitty sales (I promise, she needs ZERO help in that department). The Hello Kitty is to boost the sale of the wine!

  21. I don’t play guitar, but I was nearly moved to buy a pink Squire Strat electric (Fender’s cheaper “second label” brand) purely because of the Hello Kitty embellishments, and I’m a straight 49 year old guy.

    Hello Kitty isn’t cool. Squire strats aren’t cool. The two together are arctic however.

    Same thing with this wine; the only thing grabbing my attention is the Hello Kitty.

    Is it possible I have a teenaged Japanese girl’s soul?


    John Cesano

  22. It’s cute, it’s pink, it’s girlie and like you said, “she’s 35 now.”

    With more women buying wine than ever before and a good majority of average people attracted to labels only, I certainly think this wine has a shot and will sell as a gift or gag.

    I’d try it once out of curiosity, but the $27 price tag to pay for the licensing may deter some.

    “Bitch” by Chris Ringland and some of the Ed Hardy offerings are not 90 point wines, but good everyday quaffs. We tend to forget that the majority of people buying wine do not over-think these purchases.

  23. […] El otro día leyendo, uno de mis blogs favoritos Dr. Vino, pude leer el siguiente post: Is Hello Kitty wine the Joe Camel of wine?. […]

  24. How does hello kitty drink when she does not have a mouth?

  25. […] into play as Sanrio uses Hello Kitty to reach out to adults that find her cuteness irresistible. Tyler Coleman aka Dr. Vino has a poll on his site where you can vote on whether you think it’s a ploy to attract children to […]


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