How much is too much for wine labels?

racy wine label Why have the federal authorities rejected a wine label with a nude photo yet waived through several with nude art? Why is swearing and double entendre allowed while someone driving a car is not? And what about guns?

I explore the vicissitudes of wine labels that push the boundaries of acceptable in a post over on Details.com. Check it out for a look at some racy labels, including some rejected labels that have never been seen by a broad audience before.

If you were the all-powerful regulator of wine, what would be your litmus test for allowable art on wine labels?

“Wine labels gone wild” [Details.com]

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7 Responses to “How much is too much for wine labels?”


  1. cool post


  2. Pictures of Matthew McConaughey and Hugh Jackman on wine labels would be head-turning yet G-rated.


  3. really cool post. my favorite quote: “well, she was wearing a hat”


  4. Hey, as a sometimes wine maker – just a question – did you reach out to anyone at the TTB and ask them about this? You should – be interesting to see what kind of answers you get… Since I make some wine, I can tell you that they told me any wording on the label or any name that makes a claim will not, not be approved – for example, one would presume “Good For You” wine would not be approved. The reason I know this is because they told me a name I floated would not be approved because it “makes a claim” – I won’t give you the name because I still would like to get it approved some day… Now, many wines seem to make a claim, but a wine like “Fat Bastard” is not making a claim, just saying a name – or so it was explained to me… For example, one would presume and it was told to me that “Happy Juice” would not be approved because it implies that if one drinks this wine, it would make one happy…

    I was also told that something that is “outright indecent, violent, or extreme” will not be approved. And this is where the subjective nature of the subject comes in…


  5. Bill & Gabe – thanks, glad you both liked it.

    Robin – haha, may be a bit of a rights issue there. But call their agents! ;-)

    Richard – Yes, I discussed the issue with a spokesperson at the TTB. This piece was primarily focused on label art. Interesting that they mentioned violence — sort of at odds with the amount of guns that they wave through.


  6. […] sensual, simply indecent? May be some are. Take a look at Tyler Colman’s, a.k.a. Dr. Vino, blog post on the subject. Make sure to check the link to his article in the Details magazine – you will […]


  7. It seems like an exageration to me to ban all those labels. Here in Chile I have not seen labels like those so maybe they are banning them too. We produce some private label wine so you can customize your labels as you want!

    Chile is a well known wine producer and we produce one of the best Chilean wines of all. We offer bulk wine, bag in box wine,private label wine and wholesale wine. Visit us to know more about Chile wines.

    Chile wines


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