Wine of the Week

A Bottle of Wine With Your Own Label!

Wine of the Week
Photo by John Anderson

Here's a fun gift idea: a bottle of wine with a label you choose and design. Do you have a great picture? Maybe yourself, family, or a puppy? Or how about your own band logo? A good bottle of wine with a bespoke label can make a nice gift, and Personal Wine, a local company, is doing the job in a novel way.

The idea of a customer-designed, personalized bottle of wine is not new. As soon as entrepreneurs discovered that government revenuers would allow a person to place an odd label on a bottle, people started buying (often crap) wine from manufacturers who had an overstock of wine they couldn't sell. To make it worse, since the winemaker was usually ashamed of the product, they wouldn't allow any acknowledgment of who made the wine anywhere on the bottle. Consequently, neither giver nor receiver could find out anything about the wine. The consumer got the label they wanted, but it was often affixed to an unpredictable bottle of wine.

Personal Wine has turned the paradigm on its ear by searching out tasty and high-scoring wines and buying hundreds of cases at bottling, before the labels are attached. That way, when customers want personalized labels, the company can put the labels on good bottles of wine that also give evidence of their true provenance. Here's how it works: You design a label using oh-so-easy software (Personal Wine will even help over the phone), pick one of 20 wines, wait 10 business days, pay a small premium over the price you'd pay in a store, and bingo, you have your own personal wine. Added to all this convenience is sturdy and very expensive packaging to make sure the wines arrive shipshape. Personal Wine products can be ordered on the Web ( or by calling 512/476-WINE or 800/690-WINE. Prices vary from $20 for good California and Texas wines to $280 for a wine with a 98 score from the Wine Enthusiast.

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