Judging a wine by its label a valid consumer choice

dolcetto di dogliani

I have broken the first, the one-and-only, the golden rule of being a sommelier – never purchase wine because you like the label. I have broken this rule twice when it comes to this lovely Dolcetto di Dogliani, Pettirosso from Romana. Which proves that buying wine because of the label can sometimes work. In fact, the second rule is probably don’t buy wine from the supermarket, and I broke it too, because that’s where I found this.

So while the conclusion might be that I’m not much of a sommelier (and I’d agree with you), it’s okay to buy wine because you like the label. It’s a valid choice and if the winemaker is good, they know how to package wine according to the product and more importantly, the consumer. This bottle retails for about four euros at my local supermarket. Rule number three – don’t buy wine because it’s cheap.

I’m happy to say I have broken all three rules, twice, and have been pleasantly surprised. Dolcetto is a great wine for a daily drink. Last year, when I was taking tourists on our winery tour and tasting in Monforte, I had all types, from budding sommeliers, to importers, to serious wine buffs, to the Sunday wine expert (a bit like a Sunday driver and sometimes they combined the two) and the people who would admit that the only thing they knew about wine was that it was red or white. Often people who would buy because the wine label looked good.

I embrace those drinkers and I defend their choice (as well as defending Dolcetto). Buying a wine because you like the label is a valid consumer choice, just like any other, and if the winemaker is smart, you can get good product in pretty packaging. Just like this Romana Pettirosso Dolcetto di Dogliani. DOCG at four euros and with a cute red robin on the front? I’ll have another glass.

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