Cheryl Hunter (shelflife at’s weekly pick of all things new — product, packaging, design, insight, food, décor and more!

  • Wine label design awards 2016
  • Theatre takes a sensory journey
  • Alcatel gets in touch

Labelling the best

The Wine Label Design Awards rewards outstanding design as an influence upon wine purchases, recognising the best bottled-wine packaging in South Africa, judged by originality of concept, execution, shelf appeal and effectiveness as a piece of communication. Sponsored by self-adhesive label supplier Rotolabel, the second annual awards received 50 entries, with 17 emerging as finalists and only two achieving Gold.

The Gold awards went to a very traditional but beautifully crafted work for Simonsig, The Garland 2009, and the innovative and provocative labels for The Saboteur range from Luddite Wines. The People’s Choice Award, as determined by online public voting, went to Cavalli Warlord 2009.

But are SA wine labels as inspired as they could be? Is graphic design being effectively implemented to differentiate a product from the competition and motivate the consumer to buy? On a more macro level, is the SA wine industry sufficiently using design to convey a compelling sense of self? Sadly, the feeling among the judges was that, while the overall standard was fair, there was little of true excellence. A particular problem that judges identified was “design by committee” — too many stakeholders involved in the task, resulting in a muddled outcome, as opposed to a single person’s idea followed through without compromise. As was the case in year one, work frequently appeared unresolved with a great idea compromised by a lack of craft or vice versa.

Lots of room for improved entries in 2017!

The award-winning wine labels are on display at The AVA Gallery in Cape Town until 5 March 2016.


Still salting the wine experience

The 51st Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards is honouring theatre excellence in South Africa this year by taking guests on a sensory journey of wine and artisanal salt pairings, creating a fusion of culture, food and wine. Designed by salt aficionado, chef Craig Cormack, the annual event takes place at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town on Sunday, 20 March 2016.

Wim Truter, the cellarmaster at Die Bergkelder who is collaborating with Cormack at the Theatre Awards, says Fleur du Cap wines and artisanal salt are in perfect synergy: “As with wine, location, climate and the elements all dictate the character of salt, another of nature’s gifts expressing [its] origins and sense of place.”

Guests at the awards will be treated to five pairings of Fleur du Cap wines and gourmet dishes, enriched by artisanal salt from across the globe. The recipes of these dishes may all be found in Fleur du Cap’s Salt and Wine Experience booklet available at Die Bergkelder.

Tickets to the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards cost R200 via


Keeping it simple

ALCATEL ONETOUCH, a member of TCL Communication, is simplifying its name, message and streamlining devices, now operating under the name ALCATEL, with a new logo and new focus that is meant to be in tune with its target market of millennials.

With the launch of its new branding, it aims to increase its engagement with millennials, who are uncompromising in what they expect from brands in their everyday lives. ALCATEL seeks to offer the features and technology its customers need, but keep surprising the users with great experiences.

According to Dan Dery, chief marketing officer at ALCATEL, the brand’s new lineup is aimed at college students/young adults, young professionals and young parents: “The brand offers an array of personalised choices, particularly suited to these markets, including fun customisable covers, DJ mixing software, amped-up audio systems and the innovative virtual reality experience.

“Because both quality and price are important to millennials, we feel that ALCATEL is uniquely in tune with their needs.”




Cheryl Hunter

Shelf Life is’s weekly column covering all things new. Notify us of yours at shelflife at marklives dot com. Want to sponsor Shelf Life? Contact us here.

Cheryl Hunter (@cherylhunter) has written for the South African media, marketing and advertising industries for more than 15 years. A former editor of M&M in Independent Newspapers and contributor to Bizcommunity, AdFocus, AdReview and the Ad Annual, she has also produced for various television networks and currently consults on communication strategy and media liaison.

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