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The Critter That Started it All

January—time for austere budgets. Have you ever noticed how many inexpensive and moderately priced wines have animals on the label? Wine’s “critter era” is thought to have been born in 2001 when an Australian brand named [yellow tail] entered the U.S. market with the modest goal of selling 25,000 cases. By 2012, [yellow tail] was the single largest selling imported wine in the U.S. (Sales have slightly declined since, but last spring, a whopping 15 million bottles of [yellow tail] were sold in just the first three months of the year). Animal labels capture a craving for the uncomplicated. Today, labels around the world sport scores of animals including elephants, frogs, wild boars, bobcats, chickens, alligators, buzzards, butterflies, beavers, bees, aardvarks and eagles (screaming, of course).

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