Wine & Type Tasting

Do you judge a wine by its label?

This is a multi sensory tasting journey through five wines that has surprised and delighted audiences at innovative design studios and corporate entertainment events. It’s based on the sell-out success at the London Design Festival. Each course demonstrates an aspect of how what you experience is influenced by assumptions made by your subconscious, and it culminates in an enlightening finale that puts the science into practice.  

“Fun and informative” “Eye-opening” “Interesting and surprising” “Fascinating” “Illuminating” “A different perspective” “Typography + wine tasting = the best of both worlds” “Fantastic experience, would definitely recommend it” “Great, fun and informative”

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What does the design of the label tell you about a product? How does this influence your expectations and even what you taste? Learn about the science of taste and the senses; how design can influence what you drink; and ultimately whether the packaging is just there to inform you, or can it transform your experience?

Sarah focuses on the experience of the type consumer — all of us — so no prior knowledge of (or interest in) fonts is required. She will show you that typography is the interface between consumer and what is consumed. That type is at the intersection of anticipation and experience, yet we generally pay little attention to it. Instead, we look past the letters to the experience they describe, unaware of the assumptions we have formed and the choices we have made based on the look of the words.


Can a label make wine taste more expensive? Why do Old and New World wine labels look so different? Does your sense of taste work in isolation, or do you taste with all of your senses?

You will take part in fun games and demonstrations throughout the tasting, giving you the opportunity to compare your responses with the scientific findings. Play ‘The price (of the typeface) is right’, ‘Type karaoke’, try your hand at pairing typefaces with different scents and leave with your own lighthearted personality analysis.

Decoding the language of labels reflects wider consumer trends that can help you to future-proof your communications. Having a better understanding of how the brain makes decisions enables us all to make better-informed choices.

This session incorporates findings published in studies co-authored by Sarah Hyndman and Professor Charles Spence of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory, University of Oxford.


Wine and Type Tastings have run at adidas in Germany, for workplace experts BW’s clients, at Laithwaite’s Arch for the London Design Festival, for the BumbleBizz launch and as part of Sarah’s presentation at the annual International Fragrance Association conference.

Photo by Benjamin Glean.

Photo by Benjamin Glean.


“Fabulous, surprising and delicious!” adidas

“Frankly brilliant idea” It’s Nice That

“Fun and informative” “Eye-opening” “Interesting and surprising” “Fascinating” “Illuminating” “A different perspective” “Typography + wine tasting = the best of both worlds” “Fantastic experience, would definitely recommend it” “Great, fun and informative”

“It was certainly an eye-opener to realise that so much of what we taste is influenced by our other senses” SEEN London

“More than an excuse for weeknight drinking, wine was a clever example of the influence of typeface … don’t worry; you don’t need to be a typography nerd” Digital Arts

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Get in touch to discuss a Wine and Type Tasting


Photos by David Owens unless otherwise credited.