Here’s a story from Harpers UK that caught my attention. Their ludicrous, 19th-century approach to copyright protection has rendered me unable to copy and paste pertinent excerpts, but the upshot is that, at least overseas, there has been a surge of growth in what are called “large-format wine bottles.” Magnums, essentially (or would that be “magna”?), or wine bottles greater than 750ml. Indeed, popular sizes include 1.5 liters, 3 liters, and 6 liters. Now, obviously, some of these are intended for parties and other events with large gatherings, not a quiet romantic dinner for two, lest it descend into drunken anarchy (which depends on your approach to dating, I guess).

Why is this important for the printing markets? One popular and fast-growing application for digital printing is in fact wine bottle labels. (Do a Google search for “digital wine labels” and you’ll get a ton of hits.) The growth is in shorter-run labels which not only have the branding for the winery on the label (which be an application for long-run analog processes), but can be easily customized for a particular grape and vintage, each of which may not be produced in particularly large quantities—a job for digital printing. (Did you know that there is at least one winery in every state?)

If larger bottles are indeed a growing trend, and if those smaller wineries follow this trend, it will open new opportunities for label printing companies—and digital label printing companies—who can produce labels for these “large-format” bottles.

It’s an emerging trend to at least keep an eye on—and perhaps drink a toast to.