Do you know what is œnographilie?

Do you know what œnographilie is?

The œnographilie (from Greek ” Oinos “, wine, ” graphein “, write and “philosophies”, friends) or ” œnosémiophilie ” or still ” éthyllabellophilie ” indicates the collection of the labels of wine bottle.

This type of collection may be, for example, made by region, by naming, by domain, by periods or by themes (according to what represent and use labels: first names, names, characters, animals, buildings(ships), oeuvres of art, artistic movements, traditional costumes, etc.).

Big collector, M. Philippe PARES, so collected 350 000 labels of all the times and all the vineyards!

The first printed labels of wine date the XIXth century. (The Museum of the Burgundy wine of Beaune exposes labels dated 1798 and Commanderie du Bontemps and of the Médoc, of Pauillac, possesses two bottles labelled of 1800. The Champagne house Moët and Chandon holds as for her a label of “J. Cie Moët and” which was intended to identify “Vin d’ Aÿ white Cremant of 1811”).

With the increase of the offer of wines and the beginnings of the marketing, the number of labels and the diverse (and more or less relevant…) mentions appearing on these considerably increased, end of the XIXth and in the beginning of the XXth century, as well as – unfortunately – the more or less misleading assertions concerning the characteristics of the wine contained in the flask.

To avoid the deceit of the consumers by false mentions and the depreciation which can result from it for the wine and his producers, the baron Pierre LE ROY DE BOISEAUMARIE, wine grower to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, then created, in 1935, with his friend and former Minister for Agriculture Joseph CAPUS, the INAO (become since the ” National Institute of the Origin and the Quality“) and endowed it with a duties of supervision and with repression of the frauds.

This INAO stays up even today, via 260 agents distributed on all the national territory – in dialogue with the bodies of protection of every AOP, of which the CIVC – in the respect for the strict regulations the aforementioned AOP, of which the Protected Designation of Origin Champagne.

Impression des étiquettes de la cuvée symphonie Bon à tirer des étiquettes des cuvées Blanc de noirs, Blanc de blancs et Symphonie Impression des étiquettes de la cuvée tradition

Impression des étiquettes Mater & Filii

But where from comes the French word “étiquette”?

According to the encyclopedia of Diderot and Alembert, appeared from 1751 till 1772, the french word “étiquette” is a legal indicating term ” in style of court, a piece of paper or parchment which we attach on the bags of the causes, the authorities or the trial, on which we mark the names of the parts and their prosecutors”. The origin of the word goes back to the time when the procedures were drafted in Latin. It was then written on the bag “est hic quoestio inter n… and n… ” and, often, only “quoest” was indicated instead of “quoestio“, what gave “est is quoest“. This “est hic quoest” became …”étiquette”;-).

To know more about it:


  • « L’Etiquette du Vin », 2003, Editions Hachette pratique, ISBN-10: 2012362060 / ISBN-13: 978-2012362062, written by Anthony ROWLEY, qualified teacher and doctor in history, professor ato the Institut d’Études Politiques of Paris and manager at Plon-Perrin and by Philippe PARES, wine steward who practiced in the Pré Catelan, in Paris, then in La Marée, owned by Eric TROMPIER. This work allows to admire 560 labels of Philippe PARES’s collection, among the most former, the most representative and the most esthetic.
  • « Le grand livre de l’étiquette : L’étiquette de vin, l’étiquette du champagne», 1995, Editions Vilo / Racine, ISBN 10 : 2873861592  ISBN 13 : 9782873861599, written by Georges RENOY.

Video presentation (in french language) of the oenographilie :

Regarding to the regulations of the label of wine of champagne:

Press article:

« La valse lente de l’étiquette », written by Roger POURTEAU, september 2013, in

Web sites of associations or collectors:

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