in Geekery

The Penfolds Bin 8 Wine Bottle Experience: In-Depth Review

This little geeky joke was inspired by DC Rainmaker – who runs an extremely useful fitness blog and offers in-depth reviews on all the latest gear. Check out an example and you’ll see what a solid gold standard ‘In-Depth Review’ looks like. Content marketers take note.

These reviews are useful, but photographing every. single. little. thing. of a running watch seems a little OTT to me.

So what if the In-Depth Review was used for an extremely boring, everyday item?

Well, in the spirit of the Luzern Hallenbad Experience, here is an in depth review of a Penfolds Bin 8 wine bottle. Not the wine, just the bottle.

This might seem a little weird, but don’t take it too seriously – it’s just a geeky little joke.

Lets dive right into the Penfolds Bin 8 wine bottle experience!

IMG_5389This is a picture of the wine bottle being reviewed today. You could describe this photo as ‘the money shot’ which would be used as the ‘product image’ in addition to miscellaneous marketing material.

As you can see, it’s a Penfolds Bin 8, 2012 Cabernet Shiraz from South Australia. I paid 19.95 CHF for this bottle and wanted to compare the taste to the 50%+ cheaper Penfolds Koonunga Hill, at 8.50 CHF.

19.95CHF is a lot for me to spend on one bottle of wine, so I hope it’s good when I get to taste it. Unfortunately, as this is an In-Depth Review of the Penfolds wine bottle, I won’t actually be tasting the wine today.

Note the very dark, almost black, colour of the bottle. It’s really, really dark, to the point you can’t see the wine inside. This contrast is emphasised further with the blood red (hex …?) neck wrapper and cream label. I’ve read dark bottle glass preserves wine for longer – but maybe this is just part of the Penfolds branding.

Lets weigh them up.


On the scales, the Bin 8 weighs in at hefty 1.346kg.


The Koonunga Hill however, is a staggering 133g’s lighter, at 1.213kg. Why? Are heavier glass wine bottles regarded as being more ‘premium’ in the wine industry?

Maybe Penfolds can tell us.


Above shows a close up of the front wine label.

It’s a pretty classy affair as wine labels go, with a nice combination of cream paper and a traditional type face. Running your thumb over the label you feel the red Penfolds logo is embossed with a slight glossy finish, indicating this is not a cheap print job.


Above you can see I shifted the light to pick up the texture of this wine label. A quality paper is being used here.


Comparing to the Penfolds Koonunga Hill, which is over 50% cheaper, you can see it’s printed on flat, plain white paper. Immediately you see where the extra money is going on the Bin 8 – I just hope that continues into the wine itself when I eventually get to taste it.


Back to the Bin 8. Above you will see I’ve zoomed in on a grey crest, again this is embossed, so I assume it’s of some importance to the history of the brand. The Penfolds website has the same crest, with the date the company was founded, 1844:

… Having visited Australia a few times I know the 5 stars on the left are the southern cross (star constellation visible in the southern hemisphere, also a very common tattoo) but have no idea what the unicorn has to do with Penfolds and/or the wine making process.

Maybe unicorn tears are a secret ingredient.

The crest is also surrounded by grape vines, which seems logical.


Above shows the front base of the wine bottle and these brail like dotted markings, and the number 27 to the far right.

I have no idea what these dots and numbers mean.

Morse code equates 3-2-2-2 to ‘Siii’, which doesn’t make sense as the wine isn’t from Spain, and still doesn’t account for the number 27 on the far right.


Above shows the back wine label in all it’s glory.

It pretty much duplicates the text on the front label (logo, grape, year, description) which seems like a bit of a missed opportunity to engage with the wine drinker.

In addition to the copy paste text, they also drop in the Penfolds dot com URL, the standard barcodes and the ‘no pregnant ladies allowed’ logo.

14.5%, 750ml – pretty standard stuff.


Check out the label quality here. It’s in a different league to the front label and oozes texture, quality and has extra weight compared to the front of the bottle. Scroll up again and see for yourself…Now isn’t that exciting!

But… the Penfolds logo is not embossed – wtf guys?


On the back of the bottle we see another batch of numbers:

  • L4038 03:45 W3
    • This is stamped on the bottle in light grey, could 03:45 be the time of bottling the wine/shipping?
  • AG 001
    • Moulded in the bottle.

I have no idea what these mean, feel free to drop suggestions/answers in the comments.


Shooting up to the top of the wine bottle, you see the red necked wrapper with the familiar Penfolds logo and ‘EST 1844′ stamp. On closer inspection you can also see four pierce marks through the wrapper showing the cork.


This is a really rich, blood red – the pictures above show this well. These bottles really stand out on the shelf in the supermarket – kudos and hat tips to you, Penfolds marketing and branding team.


And here we are – the bottom of the Penfolds Bin 8 wine bottle.

Man, this base is dark and deep. However this black hole, with an outer dash marked circumference, marks the end of this in-depth review. There really isn’t anything left to talk about anymore.

I hope you found this review amusing (maybe even useful) and I look forward to sharing the Penfolds Bin 8 wine tasting In Depth-Review experience in the near future.

Thanks for reading!

  1. Needs more comparison shots next to a dozen other wine bottles!

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