Canandaigua is looking to tap into the demand for offbeat-style wines with the launch of a brand called 3 Blind Moose.

The range comprises three super-premium California wines, a Chardonnay, a Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon, packaged as the company puts it, "with a dash of whimsy." All three are vintage-dated blends from California's Central Coast and Lodi regions, with a suggested retail price of US$9.99 for a 75cl bottle.

Canandaigua, part of the Constellation Wines group, is aiming 3 Blind Moose at the growing 'non-traditional' segment of the US wine market which now accounts for more than 25% of all super-premium wine sales. Consumers of these wines, typically in the 25-to-34-year-old age range, are looking for wines with a less stuffy image and are drawn to products brands with unusual names and labelling.

"The wine industry has discovered that 25-to-34-year-olds are actually more willing than 35-to-54-year-olds to pay premium and super-premium wine prices," said Gary Glass, Canandaigua's vice president of marketing. "However, they eschew traditional wine pomp and formality in favour of brands that take a casual, gently irreverent approach to wine. These consumers are a natural audience for 3 Blind moose."