December 22, 2020

At Lucky Rock Wine Co., We have been getting tattoos since we were each 18 years old. Our first tattoos were relatively dumb, bad, ill-placed, and/or poorly done… tattoos can still suck, but the quality has gone up in a HUGE way. There are so many great artists out there and the technology has gotten so much better- now it is up to you to get what you want. How is that for pressure? We rock those ‘subpar’ tattoos still, for better or worse. We thought we would try and save you some of the remorse that we pretend we don’t have about our first tattoos by giving you some tips. And, because wine tattoos are a tough lot to work with.... what better topic then wine tattoos?! Because of the subject matter, wine tattoos have a tendency to be incredibly cheesy, and forced. Also, they can be pourly (pun) thought out, placed and designed. Literally, I have seen clipart, from Microsoft Word, circa 1998 used as a “wine tattoo.” Perhaps people do most of their tattoo design whilst hammered ass drunk… We cannot confirm. Yes, we can.

Below are a couple examples of tattoos that are okay-at-best and/or plain crap. You can probably determine which is which. If not, don’t get a wine tattoo.


In addition to the incredibly ‘meh’ wine tattoos above, below are some that are thought out better.  My brother, Aaron has several wine themed tattoos. Scroll to the bottom to have a look at those. These include a tattoo he is getting a few blocks away from our office, literally, as I type.

Here are a couple examples of better thought-out tattoos:

Traditional colours in this wine tattoo by Alex Duquette. Photo: Instagram.Thigh Male Sailing Ship Anchor Wine Tattoo Ideas 






Are these wine tattoos better? Yes. Are they for you? Maybe not. That is what is great about tattoos, they can be incredibly personal, and original- limited only by your imagination.

I asked my brother some questions prior to him getting his highly risky wine themed tattoo. Perhaps he can shed some light on the process for you prior to your decision.


1. How did you pick the Artist?

A few years ago, I was looking to get some American Traditional work done and came across some work done by Max May. I checked out his Instagram (@maxmaytattoo), the unofficial platform to view most all tattoo artists work, and liked many of his tattoos.


2. What inspired the design?

I love wine and tattoos, but many of the images associated with wine don’t translate well into a good tattoo. How do you make a wine glass a bit more badass? Place the glass in the hand of skeleton, obviously (see below).


3. How big are you going to get it?

About 3.5 -4 inches by 2-3 inches.


4. Where are you going to get it?

My plan is to get the tattoo on my left side sandwiched in between two existing tattoos. If for some reason this placement doesn’t work well, I am open to other locations.


5. Have you seen other tattoos like this?

Not really, there are tons of skeleton hands holding different items, but not many wine glasses. I think I might have seen one, but it was just ok…poor guy.


6. Why do most wine tattoos suck?

I touched on this earlier, I think many of them suck because they don’t embrace actual tattoo design or culture. It is more like here is a grape cluster, leaf or whatever and make it acceptably small. This ends up being a tattoo that is floating, unanchored to anything, left looking awkward and lame. The detail is muted by this, and the visual impact is dampened. Just my opinion.


7. Any tips or etiquette you recommend when getting a tattoo?

Have an idea in mind but don’t be married to it. Let the artist inform the translation from still images to an actual tattoo. Once you have an idea of the image, take a gander at Instagram and see if you can find a style that looks like what you are looking for. Having this information will aid you in selecting a local shop or artist that specializes in your chosen genre. 

Don’t cheap out, this will be on you for a long time.


8. Aftercare. Any tips?

In areas that get a lot of movement, like the crutch of your arm, I like to keep the fresh tattoo wrapped in saran wrap overnight. Then let it air dry for a day. This seems to help in keeping the scabbing less textured.  There are some that don’t like to do this for sanitary issues, but I have never had a problem, however, I am not a doctor.

Color scabs up more than black and grey work. When the tattoo does scab up, get your favorite unscented lotion ready to apply after a few days and keep it moist, but not wet.

See below for pictures of our wine tattoos

Know your tattoo genres…

If you are interested in getting a tattoo, wine focused or not, below are a few tattoo styles that are worth researching to give you some ideas of what is out there:

  • American traditional. Often distinguished by clean, distinct, black outlines and the primary color palette. Often this style features skulls and roses.
  • Traditional Japanese. Inspired by traditional Japanese artwork, this style’s has light, or subtle shading and thin lines that are often used to create tigers, koi fish, and flowers and other Japanese themes.
  • Realism. This style’s goal is to recreate subjects using shading and color contrast, as they appear in real life. Note that when the tattoo heals, it looks less vibrant, so the realism may fade a little.
  • Illustrative. A combination of elements from traditional tattooing and realism, this style typically consists of bold outlines and intense color.
  • Neo-traditional. An updated version of American traditional tattoos and imagery, this style leans heavily on shading and color to create realistic portraiture.
  • Minimalism or geometric. Focuses on crisp black lines and negative space, this style is about precision. The results are often simple and full of symbolism (e.g. sacred geometry). This style is one of the newest that we can think ok.

Aaron's Wine Themed Tattoos


 *The Rooster is based on Chianti's logo

*The Vine-lady is based on Mondovi's To-Kalon Sauvignon Blanc label

Love wine as much as we do? Check out our Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.

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