Let us create a 3D eBook for you!
Let us create a 3d Digital eBook for you! DigyCat.com

The Ten Most Important Wine Label Terms


For the average wine consumer, there is a plethora of intimidation associated with wine buying. This is a feeling that is most often associated with not understanding wine labels. New world wines tend to make it easier - wines bottled in Australia, South America and the United States are often more direct in their presentation of the type of wine and the name of the vineyard. On the other hand, old world wine labels like those from France, Italy, Spain and Germany carry with them loads of classifications, harvest-types, town names, vineyard titles and producer idiosyncrasies - all in a foreign language. While these labels embody the wonderfully classic aesthetic associated with a good looking wine label, they almost always cause a cocking of the head for the average wine buyer.

In an effort to make the process less of a mess and more fun for those unmoved with the prospect of memorizing a pocket dictionary worth of French, Italian, Spanish and German wine terms, here is a list of the top ten things to look for on a wine label. The first five are things you want to look for, and the last five are items that should raise a flag of caution or don't mean what you think they should.

1. Cru

If there's one term you should learn when looking for a good French wine, it's Cru. The infamous wine regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Alsace in France will carry the term Cru somewhere on the label to indicate that the wine is from a town or producer of high quality.

2. Poor Soil / Deprived of Water

This will be something you read on the back of the wine label if there is a description. Sure - it sounds counter-intuitive, but wine that is grown in poor soil and deprived of water irrigation is actually likely to be of higher quality. Why? Because when a vine is deprived of excess water and nutrients, it will channel more of its energy into ripening the fruit rather than producing bright and vibrant leaves. The result is a higher quality grape harvest.

3. Methode Traditionelle (Traditional Method)

This applies primarily to sparkling wine made in the United States and Australia. If you see Traditional Method on the label of a new world wine it means that it is made in the same way as traditional Champagne, and will often be less expensive!

4. Vieilles Vignes (Old Vines)

Similar to the concept of vines grown in poor soil with minimal irrigation, vines that are considered old vines have more concentrated juices. The result is a vine that produces wines with denser, richer flavors. And as the juice is more robust, so usually are the other aspects of the grape, including the tannin and the acidity. A reference to Old vines either on the front or the back label is a positive indication of the wine's quality. This will be called Vieilles Vignes on French Wines.

5. Estate Bottled

On a bottle of French wine, you will see this labeled as Mis en Bouteille au Chateau, Mis en Bouteille au Domaine, or Mis en Bouteille au Propriete. The concept of an estate bottled wine is that it was grown, produced and bottled at the same location. There is an inference that the wine maker takes a great deal of pride in all aspects of the wine making process and wants the world to know that he or she oversees every element of the wine's production. As such, it is typically a reference to higher quality wine.

6. Odd Sounding or Unfamiliar Wine Awards

This is something that should raise a red flag. Australia notoriously has problems with wine makers placing gold, silver or bronze stickers on their wine labels that boast winning an award at an esoteric wine festival. Until very recently, there was no regulation in place for what type of award was worthy of placing on a wine label. If you do see award-winning stickers, make sure that the event sounds familiar or at least sounds large. You don't want to end up with a wine that won an award at a bake sale.

7. Flowery Marketing Terms

Most consumers have no problem identifying marketing adjectives from legitimate inferences to why a product is high-quality. Be wary of terms that a marketer developed while staying up late at the local café in the midst of a brain-storming frenzy. Anything that is trying to sound impressive by using words like exceptional, from wine maker's personal bin, or limited release is most likely trying to sell the wine based on gimmicks rather than on its quality.

8. Vague Geological References

High quality wines are usually a reflection of the unique characteristics of the small plot of land on which the grapes were grown. Wine makers will want to highlight this fact by referencing their specific region or town and the vineyard name. Be cautious of wine labels that reference a vague geographical space without getting more specific. South-Eastern Australia is a notorious labeling term you will find on Australian wines, which is about as specific as saying This Wine Was Made on Planet Earth. South-Eastern Australia includes the majority of the country's wine growing regions. Similarly, a wine that only says California Wine, or French Wine without honing in on towns or more isolated regions should be avoided.

9. Grand Vin

A Grand Vin term on a French wine label simply refers to the fact that the wine is the primary one produced at that vineyard. It is often confused with Vieilles Vignes (Old Vine), which is a reflection of quality. Grand Vin is a neutral term that will give you little indication either way.

10. Superieur

This labeling term causes confusion similar to Grand Vine listed above. It sounds cool but all it really refers to is the fact that a French or an Italian wine has a higher alcohol content than what it is traditionally known for.

The art of understanding the wine label can be the journey of a lifetime, but there's no reason why the average consumer can't get a leg up by understanding some of the key items to recognize. The most important thing is to have a sense of adventure and continue to explore new wines. Taste them and see how the label reflects what you like (or don't like) about the wine. If it was flat and watery, were there gimmicky marketing terms that were used in the description? If it was full, balanced and complex, did it have a reference to Old Vines? The terms listed here will help equally with choosing wine off of a menu at a restaurant as buying a bottle in a store. Listen closely to the waiter or sommelier's description. You never know what gems you can find by simply being aware of the terms listed here!

Tynan Szvetecz is an editor for http://www.savoreachglass.com, an international wine directory that is helping explore the spirit of wine for a new generation. Wine hobbyists, sommeliers, merchants and growers have all come together to contribute content to this directory in an effort to make it as informative and easy to use as possible.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


The Mercury News

Bay Area wine, spirits and beer events: Dec. 31 and beyond
The Mercury News
From beer and sake tasting to chocolate truffle and wine pairings, here's what's happening in Northern California. By Kathy Bennett | kbennett@bayareanewsgroup.com |. December 30, 2017 at 11:00 am. Spirit Works Tour and Tasting: On this Boozephreaks ...



The Mercury News

Bay Area wine, spirits and beer events: Dec. 24 and beyond
The Mercury News
Brewing for Beer Dinner: Comal will welcome Laughing Monk Brewing head brewer and co-owner Jeff Moakler for a dinner that features small-batch beers paired with Comal dishes. 6:30 p.m. Jan. 8. Comal, 2020 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. $75. www.comalberkeley ...



Beer, wine, spirits: Snohomish County booze calendar
The Daily Herald
Jack Daniels VR tour and tasting: Snohomish's Fred's Rivertown Alehouse is hosting a Jack Daniels virtual reality tour and tasting at 7 p.m. Jan. 4 at the alehouse, 1114 First St., Snohomish. Not only can visitors taste a single-barrel Jack Daniels ...

and more »


News Briefs for January 12, 2018
Shanken News Daily
•Tito's vodka has become the largest-selling spirits brand in dollar terms on an annual basis for the first time ever in IRI channels, surpassing Jack Daniel's Black Label whiskey and Smirnoff Red Label vodka. For the 52 weeks ending December 31st ...



Interview: Austin Keith Of Texas Retail Chain Pinkie's
Shanken News Daily
Western Texas retail chain Pinkie's is comprised of 16 liquor stores and two mini-marts selling beer and wine in Lubbock. Pinkie's is also licensed to sell beverage alcohol to on-premise accounts, a business which accounts for about 25% of the company ...



News Briefs for January 11, 2018
Shanken News Daily
•Edrington-owned The Macallan has released a gift box in celebration of the upcoming Chinese New Year. The set includes two bottles of The Macallan Double Cask 12-year-old, a 43% abv whisky matured in Sherry-seasoned American and European oak, with ...



Riboli Family's Stella Rosa On A Sharp Rise
Shanken News Daily
Riboli Family Wine Estates' Italian brand Stella Rosa appears to have climbed into the top five imported wine brands in the U.S. market based on its strong 2017 performance. After a 30% jump to 1.3 million cases in 2016, Stella Rosa tacked on an ...



Craft Brewing and Distilling News for January 11, 2018
Shanken News Daily
•Sebastopol, California-based Spirit Works Distillery has aligned with The Henry Wine Group (part of The Winebow Group) for distribution throughout the Golden State, effective this month. Spirit Works, which was founded in 2012 as a “grain-to-glass ...



Dave Phinney's Savage & Cooke Sets Up Shop On Mare Island
Shanken News Daily
Dave Phinney, creator of The Prisoner and Orin Swift among other prominent wine brands, is set to open Savage & Cooke distillery and hospitality center on California's Mare Island in May. Savage & Cooke launched operations in May of last year with ...



Opici Bolsters Whisk(e)y Lineup With New Scotch, Irish and American Offerings
Shanken News Daily
Opici Wines' Market Street Spirits division is expanding its portfolio with the addition of several new whisk(e)y labels. The newcomers include Tullibardine single malt Scotch, The Temple Bar Whiskies from Ireland, and Rebellion Rye. Highland malt ...


Google News

LargeFriends.com - the best dating site for plus-sized singles!
SuccessfulMatchCentral.com - the best dating site for plus-sized singles!

PreLaunchX

WineFest Domain Is For Sale - $3,500 For Enquiries eMail Us

© www.WineFest.biz 2011

home | site map | links

eXTReMe Tracker