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How To Understand Labels On Wine Bottles

Aug 17, 2007
There is already a stigma attached to wine of being a high class beverage and above the ordinary citizen without the added feeling of ignorance when trying to understand and comprehend what the terminology on the labels means. Wines produced in the Americas and in Australia are generally better with this and usually make it clear what type of wine is in the bottle and also name the vineyard from where the wine came. Conversely, the labels on wine bottles from the Old Country have so many different classifications and types along with town names, names of vineyards, and even little pet names from the actual producer of the wine. It is little wonder that the average wine drinker has no clue what he is looking at.

In order to try to make a little sense out of the whole situation and avoid having to drag an interpreter around with us when we go shopping for wine, let's take a look at some of the things we should be looking for in the label of a wine bottle.
First off if we are looking for a high quality French wine we want to see the term, "Cru". This signifies that the wine is from the regions of Bordeaux, Alsace, or Burgundy and state that the wine is of a high quality.

Another indication that a wine is of higher quality believe it or not is one that is labeled to have been grown in poor soil and dry conditions. The reason for this is that the vine, when put under these conditions, puts everything into ripening the grape and hardly anything into the leaves which gives you a better grape.

If you see the term "Methode Traditionelle" on a bottle, mainly in the Americas and Australia it means that the wine is produced in the same way as traditional champagne, it means Traditional Method and will usually be more reasonable in price as well.

Another indicator of a high quality wine is the term, "Vieilles Vignes, which means old vines. These vineyards that are designated, "old vines", tend to have more concentrated juices and the other attributes of the wine tend to be richer also.

Another reference to a high quality wine is the term, "Estate Bottled", which means that the wine was grown, produced, and bottled all at the same place which infers that the wine maker oversees every part of the operation and does not contract it out to any other source. This is usually found in French wines, for example Mis en Bouteille au Chateau.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is a consultant for online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida. Find out about personalized wine bottles at http://www.winebottlespersonalized.com
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