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What To Look For On Wine Labels

Oct 29, 2007
There are a lot of wine lovers out there. And it seems that there are even more kinds of wine to choose from when you go to the store. Some people have favorite kinds of wine they always buy, but for many who want to try a new kind of wine this process can be confusing.

Why? Primarily because of the labels. If you know how to read the labels, you can find a wine that you will like.

How To Decipher Odd Foreign Terms On Wine Labels

Your problem may arise when you try to buy wines from the old world; France, Germany, Spain and Italy, which all have wine labels that can boggle the mind of even the most experienced linguist. How could any lay person distinguish these wines?

With wine there are so many things to remember:
* Classifications
* Types of harvests
* Names of towns
* Titles of vineyards
* Even habits of the individual producer

No doubt, the aesthetics of wine labels are commendable, but they can definitely leave you confused.

I know it may not be shocking advice, but you may need to pull out a language dictionary to decipher some terms. Other than that, you need to look for certain terms and things in the wine labels, some of which are desirable properties of the wines in question while others may be cautions, or which may be ambiguous in their meaning.

The French have a term named "Cru" which indicates that the wine could be from Bordeaux and Burgundy, as well as Alsace. These are all areas in France. Next, you will need to look at whether the wine has been made from poor soil. Also check if the grapes had been deprived of water which would indicate wines of a superior quality.

If you are considering buying sparkling wines, especially those from Australia and the United States, then the wine labels should state "Traditional Method" which will indicate that the wine has been made the same way as Champagnes are made.

Other things that you should look for on wine labels include "Vieilles Vignes," or "Old Vines," which will indicate wines with more concentration of juices, "Estate Bottled," such as on a bottle of Bouteille au Chateau, Mis en Bouteilleau Domaine or even on a bottle of Mis en Bouteille au Propriete, and the concept of estate bottled wine refers to the fact that the wine has been grown and also produced as well as bottled at one place.

This is another mark of a good consistent, quality wine. I hope I helped clear some of the confusion behind reading a wine label and distinguishing whether it is for you or not.
About the Author
Madison Greene is a fine wine connoisseur who has made it easy for people to add a personal touch to any occasion by offering top notch wines with customized personal and professional labels. You'll be amazed at what you can do with her easy-to-use online custom label tool. To view her entire wine list visit: www.SignatureWineAndBeverage.com
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