How To Read A Wine Label

There’s so much great information on a wine label, and I’m going to give you the quick breakdown on how to read a wine label. It’s so much easier than you think, and the information on the label is fabulous!

How to read a wine label

This is probably the most intimidating thing to do when picking a bottle of wine.

What information are you looking at?  What does it all mean?  Well, I’m here to help you try to dispel the darkness!  I’m going to let this be Step 1 in our learning about wine series.  I figured that we would just get the basics out of the way.

How To Read A Wine Label in 4 Easy Steps

  • First step in the process is to actually pick out a name.  As depicted in this picture, we are using Merryvale.  This is a wine that personally enjoy!  But we’ll discuss later about why we like the wines we like.
  • Second, look at the grape varietal. Varietal is the type of grape that is used in the wine making process.  For example, the wine presented here by Merryvale, is a Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Third, look at the vintage of the wine. The vintage is the year that the grapes were harvested.  The year on the bottle does not mean the year it was bottled!  In order to establish the vintage of the wine, there needs to be at least 95%of the grapes harvested used in the wine making process.
  • Fourth, take a look at the region (or Appellation of Origin) of the wine.  For Example, the region of this Merryvale is Napa Valley.  By the region of the wine, you’ll also note the name of the Vineyard.  This is where the name of the winery where the wine is made.
  • A Last note, is to take note of the alcohol content of the wine.  Now, most wines are kept between 10 to 20% Alcohol by Volume.  So, you might get a bigger “buzz” from a glass of wine with a higher alcohol content.  From my experience, most wines are around a 13.5 to 14.5% alcohol by volume.  I use the more abundant Alcohol by volume wines for dining experiences.

The main thing that I want to do is to take the fear away from buying wine.  One of the biggest tips that I can give in buying wine is to ALWAYS read the wine label…and sometimes the decoration of the wine label.  I had a friend who could look at the mere decoration alone on the wine label, and could tell if it was a decent or cheap bottle of wine!  If the wine label is really flashy…stay away from it!  More likely than not, it’s not going to be that good of a wine experience.

Well, I hope you’ll stay tuned for the next series of notes and classes coming up!  Please have patience, as I’m writing and double checking my research for accurate information.  See you again soon, and don’t forget to visit us on facebook and subscribe to our newsletter!

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