Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
The Ten Most Important Wine Label Terms > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

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.

In The News:

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

Business Wire (press release)

Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits Integrates the French Wine ...
PR Newswire (press release)
WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits, the largest wine and spirits distributor in North America, has adopted the ...
Three Festivals Hosted by Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits ...Business Wire (press release)
Three Festivals Hosted by Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits Recognized by BizBash as Among Top 100 Food ...Odessa American
Three Festivals Hosted by Southern Glazer's Wine ... - Digital JournalDigital Journal

all 4 news articles »

Pensacola News Journal

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits opens massive liquor store on Bayou in Pensacola
Pensacola News Journal
There's a new liquor store open in Pensacola, one with bottles of wine and spirits that you won't find at any other store in the city. Customers were already filing in and out of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits at 5052 Bayou Boulevard by the time it opened its ...


Impact's “Blue Chip” Brands Showcase The Stars Of The Industry
Shanken News Daily
Impact has revealed its annual list of “Blue Chip” brands, saluting the market's best-performing major players over the long term. Highlighting the blockbuster spirits, wine, and beer brands that have shown consistent growth amid increasingly ...


Beer, wine, spirits: Where to grab a drink in Snohomish County
The Daily Herald
Mill Creek Town Center Beer and Wine Walk: Enjoy local wines and beers while strolling Main Street in Mill Creek during this event from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 29. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at www.tinyurl.com/millcreekfun. Admission includes 10 ...


Elizabethtown News Enterprise

Rain, cooler weather doesn't dampen spirits at wine festival
Elizabethtown News Enterprise
Wine lovers were in paradise Saturday evening at Freeman Lake Park as they attended Toast to Kentucky, touted as Elizabethtown's Premier Wine Festival. Despite constant rain during the event, attendees said the cooler weather was perfect for the ...


News Briefs for September 24, 2018
Shanken News Daily
•Control state spirits volumes rose 2.3% in volume terms and 4.9% in dollar value during the 12 months through August, according to NABCA. In the calendar year-to-date, control state dollar sales accelerated slightly to 5.4%, compared with a 5.1% rise ...


Washington Post

DC's Black Owned Wine and Spirits Festival celebrates business owners of color
Washington Post
Most 25-year-olds are just trying to figure out their path in life. But D.C. resident Chanel Turner already knew by then what her path was: building her own vodka brand. Turner, now 34, wasn't out to compete with the Grey Gooses and Belvederes of the ...


Pensacola News Journal

Here's what the new 18000-square foot ABC Fine Wine & Spirits liquor store has to offer
Pensacola News Journal
Here's what the new 18,000-square foot ABC Fine Wine & Spirits liquor store has to offer. play. CLOSE. ABC's Regional Manager Mike Duncan talks about the Pensacola store's "wines of distinction" section, the Brew Stop and the walk-in cigar humidor.


WKYT

Report: Total Wine & More to open second Lexington location in ...
WKYT
Total Wine & More is planning to increase its Lexington presence, as a new report says it will open its second location in Hamburg.

and more »

York Daily Record/Sunday News

Who are these guys? Cops look for Fine Wine and Good Spirits theft suspects
York Daily Record/Sunday News
Springettsbury Township Police are asking for help in identifying two men in connection with a retail theft that occurred at the Fine Wine and Good Spirits store, 2547 E. Market St., on Sept. 11. If you are able to provide any information on the ...

Google News

Choosing a Wine Gift Basket

During the holiday season, most of us are in a... Read More

Ideal Wine Temperature

The ideal temperature to store wines is between 55ºF and... Read More

A Private Owners Guide to Bottling Fine Whisky

The majority of private owners of whisky casks are looking... Read More

What is Corked Wine?

Keeping a wine bottle sealed is probably the most important... Read More

Tequila

It was once a ritual usually performed by a man.... Read More

Build Your Own Wine Rack (In An Afternoon)

A good drink is what even Gods enjoy and to... Read More

Tasting Wine

Wine Tasting Component I: LookThe first step you have to... Read More

Wine Making and Home Brewing: Whats the Deal?

When it comes to making alcoholic beverages at home, wine... Read More

Pairing Food and Wine is a Matter of Taste

First off let me say that I am in no... Read More

How to Order Wine in a Restaurant

Ordering wine in a restaurant is not much different than... Read More

Food - Wine Pairing Tips For French and Italian Wines

Many people are intimidated by the task of selecting wine... Read More

Chablis Wine

Chablis is thought to have originated in northern Spain and... Read More

Pairing Beer With Food

Pairing beer with the fine cuisine has recently come to... Read More

Choosing that Perfect Wine for a Dinner Party

So, you find yourself having been invited to a dinner... Read More

Overcoming Red Wine Spills

Red wine spills can be a disaster whether they occur... Read More

Guide To Tasting Wine

The basics of tasting wine are relatively simple to learn.... Read More

Australian Wines

Australia's wine industry has boomed in the past ten years.... Read More

Cabernet Sauvignon Wine

Cabernet Sauvignon is the grape responsible for the wines of... Read More

Start Your Wine Cellar The Right Way

One of the great joys of wine is to be... Read More

Uses of Mirror Tinted Contact Lenses

Mirror tinted contact lenses have become a topic of interest... Read More

Champagne

Champagne is without question the finest sparkling wine made in... Read More

White Zinfandel Wine

White Zinfandel wine is a blush wine made in California... Read More

The Old Fashioned: Two Recipes of an Underrated Classic

Like many mixed drinks, the Old Fashioned has a number... Read More

Barbera Wine

Barbera is a wine grape variety from Monferrato in Piemonte,... Read More

The Cocktail Party

A cocktail party can be more daunting than a dinner... Read More