A Guide on How to Read Wine Labels

Wine labels can be difficult to read it may be surprising considering how little information is actually written on the label but each small sentence carries a significant amount of meaning.

The label contains the following information, the vineyard, the year of vintage, the type of wine, alcoholic content and any warnings. However, there is no standard for these labels, which means some vineyards change their labels depending on the vintage, how good it was, and the personal preferences of the company or even the family.

A few wine labels change every year to reflect the vintage of production. Some vineyards take great care in producing a new label for every season others simply change the number of the year to maintain consistency from year to year. Long established wines tend to stay with the same label for many years.

Also most labels will tell you the country of the wine, the variety of the grape as well as the region the grapes were grown but no standards specifically exist for labeling.Although other countries may have different warnings or information requirements based on their general laws, there are no international or industry standards outside the standard warnings, alcohol content and the Surgeon General warnings required if you are looking at US wine.

When trying to decide on a special wine, the first thing to consider is the year it was produced. Price is often a good indication of quality. Alcohol content is also an important factor because different wines contain different levels of alcohol. The label will identify the producer and usually where the grapes were grown.

It is always a good idea to refer to the wines which you have tried and enjoyed previously when buying wine.Difficulties are commonly encountered when finding out the type of wine and the vineyard, since awards may be given to a particular area for wine production; personalized wine labels may carry awards that family has for one of the many vineyards, rather than that particular vineyard.

Before modern technologies allowed changes labels easily and relatively inexpensively most winemakers only changed the year from season to season on the label. At a quick glance the consumer could easily determine the winery, the variety, and the style of the wine however that is no longer the case. No standardization exists for the content of labels making identification even more difficult. The artwork used on wine labels is unique and can offer an insight into the character of the winemaker.

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Here is just a sample of the many tips and guides you can find on creating your own inexpensive and personalized wine labels at labeleasy.com.