Understanding how to read wine labels

Every bottle of wine is different, and when it comes to wine there is no standardized way that the bottle is labeled. This can cause some confusion for a wine drinker if you are looking for specific information, from the most experienced to the beginner. The trick to finding the best bottle of wine comes from accurately understanding what you are buying. Each label has the information you want, however, you just need to know what it looks like and where to find it.

Producer

Typically, the largest print on the bottle will be the name of the producer. This is generally found in the very front of the bottle and right in the center of the label. For more vintage and classic wines, finding the producer could be a bit more challenging however. They may place the name under the type of wine you are looking at, or in different locations depending on when it was made and the actual producer. If you are unsure about who the producer is, you can always ask the wine merchant, who will help you find all of the information you are looking for.

Region

The region where the wine was bottled and the grapes were grown is of key importance when you are looking to select your preferred bottle of wine. The region where the bottle was produced is typically found in the center top of the wine label, though not always. This is important to know because many producers make wine in different regions. The area where the wine is produced will affect the type of wine you are drinking and the different flavors that you drink.

Type of Grape

The type of the wine comes from the type of grape that was used to produce the wine. This can be found in the center of the wine label, usually on the top or bottom of the label. The exact location of this is not always in the same place. While this may be more difficult to find because its location varies, it is usually the easiest piece of information to pick out. This is because most of us can pronounce and recognize the types of wine, as opposed to the unique names of producers and regions. Also, the type of wine is how most wine sellers sort their wines, and so it usually a prominent aspect of the label. This means that if you are looking in one particular aisle, almost all the wines will have the same piece of information (the type of wine) on the label.

Vintage

The year that the wine was produced is also referred to as its vintage. This will be found somewhere on the label. It will be a four-digit year that will help you date when the wine was produced.

Percent Alcohol

The percent alcohol level will be found on the bottom of the label and will be followed by a percent sign to signify how much alcohol is in the wine.

Code

Another key piece of information that you will find on the bottom of the label is a mandated code for tracing the bottle if something should happen. It is a code of numbers and letters.