Decoding Wine Labels: What You Need To Know

By  //  September 20, 2022

When you think of wine, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the taste. But what about the label? Is there a meaning behind all of those symbols and words? 

Looking at wine labels can be complicated, especially if you don’t even know what the terms are on the label. In this blog post, we’ll decode some common wine label terms so you can be a more informed buyer. We’ll also share some tips for choosing the right wine to pair with your favorite dish. Cheers!

The Basics of Wine Labeling

When it comes to choosing a great bottle of wine, you need to look at more than just the price of the wine and its name. The label is where all of the important information can be found and how you can learn which types of wines you prefer and which ones you would rather stay away from. 

It is important to note that there are different types of wine labels, and it can feel like it is impossible to understand what they are trying to say. Wine labels can be categorized by region, variety, and more. 

When reading a wine label, some of the most important things to take into consideration are the name of the wine or the producer, the region in which it was produced, the variety of grape that was used, the alcohol percentage, the sulfates, and the sweetness. All of this information is key and it is an indicator of a great and high-quality brand like Oddbins. It is important for deciphering what a wine might taste like before you even open the bottle. 

How To Read a Wine Label – What To Look For

When it comes to reading a wine label, the first thing that you want to look for is the name of the wine producer. On the label, this will typically be right on the front and labeled as ‘cellared and bottled by’ or produced and bottle by. 

All wines are produced in different regions, so the next thing you want to look at is the region in which the wine was produced. The different wines produced in the varying regions use different grapes, which can produce a range of flavors. Typically, if a bottle of wine indicates where its grapes are sourced or where the wine is produced, it is a higher quality product. 

Another important thing to focus on when reading the wine label is the varietal or wine type. When buying wine, you will see all sorts of names such as Cabernet, Merlot, or Sauvignon Blanc. These different varietals or types refer to the types of grapes that have been used but can also indicate the kind of flavor, sweetness, and acidity you might taste. 

The alcohol content is important to some, while not so much to others. Alcohol in wine is read as alcohol by volume percentage or ABV.

The alcohol content of most wines ranges from 7.5 to 17 percent. Some countries only allow their highest ABV to be 13.5%, while others can go much higher than that. Typically, the higher the percentage of the ABV, the more alcohol is present in the bottle.         

These days, many wineries’ will submit their products to a competition where they can be compared to those of other wines and can even be awarded based on the performance or the overall appeal of the wine. These awards are a good indication that the wine is of high quality and something that people will thoroughly enjoy.  

How To Choose the Right Wine for Your Needs

When it comes down to choosing the perfect bottle of wine, it is important to remember that a large portion of this comes down to personal preference and what kinds of flavors, smells, and even textures, you enjoy. 

When looking at wine, it can be overwhelming because there are so many different options to choose from. First, you should start with the basics: the color of the wine. Do you want a red, white or rose?

From there, you should take into consideration the type of sweetness that you want. Do you want something very sweet, or something more subtle, or even tart? Another great way to choose a wine is by smelling it. At wine tastings, they will always ask you to smell the wine before sipping it, as this will give you an idea of the flavor. 

When tasting wine like a pro, you want to stick your whole nose into the glass and take a deep breath, as this will give you the full body of smells and tannins. Once you have chosen your bottle of wine, storage is as simple as storing it in a cool and dark place until it is opened, and then the bottle can be stored in the fridge until finished.