The choice of a good wine depends on several factors that indicate how it can be tasted by the consumer. One of the most effective ways to ensure that you make the ideal choice is through your label with the information that it reflects. In it you can see data of interest that serve as a resume of the wine in your hands. For those who still have doubts about how to read wine labels, today we will reveal what each of its sections consists of.
Elements of a wine label
The choice of a good wine depends on several factors that indicate how it can be tasted by the consumer. One of the most effective ways to ensure that you make the ideal choice is through your wine labels with the information that it reflects. In it you can see data of interest that serve as a resume of the wine in your hands. For those who still have doubts about how to read wine labels, today we will reveal what each of its sections consists of.
Wine labels are in charge of informing the buyer of the individual characteristics of the product in hand. Information about its harvest, its origin, production and other data of interest are reflected so that users can choose the one of their preference. Much of the elements of wine labels are incorporated by legal provisions, for which the most common that will be found are the following:
1. The trademark of the wine
It is one of the criteria that has the greatest weight when selecting a bottle of wine. The brand is the letter of presentation of these, and there are more than a hundred recognized worldwide for their quality, taste and reputation.
2. The producer
The producer is the organization that has made or bottled the wine, and like the commercial brands, there are dozens that enjoy a worldwide reputation and that should be the second criterion that decides the choice of wine. Most of the time, they separate themselves from the company that distributes them.
3. The place of production
Which generally also reviews where the grape that has been used comes from. In this way, this element reflects the country of origin of the harvest and the place where it was processed and bottled.
4. Appellation of origin
Wines that meet high quality standards must be registered in a designation of origin. The wines that belong to this group comply with a series of characteristics that assure buyers that they are obtaining a quality product. If the selected wine is part of this, a seal from the Regulatory Council of the Denomination of Origin of your country will appear on it and will be an endorsement of its nature.
5. The volume of alcohol
Expressed in total volumes and usually between 10% and 14%. Sherry and Port wines tend to have a higher alcohol content than the other classes. Generally, red wines have an alcoholic volume of 12º or 14º; the white or pink ones between 10º and 12º.
6. The year of harvest (also reflected as year)
Which refers to the period in which the grapes were harvested for winemaking. It usually appears on the front label, although it is also common for it to appear on the cork, the back label or on the neck of the bottle. They are classified as excellent, good or fair, and are evaluated based on the opinions of the Regulatory Council. Weather, production, harvesting and other characteristics determine the final quality of the wine.
In view of this, the year of the harvest will add to the consumer the information that will allow him to make value judgments regarding the quality of the wine. This element is also useful, as it indicates to the user the recommended time for consumption. Due to the variety in terms of the production of the brands, the particular indications for each case should be consulted.
7. The concentration of sugars (only in sparkling wines)
In this way these can be classified as dry, semi-dry, extra dry, sweet, brut, brut nature and others. These categories vary depending on the amount and type of sugar used in its preparation.
In addition to the criteria outlined, the batch number, the capacity of the bottle, the possibility of recycling, the presence of sulfites (to avoid allergies in certain consumers) and other information of minor interest must also appear.
Extra parts of wine labels
Depending on the nature of the bottle you are buying, it is possible that other complementary information will appear on it, which, together with the others, will make up the general profile of the wine. The possible elements that may appear on the labels of these are:
The time of permanence: the wines are divided into two classes: young and aged. The former is bottled and distributed immediately after fermentation, the latter are those that are kept in barrels for the longest time. The latter, in turn, are divided into three classes depending on the length of stay: those for aging, those for reserve and those for long-term reserve. Elements such as smell, color, texture and others will vary according to the corresponding time.
The variety of grapes: which determine the acidity, smell and color of wine. The bottles can be made up of a mono-varietal production (where a single type of harvest was used) or an assembly production (where grapes from different harvests were used).
Recommendations for tasting: which will indicate to the consumer the best way to taste the wine that has been purchased. Along with this information it is likely that the way it has been produced, the national or international awards that the winery has obtained and other data appear to raise interest.
Recommendations of pairing and service: which will include information on the ideal temperature to consume it, recommendations for its presentation and the gastronomic dishes that can enhance its flavor.
In this way, choosing the best wine will be much easier if the indications on its label are followed. With the information outlined, those who wish to start wine tasting will be able to begin to become familiar with the elements that distinguish a quality wine from a regular one. In order to make the most of the bottle, the ideal is to follow the additional recommendations for consumption or conservation of it.
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