Reading Wine Labels

One of the most common situations when choosing a wine is not knowing how to interpret the information that comes on the reading wine labels. And that is why we often disappoint ourselves with what we carry. We will give you some important information to consider when approaching the choice of wine you need and reading wine labels. As much as possible, go to places where there is an expert to advise you and solve your doubts.

Although the simplest thing is to start by choosing the style for the color of the wine, since a white wine has characteristics almost opposite to a red one and the results when accompanying them are different. It is also important to consider time and temperature when taking it. The most complicated moment is to understand what the reading wine labels say, especially the European ones and not precisely because of the language. The wine producing countries have a long and differentiated tradition in the classification of their wines.

France, who initiates the regulations, has a unique classification, which states:
Region and plots in the case of great wines.
House that sells it: making reference to castles, big names or merchants.

The types of grapes with which the wine is made are understood because they speak of a certain region or Denomination and the regulations mark the authorized grapes in each one of them. According to the Denomination, the regulations will be different, the type of grape and elaboration process – Reading Wine labels. Each country in Europe classifies its wines according to regions, which in turn regulate and set standards to follow to call wine in a certain way. For example, La Rioja has its own standards, differentiated from other areas of Spain. And each wine labeled with the Rioja denomination must comply with these standards.

At the same time, La DO Rioja has different categories of wines. Differentiated basically in the time spent in barrels, from young wines without wood to crianzas, reserves and even large reserves, with a minimum of three years in barrels. This influences the style of the wine and the year in which you must acquire it.

A young wine should be taken in the first years of its harvest (a year that comes on the label), especially if it is white or pink. If it is red it will depend on the time in the barrel and the care that the bottles have received, because the wine evolves for good or for bad until we take it. In general, the more time they spend in the barrel, the more time saved or life will be achieved. This is the way of labeling the main wine producers in the world: France, Spain, and Italy: Region, regulated by advice that takes care of the type of grapes, quantities produced, used barrels among other items that the stricter the more support will give to the denomination.

In other European countries, the classifications are different, as in Germany, where the region and residual sugar in the wine will mark the classification of them. Understanding these general data and learning the main grapes of the main Denominations ( Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Chianti … ) your approach to wine will be easier and you will know what to expect from each bottle.

The New World
In what is known as the New World, which is those non-European wine producers, the labels change. It will depend on the country obviously, but in general, the appearance of the type of grape with which the wine is made marks the great difference with respect to the classic labels of Europe.

Modern wineries are changing some criteria, of which I will speak at another time. For example, wines from Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Australia will mark the type of grapes with which they were made.

The zone will appear without being less important, but it will be easy to know the characteristics of those grapes. The counter label usually gives this type of information, which is called a tasting note. Color, aromas, intensity and even suggest that accompanying it, the pairing.

Remember that the temperature at which you serve is very important:

White and rosé wines should be served fresh and cold.
Young red wines, over 14-16 and wines with wood up to 18 depending on the service temperature.

The percentage of alcohol will come on all labels, such as fiscal control, as well as customs stamps. They guarantee original products. Then you will find wines with bubbles, the sparkling wines, which are another note apart. As well as another style of wines with lower consumption. Taking these simple reading wine labels data into account, it will be easy to enjoy a glass of wine. And live the experiences that this wonderful liquid leaves behind.

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