I’d like to pose a question to my readers: How do YOU read a wine
label? What is the relevant information you look for when deciding
whether to buy a particular bottle? And what is the fluff you look
beyond? I’m considering a column on this topic, and while I know what I
respond to on a wine label, I’d like to hear your perspectives. So
please let me know in the comments.
Obviously, the following are relevant, if not crucial:
- The producer (Winery, chateau, etc., although this sometimes blurs into “brand” … )
- Grape variety
- Place of origin (Country, state, appellation, district, vineyard name, etc)
- Vintage year – perhaps less relevant for $5 “California” wines, but more so for high-end bottlings.
But what about some other information:
- Pretty picture/artwork (critters)
- Importer’s name
- Alcohol content
- Back label blurbs
- Government warning(s)
- Ingredient labeling (if there – if not, should it be? By this I mean
disclosure of additives, fining agents, oak chips, flavoring or
What other things do you look for when sizing up a bottle on the store shelf?
- Screwcap vs. cork? (No way to tell if it’s a natural cork until too late, of course.)
- Bottle weight?