Reading the label of a wine by itself is no feat. The important thing is to know how to interpret it and assess what the producer tells us through the label.
When we go through a wine rack there are details that have to catch our attention, beyond the attractiveness of the name or the graphic design of the label on the wine bottle.
A label has the following mandatory information:
Name or brand of the wine: It may be the result of a conscientious study of the marketing department or something more casual such as the simple mention of a fact or territory but with enough loudness to attract the attention of the consumer.
Geographical indication: It can also be the designation of origin. It indicates the origin of the wine or the regulatory council and the requirements that it must meet to accredit this characteristic.
Harvest year: Refers to the year of harvest of the grape. As we already imagined, there are tables available to check the quality of the wine according to area and year.
Alcoholic graduation: It is the percentage of alcohol for each liter of that content.
Bottler: The name of the wine producer and/or bottler.
Bottle content: It is the amount of liquid contained, it can be exposed in centiliters, milliliters or liters.
Other details given are the sulfite content, the packaging recycling system (usually a logo), the batch number and the country of origin (which usually goes with the bottler).
Other indications that may appear on the label but are not mandatory are the cataloging of Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva… Grape varieties such as Tempranillo, Verdejo, Grenache, Cabernet, Malbec… We can also find advice when serving it, like the ideal temperature or some other specification like that.
And then we have the back label, which is not compulsory but it does help us and can be decisive for the richness of its vocabulary depending on the client’s personality. It is the added argument on it. Details of the tasting notes, description of the soil, the vintage, the climate and even the recommended pairings.
The conclusion is that when you are in front of a bottle you have elements of comparison with respect to another and nothing better than the information that a label gives you.