Understanding the Label

Understanding the Label

A wine label is not just an attractive final touch to the bottle; it is a guide to its contents. Although you can see for yourself whether the wine is white or red, it is also useful to know which grapes the wine is made from, where they were grown, who made the wine, and when. With this information, you'll have a good idea of the style of wine you're buying.

Most New World wine labels state all this information with absolute clarity, whereas others (typically from Europe), can seem curiously vague. This is usually because they tend to be defined by the rules that apply in the region that the wine is named after. For example, a Pinot Noir from Burgundy may be labeled as "Aloxe-Corton" or "Nuits-St-Georges" depending on which appellation the vineyard is situated.

To help you interpret the sometimes confusing label information, we have put together a number of wine labels from around the world. In the case of European wines, this can be used along with the Glossary of Appellations, which will allow you to link classic wines with their grape varieties.

Labels from Australia
Understanding an Australian wine bottle label ...
Labels from Argentina
Understanding an Argentine wine bottle label ...
Labels from Bordeaux, France
Understanding a Bordeaux wine bottle label ...
Labels from Burgundy, France
Understanding a Burgundy wine bottle label ...
Labels from Germany
Understanding a German wine bottle label ...
Labels from Italy
Understanding an Italian wine bottle label ...
Labels from South Africa
Understanding a South African wine bottle label ...
Labels from Spain
Understanding a Spanish wine bottle label ...
Labels from the USA
Understanding an American wine bottle label ...