When you buy an item, there will usually be a sticker on the product that describes information related to that product, such as brand name, ingredients, origin, date/year of manufacture, expiration use…
Wine is no exception. Basically, a wine label will provide information such as the manufacturer’s name, wine line, material origin, wine bottle origin, bottle volume, alcohol content. If you know how to read wine labels, the parameters on wine labels help you understand and choose the most suitable product easily.
Of course, for easy identification, wines will need a name. As is common practice with all brands, the name of the wine is usually written in the largest font on the label, but not every bottle of wine is the same. There are cases where the name of the wine can be the name of a grape variety, the name of the producer …, but this case is rare.
Region and country
Wine bottles often show the country of production to provide clear information, especially for exported wines. In the US, if a wine label provides an appellation, it means that at least 85% of the grapes used to make the wine will come from that region.
Grape harvest year
The year the grapes were harvested will also be provided and featured prominently on the front label. For example, Wente Vineyards produced in 2016, this information will also be printed on the wine label. With mixed wines like Champagne or Port made from grapes of different vintages, there will be no harvest year on the bottle. They may instead state the year the wine was bottled, but that doesn’t mean all the wine in the bottle was made that year.
Having this number simply shows how much alcohol the bottle holds. Most standard wine bottles are 750ml, but there are special cases, of course.
Legally, every country in the world is required to declare the alcohol content of each bottle. It provides the alcohol in wine as a percentage of total volume, which can range from around 9-16% depending on the wine type, grape growing region, sugar level… Good average alcohol content for wines is between 13-13.5%.