Learn how to read wine labels with this beginners' guide to wine labels, ingredients and terminology.
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[Music playing] Hello I am Ellen Collins with Vintage and Wine and Spirit in Colorado, springs in Colorado. Today we are talking about reading wine labels. Wine labels can give you a lot of information about what is in the bottle. There are five key components in reading a wine label. The first is the producers name you see they are quite large on New World Wine which includes Chile, Argentina, Australia and the United States. Typically, you can tell by the quality from the producers name. Keith Fredos a fabulous producer very limited and makes expensive very nice wines. There are many, many producers in the United States there are over 350,000 labels in the world and I think 6,000 in the United States and of course growing. The next critical piece of information is a Varietal. This is the grape grown in the vineyard and put it into the bottle. This is really a key on New World Wines as well because New World Wines are fruit forward and I want you to know exactly what is in the Varietal and individuals identify the Varietal is the flavor of the grape. The third thing we notice is the vintage. The vintage is the year of the grapes are actually the harvested from the field. And then they are released typically a year later, depending on a true white wiener red wine, and how much processing they need in fermentation. The next is the region. The region is also critical. This is a Napa valley wine. Not the valley are really defines specific region making higher end wines typically. Some wine labels will say California, if it has a larger region like California or Oregon they are typically less expensive wines. The more the fine the region the higher quality in a nicer more expensive the wine. The alcohol content is the last component we look at. If it is 11% or lower in alcohol it tends to be a lighter sweeter wine, if it is 14% or above it is very dry and more serious wine. The back of the label tends to talk about the winery, the specific grape and colorful information about the wine it is floral, it is beautiful selling kind of key selling components for the wine. Also the government warning and contain sulfate which is the requirement in the United States to have that piece on the label. As we move to Europe we notice the Varietal name is no longer on the label. The reason for this is European wines have a traditionally been more focused on the region of the wine versus the name of the grape and the wine. Keanti is [Muffled] that it is grown on a district called Keanti. And more specifically there is Keanti classical which is a smaller region within Keanti. There is a controlling factor in Keanti and then all of Italy to define a level of quality. So in order for a wine to get the best level of quality this is one is a DOCG. The DOC defines the level in quality of the wine. Now we are moving on to France. This Burgundy you notice by the shape of the bottle, it is a different shape and Burgundy is [Muffled] in a Burgundy district of France. As you notice the Varietal is not on the label that does not say [Muffled] rather it says the name of the village that it is from the [Muffled] George and it also has a premier crew that means it is a step above just the [Muffled] it is the next level up. The producers name is quite small. It is not as important as the region in France. The vintage of course is still important. Where finding in France and in other regions as they sell wine to the United States. Consumers are wanting a little more information on the label especially lower end wines. This is just a Burgonya. So it is [Muffled] from Burgundy, but it can be anywhere in Burgundy instead of a specific region and it says the Varietal on the name. So it is kind of helpful as a new wine drinker you can figure your way throughout Europe as you see this labels with the Varietal to name and compare them to our domestic wines. We move to Germany, you see the bottle shape it is long and tall. This is a traditional bottle safe for Germany. The producers name is usually rather small, there is a lot of information on this labels because there is a lot to tell you about German Wine. There is of the vintage name is important, the region is quite important because each region produces a difference style of this thing. There is also usually a typically very long German village vineyard name. This one is called [Muffled]. [Muffled] is the region and Hall is the vineyard name and then of course [Muffled] denoted folding on the label and [Muffled] is the level of sweetness in a [Muffled]. There are three different categories that are typically that you will find on the [Muffled] label. [Muffled] is a medium sweet in the category and [Muffled] is less and of course actually says is more. Many wineries are finding that animals on the label or real draw to people purchasing their wines. So there are many, many animals on labels and it is probably the largest percentage of growth in the market is wines with animals or cute labels. This is been a good effect for the wine industry because lots of people are feeling comfortable about wine and comfortable about just wine is not being stuffy but just playing with wine and making it an everyday beverage. So that is been a fun thing to see at the market. This is a great example; many people are just drawn to this label because it is fun. And typically you will find the [Muffled] labels at the lower in wines in the market, $15 or less. And they are great, typically they are great. So when you are buying a wine based on the picture on the label or all the content that you are reading in what is inside the bottle. Thanks for watching. That is are our introduction to wine labels.