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Wine Labels

Wine Labels
Very little on the wine bottle actually directly addresses what the wine will taste like. This is part of the reason why choosing a wine is so difficult for beginners into the wine drinking world.

After designed by the winemaker, the wine label must be passed onto and approved by the government agency that controls wine production, as well as by the governments whose countries will be important the wine. The laws that state what information must be put on the bottle and what must be excluded is dictated by where the wine is marketed rather then where it is produced. This means that there may be several labels for one wine, depending on the region’s wine distribution laws.

In the US for example, unlike in most other regions, there is a law that there must be an alcohol warning statement on all bottles of alcohol sold.

American Minimum Wine label requirements are as follows:

Brand
The brand name of the wine is the first necessary piece of information on the label. This can be in the form of the owner or winery etc. This can be misleading, as it gives no information of the age, region, or characteristics of the wine.

Wine Class
class 1: Table wine- whose alcohol content is between 7-14%. Can be also called red table wine, light wine, light white wine, sweet table wine.

class 2: Sparkling wine- who have been carbonated naturally.

class3: Carbonated grape wine- carbonated by injection with carbon dioxide.

class 4: Citrus wine- made with sound ripe, citrus fruit.

class 5: Fruit wine- made with fruit other then grapes and citrus fruits.

class 6: Wine from other agricultural products- wine made from agricultural products- particularly vegetables.

class 7: Aperitif wine- Wine with no less than 15% alcohol content. Grape wine with added brandy or alcohol. It is generally flavored with natural aromatic materials like herbs.

class 8: Imitation wine: Wine made from synthetic materials.

class 9: Restina wine: Grape table wine which has been fermented with resin.

Under several conditions the appellation of origin may be mandatory to add to the label:

• using a varietal type with varietal significance
• using a generic term (Bordeaux, port)
• if name is qualified with the word brand ‘
• the wine is labeled with vintage date- the year the grapes were harvested

When information of the appellation of origin is included, so too are indications of the wines flavor. A wine’s varietal, type or appellation are each important indicators of the characteristic aromas and flavors of the wine.

Alcohol Content
Any wine with more then 14% alcohol by volume must note its alcohol content. This is deemed as fortified and so is taxed at a higher rate then those wines under 14%. Wines that have less than 14% alcohol content need not state the exact amount, but instead its class as a table wine or a light wine. This is an indicator that is has somewhere between 7-14% alcohol content. This information provides valuable information on the taste of the wine. Alcohol level is a determinant of how sweet vs dry the wine may be. Typically, wines under 11% tend to be the sweetest, wines between 11-13.5% tend to be the driest, and those over that may go either way.

Where and Who Bottled
Proceeded by the words “Provided by”, wines distributed in the US need to have the name and address of the bottler. When they also made at least 75% of the wine by both fermenting and clarifying it, it must be stated that it was “produced and bottled by” the name and address of the winemaker.

If the named winery fermented, and clarified only 10% of the wine they bottled, or they changed the class of the wine (by adding alcohol, carbon dioxide, or brandy), then the words “Made and bottled by” are to proceed their name. “Cellard,” “Vinted,” or “Prepared” are used to described the named winemaker who cellar treated the wine, through clarification or barrel aging.

“Blended and bottled by” is used when the specified winery mixed the wine with another wine of the same class, at that location. Finally, “Selected,” Perfect,” or “Bottled by” simply means that the specified winery only bottled the contents at that location.

Quantity of Contents
Quite self-explanatory, this law states that the quantity of wine in the bottle must be stated metrically, expressed in millimeters.

Vintage labeling:
In the US, a vintage year may be printed on the label of wines when at least 95% of the grapes used are harvested and fermented in that calendar year.

Declaration of Sulfites:
Sulfites are used in wine to prevent spoilage, oxidation, and to maintain its color. When sulfur levels are above a certain limit, there needs to be a label indicating the use of sulfites. Wines that are labeled “Organic” will be free of any additionally added sulfites, though ones which state “ Made with organically grown grapes” will still have some sulfites. Even without the addition of sulfur for preservation, yeast fermentation naturally produces sulfur of levels normally higher then the sulfur label limit, meaning that most bottles of wine in the US will not be to avoid the use of this label.

 
 
Contents
Appellation d’Origine Controlée
Wine Through The Times
Wine Trivia 7
Fast Wine Facts 3
Grape Harvest
Oh the Horror! Red Wine Stains.
Wine Trivia 6
Grape Growing Problems
Fast Wine Facts 2
Ice Wine
Fast Wine Facts
How Many Grapes
Wine Aromas
Kosher Wine
Wine Trivia 5
When To Send Wine Back
Sherry
Wine Trivia 4
Prohibition
Great French Wine Blight
Port Wines
Wine Trivia 3
Wine Trivia 2
Wine Trivia
Oak Barrels
Sweetness
Sparkling Wine and Champagne
Organic and Biodynamic Wine
Aging Wine
Wine Varietals
Wine Labels
New World Vs Old World Wines
How Terroir Effects Wine
Clarifying Wine with Egg Whites
Tips On Preserving Open Wine
Why Red Wine Makes Me...
The Biology of Tasting Wine
Choosing the Perfect Glassware
Corks vs Plastic Corks
Wine Laws and AVAs in the USA
Tasting Wine
Wine and Food Matching
Buying Wine
Storing and Serving Wine