Wine Labels

by Wendy VanHatten

Aug 5

You just purchased a bottle of wine, or you’re looking at a bottle in the store. How do you really know where this wine was made? The appellation, or where it was made, can be listed as broad as the state of California or as specific as an actual vineyard in a particular region in a particular country. In Old World labels you’ll see terms like “Appellation Controlee” or AOC and Denominazione della Origine Controllata or DOC. These mean legally regulated areas of wine production.

If you see a date on the label, it means it’s a vintage wine. This means all grapes were picked in that year.

What’s the alcohol percentage and should it matter? Yes, it should matter. You’ll find it listed as percent of alcohol by volume or ABV. It can be on the front or on the back of the label. Wines must have the ABV printed on the label, even if you have to look hard to find it.