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A Guide to Wine Label Terms

Posted on 2023-04-13 17:06:25 by iNF
Food & Drink Wine label terms Wine bottle labels Wine terminology Wine vocabulary
A Guide to Wine Label Terms

Wine labels can be confusing, but understanding the key terms can help you make more informed buying decisions. In this guide, we'll break down the most common terms you'll see on a wine label and explain what they mean.


The term varietal refers to the type of grape used to make the wine. For example, a Cabernet Sauvignon is made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.


Appellation refers to the geographic region where the grapes were grown. This can have a big impact on the flavor and quality of the wine.


Vintage indicates the year the grapes were harvested. In some cases, the vintage can have a big impact on the flavor of the wine.


ABV stands for alcohol by volume and indicates the percentage of alcohol in the wine. A higher ABV generally means a stronger wine.

Oak Aging

Oak aging refers to the process of storing the wine in oak barrels before bottling. This can impart flavors of vanilla or smoke into the wine.


Tannins are naturally occurring compounds found in grape skins, stems, and seeds. They give wine its structure and can create a dry or bitter taste.


Acidity refers to the level of acid in the wine. A higher acidity can make a wine taste more tart or tangy.

Residual Sugar

Residual sugar refers to the amount of sugar left over in the wine after fermentation. A sweeter wine will have a higher amount of residual sugar.


Sulfites are used as a preservative in wine to prevent spoilage. They can also cause allergic reactions in some people.

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