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Wine and champagne labels can be frightening to new or inexperienced wine drinkers. How to to decipher the foreign symbols, words and numbers can be confusing without some idea of what everything is supposed to mean!

Novices tend to look for simple labels with pretty pictures and many newer wineries are actually making labels that appeal to the label-challenged. While this is probably a good thing, so is learning how to understand the information on the more traditional labels, especially when they appear on French, German or Italian wines..

The label tells you everything you need to know about the wine inside the bottle -- and with a little practice it really isn't that hard.

how to read a French wine label


While the front of the label will give you basic information, some winemakers provide additional information. On the back label, especially, look for more details on the grape varieties used in production, tasting notes, ("a good balance of oak and fruit") and food pairing suggestions ("perfect accompaniment to richly flavored entrees.")

Around the Web, top sites on the subject will help you to learn more about what the labels mean if you need the tutoring and will showcase some unusual labels for those already label-literate...


also see in Wine -> Wine Classes | Wine Glossary | Wine History


More about how to read wine labels around the Web:


Professional Friends of Wine - Understanding Wine Labels
- This is the definitive text on how to read wine labels with pages sorted into basics, appellation labels, generic labels, plus good selection of other online resources that cover the topic.

Wine Buyer Guide - Labels - This site sells wines online and they have some excellent resources to help you decipher exactly what it is you are thinking about buying. The section on French, Italian and American labels is extremely easy to understand and should make label reading a bit less mysterious.

Understanding Wine Labels - This is the Wine for Dummies version of how to read a wine label. Like most of the resources in this series, it manages to give a simple explanation of the whole subject.


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