You enter into a store and you want to buy a bottle of wine. You’ve got dozens of bottles of different varieties with shiny labels in front of you. How do you choose the one you like, what difference does it make between a Merlot in 2010 and another in 2014? Why is the degree of alcohol important? Today you will discover you how to decipher the labels in order to buy quality wine.
It’s a quality wine, the one that indicates the name, vineyard and grape variety on the label. For example, French wines are labeled with the AOC (Apellation d’origine contrôleé), a guarantee that what is written on the label is also in the bottle. Other wines from abroad, especially those from South America, are labeled with the name of the grape variety and the name of the wine. The older it is, the higher quality has.
It also counts the year of harvest or bottling, if it is mentioned on the label. The year of the harvest, called “millésime” in French, is a very important detail in the case of quality wines. Generally, try to buy wines older than 4 years.
You also need to look at the alcohol content. Table wines, which you drink along with regular food, are between 8.5% and 9.5%. Higher quality wines have over 10% alcohol. This is the case with the French wines, considered to be the most correct ones in the world. Beware of wines over 14-15%. They are quite strong and can cause stomach problems.
Buy wine only from specially arranged places. For example, if you enter in a store in the summer and you see it is over 30 degrees Celsius, you better not buy the wine from that place. Hot wines are losing their qualities. Same as those who stay too much in the light.
Another tip is that when you go to buy a bottle of wine, turn it upside down. If leaves deposits, don’t buy it. Also, shake it a little and notice the traces left on the neck of the bottle. The best wines, consistent, leave a trail as sharp as possible.