Decoding a Wine Label

Inspired by one of VinePair’s most popular site sections, the Wine 101 podcast takes an educational, easy-to-digest look into the world of wine. This week’s episode is brought to you by Prophecy Wines. Beautiful inside and out, Prophecy Wines captivates the senses and turns heads with its striking label art. Prophecy delivers some of the most intriguing wine styles from around the world like French rosé and Italian Pinot Grigio, with flavors as complex and exquisite as the artwork on the label. Explore their portfolio of beautiful wines, and discover your Prophecy.

Welcome back to Wine 101. In this episode, VinePair tastings director Keith Beavers gets visual by discussing how to read a wine label. He explains how bin numbers came about, and the difference in appearance between Old World and New World wine labels.

Beavers points out that every wine bottle has two labels: the front label that consumers see first, which is more of a retail label; and the back label, which typically contains information required by law. He then guides listeners through five key pieces of information that must always be on a wine bottle, and what clues these five indicators give about what’s in the bottle. Some examples include the producer’s name, the varietal or appellation of the grape, the vintage status of the wine, and the region where it is made.

After equipping listeners with these essential wine label tips, Beavers encourages listeners to be confident in their ability to decipher and decide on a bottle — and to be comfortable asking questions.

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