How to read spanish wine labels
Knowing how to read properly a spanish wine label is going to give you enough information about the content (and maybe a great deal) of that bottle.
Like a popular saying: You can not judge a book by it´s cover; but when it comes to wine you can judge a wine by its label.
A label provides you information about who made the wine, which year was made and where was made…
Vintage: Very important. Every year is different, you should know if the vintage you are about to select was a good one for that Wine Region. Ex: One vintage can be a good one for a “Rioja” but a bad one for a “Ribera del Duero”. You get the idea??
Denominacion de Origen (D.O) or Wine region: Every D.O has its special character and taste. Trying differents D.O is the only way to educate yourself about wich D.O is your favourite and matches your taste.
Quality of the Wine. In Spain we have minimum of aging in bottle and in oak barrel for a wine to be considered by the spanish laws as Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. And we are the only country in world who has that classification.
Crianza: A wine labeled as crianza has spent at least one year in oak barrel.
Reserva: A wine which says reserva on the bottle is a three year old wine and at least one of these years has to have been spent in oak.
Gran Reserva: Wines are aged for at least five years, where two years are in oak and three years in the bottle.
I hope you enjoy and find it usefull.