Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wine Labels For Christmas - What Are They All About?

French Red Wine With Assorted Chocolates, Cookies And Snacks

By Elaine Berry

Giving Christmas wine labels may be an idea that had never occurred to you. Yet labels are an increasingly popular choice and many have become collectors' items.

What sort of people would want wine labels for Christmas?

Obviously, they fall into three main classes. One is wine buffs, who simply enjoy everything about wine and for whom the label just adds to the enjoyment. Of course, these people might prefer their gift label to be attached to a bottle of wine! If it's a personalized label, so much the better.

The second group will be people whose hobby is making wine. A set of unique wine labels will give them enormous pleasure. And of course, the third group is wine label collectors. You might be surprised at how many of these there are, what huge collections some of them have, and how much they know about wine labels.

So what would you expect a gift wine label in Christmas gift baskets to have on it?

  • The main thing to remember is that the wine label is the chief way by which the wine producer communicates with the consumer of the wine. It has to answer whatever questions the customer has, e.g. what vintage the wine is, where does it come from, etc.
  • The four main types of information that are required on a commercial wine label are: Appellation (region where the grapes are grown); Varietals (the main variety of grape used); Generic (the style of wine); and the name of the company or winery.
  • Many consumers also want to know other information such as the alcohol content, which is given in percentage by volume. A table wine must be between 7% (weak) and 14% (strong). And of course the quantity of wine in the bottle should be shown. A standard bottle contains 750 milliliters or 75 centiliters.
  • Some producers also like to add dietary information, such as the calorie, carbohydrate and protein content. But of course, if you are relaxed and enjoying the anticipation of opening a bottle of wine, you may not want to know this!

So yes, the primary purpose of the wine label is for the producer to communicate with the consumer. But in truth a wine label does much more than provide information. It should convey the whole personality, the whole individuality of the wine - the romance, the excitement and ambience of everything the wine represents. So anyone giving or receiving wine labels for Christmas is really entering into the whole gladdening and exhilarating world of wine and all it stands for!

For a unique selection of wine labels for Christmas, visit

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