What kind of information do you like to find on the back label?
Food pairing recommendation?
Some story about the vintner or the region?
Something else entirely?
Keep in mind that the space is very limited. Say, 5 or 6 lines at the most.
Tasting notes (if not from a source one has familiarity with) are of limited
value. I've yet to find a food pairing on a wine label I thought helpful (but
if you are bringing in a Muscadet, feel free to suggest mussels).
I would be interested in the winemaker's view on optimal drinking window.
If there is an INTERESTING story re the wine, vintner, or the name of the wine
that can be fun.
But to me, nothing is as valuable as production notes. What is the cepage? When
were vines planted? What are yields? Barrel fermentation or stainless? Aged in
stainless or oak? Barrique or foudre? What percentage of barrels are new?
Maceration method? Etc. etc. etc. Will these things tell me what a wine will
taste like? Well, not really. But it will give me some clue as to whether a
wine is made in a style that might fit in with my preferences and biases.
Drop "damnspam" to reply
oh, yeah, one other thought:
following what appeals to a geek crowd might not be the way to financial
success. I might not like it, but back labels singing of "vanilla and cherry
flavors bursting out in a cascade of fruit, a perfect accompaniment for beef,
chicken, lemon sole, asparagus, or guacamole. Our winemaker was promising actor
before hormore therapy went awry" might sell more than notes re cold
Drop "damnspam" to reply
On 5 May 2004 12:51:50 -0700, email@example.com (winemonger)
Why should the space be that limited. You either have very small
labels or very big fonts!
Personally I would want production notes, cellar potential, and some
indication of grape varieties and residual sugar levels if that is not
otherwise obvious. Most of the rest I can work out for myself if
Marketing bullshit and extravagent TNs are also good for a laugh :-)
Unsurprisingly, I agree with Dale on this one. I think that Paul
Draper's notes on the back of Ridge wines are a model for useful back
label information. Be forewarned, though, that if you're placing this
on a bottle of imported wine (say, from Austria) you'd better make sure
that you have a good translator on board.
On 05 May 2004 20:36:17 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Williams)
Despite the prominence of your tongue in your cheek, I'll have to lean
more toward this response rather than the first. Frankly, despite
years of imbibing, I've got no technical expertise with regard to
production. Give me a lecture on sources of oak for the barrels,
percentage of nickel in the stainless tanks, degrees of viagra
tetrachloride hydroxinol in the first two weeks of fermentation and my
eyes roll up in my head.
Give me a litany of names of viticultural giants and the odds are that
I'll not recognize any with less notoriety than Dom Perignon with his
bubbles and the Gallo Brothers with their incredibly rich
On the other hand, tell me a bit of what to look for in the tasting
and do it in meaningful language not menu-writer's hyperbole and I'll
have a much more meaningful experience when I pull the cork.
Humor in an apocryphal tale of the winery is also occasionally
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
Smithsonian Institution Press
Well, I do read the FRONT label. The back label is pretty much marketing
hype. "this sauvignon blanc goes great with blander Chinese food." Okay? Now
what? Would like to how they made the thing..
The Front Label tells you everything you need to know about a particular
wine. 1) where it was grown, 2) how it was fermented, and 3) how it was
The "Back Label" tells you how the winemakers want to market it. Just my
"Rich R" wrote in
???? Not in my experience. Occassionally that informatin is on the rear. On
the front one finds manufacturer and place of manufacture (on french wines
one will also find whether the grapes were estate grown or if it is a
negociant wine), vintage, varietal (in US wines) and strength of alcohol
(sometimes found on back label) but I hve yet to see on any wines that I
buy a statement of stell tank, hot cold or otherwise, and the aging method
is likewise not usually mentined. (Note I drink mostly French and Italian
wines so YMMV)
I'm just saying if you were faced with a back label on a California Chardonnay
that said " full malolactic fermentation, aged one year in 100% new heavily
toasted barrels" you'd have a pretty good clue re style, right?
Well, yes, but the point is when there are tasting notes on the back label
hyperbole is the rule, not the exception. And not knowing the writer's palate,
notes are pretty useless.
Now that I agree on. I love serving Goats Do Roam, Dead Arm, La Spinona, and
other wines with stories.
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On 06 May 2004 00:57:37 GMT, email@example.com (Dale Williams)
And even with 1), this may be a pretty broad area, e.g. "California".
To reply, add "x" between
letters and numbers of
"jcoulter" schrieb im Newsbeitrag
Well, it may just be what one considers to be the front label. :-)
An instructor in a course I once took asked which side of the bottle you put
the wine label on. Laughter followed and several said immediately, "Why on
the front, of course!" To which he replied, "And who determines where the
front of the bottle is?"
"Dale Williams" skrev i meddelandet
... to wit, a wine that has been hit repeatedly over the head with a heavy
oak cudgel to make it behave itself and sit still in the glass, no?
Listen, I could send you both a picture of M Dirler´s horse, would that be
Seriously, I agree with both posters.
Indication of residual sugar is the info I miss most. When outside
Austria (where the sweetness lavel legally has to be stated on
the label), I often try to chose an Alsace white to start with,
generally offering the best QPR. The only problem: Nobody will
know whether a Riesling Cuvée Anémone or a Pinot Gris Réserve
Particulière will be sweet or not.
] What kind of information do you like to find on the back label?
More specifics would be nice, although I think technical details
like 100% malolactic are lost on 99% of the wine drinking public,
and might even put people off.
I'd like to know the encepagement, with percentages, and average
vine age if meaningful.
I have a pet peeve about "traditional varieties" and "ancient vines"
on the back label. The former implies a knowledge not always
present and lacks enough detail to be meaningful in some cases,
the latter could mean just about anything: greater than 20 years,