Wine Labels & Etiquette

During our wine tasting tour from Florence you can meet in person the owners, the cellar master, the farmers who take care for the vineyards and also the same vine with its character, its needs and also… its whims!

These wine tours give you the opportunity to get a personal impression of the wine that you like the most, what it takes to make it, the role of the nature and the importance of the human work. In short, at the end of a tour in the search for a good Chianti or a tasting of Super Tuscans or Vernaccia di San Gimignano you will not be the same… at least when it comes to wine!

But what happens when you are not lucky enough to see with your own eyes a wine aging cellar, the vines with grapes in the sun or to shake hands with a wine maker? All History, Nature and people are concentrated in the bottle you can find in a restaurant or in a wine shop; you choose it as a good dining, or evening, or a special moment companion. But the naked bottle is silent if there is not a label that tells the contents.

In Italian, the word LABEL is translated as ETICHETTA, that does also mean ETIQUETTE or POLITENESS, good manners, rules to follow to have a flawless social behavior, and we can also note that there is a common root in the words ETICHETTA and even ETHICS and ESTETHIC.

These few hints to understand that knowing how to create the right label for a wine is a very important job that can bring out or obscure the result of so much dedicated energy ; there are those who choose to put a drawing on it, or a logo, those who prefer to implement it in rare old-looking paper; also you should know how to properly read a label, because it is a great help to understand what is contained into the bottle that you’ve got. On the label there is the name of the wine, which can be the company name, but also that of the vineyard or even a fantasy name. When an Italian wine has the acronym DOCG printed on the label, such as Chianti or Brunello or Vernaccia, for example, it means it is certified and guaranteed that wine belongs to a production that owes its precious organoleptic characteristics to the region where is produced; the harvesting year is also important because every year the harvest has its own characteristics, mainly due to climatic factors, so that there will be “exceptional years”, in which grapes and wines will be richer than others, and in the same way will be the wine; other important displayed data on the label are the amount of contained wine; the indication of the bottler and the place where the wine was bottled, the country of origin and the alcohol content which is expressed in a percentage that reveals the relationship between alcohol and liquid contents.

Many wine bottles have a “back label” too, usually it shows the description of the wine, the vineyard from which it comes, the best dishes that match it, the history of the winery where it is produced and aged, and also how to taste it, what ideal temperature is…

Hence a good label tells you all the information you need to understand and appreciate what you are going to taste, or to buy.

Traveling through the Italian vineyards, learning about the wine from the people who make it, will help you to give the right meaning to the words you read on the label.