Well, we all know that we all love a touch of Prada (even if we can’t afford it). But can you IMAGINE if we didn’t know what Prada truly was. God forbid this, how could we possibly have this conundrum bestowed upon us. In a nutshell, a label is a label is a label!
And when in comes to our favorite pink pleasure, it’s absolutely no different! It’s got a label, just like the Laboutins and the Walmarts! The difference is knowing how to read it, because apart from it being in complete double dutch (well, actually, it’s in French but you get my drift), it’s got more components than a French man has techniques for love making!
To get us all started on this zero to hero journey of knowing which «Little Pink Number» is going to look chichi in our cellars, you need to be aware of a small fact. This vital piece of information is that the French are positively scrupulous and draconian about the matter of the wine label! Vintners the length and breadth of France are fearful of being struck down with clattering bolts of lightening through sheer dread of getting it wrong. It’s the law, it’s strict and it’s packed tightly with consumer information so that you know what it is that you are bestowing that beautifully laid dining table with.
Moving on… here is a brief list of vocab that you’re going to need to get to grips with those labesl (stop yawning, it’s only short)! These should all be read out loud with a heavy French accent whilst sipping your favorite Bandol!
The Quick Fire Wine Dictionary
Appellation d’Origine Protegée – AOP, really great wine
Indication Géographique Protégée – IGP, really great wine but not as great as AOP
Vin de France – the staple for your everyday tipple if you’re not flush in the pocket, also known as table wine!
Réserve – really really great wine (but unregulated)
Château or Domaine – wine estate
Clos – enclosed vineyard
Cru – a favored vineyard
Propriétaire – owner
Mis en bouteille – literally means «put in bottle»
Millésime or Récolte – the date of harvest/vintage
Crémant – sparkling wine that doesn’t decend from a Champagne region
Vielles Vignes – old vines
So let’s put this theory into practice!
Info central : before I forget… a côte OR coteaux is a slopy hillside! (not that it’s mentioned on our bottle of Bandol).
Now I’m going to say to you on one very final note, that you really should be checking out this label with fervent caution. You see, purchasing wine is a little like internet dating, you see a nice photo but you don’t really take a lot of notice of the actual profile write up. Even the French can be very clever with their marketing ploys and will use subterfuge moves to make us buy those gorgeous beverages just because the label is just damn well funky and attractive! But be warned, you want it to do what it says on the tin, not drink it just because that national hero Jonny Halliday drinks it (oh yes, I did buy that bottle).
It’s not only a strategy for selling their wares, it’s also a price hike-up process for profit margins…
Buy wise and don’t be blinded by naughty French science!
Photo Source: Celebuzz