Wine has never been so experimental and there are always funky new local winemakers, creating some amazing drops that are super accessible to us all.
Now I love wine and I love trying new things, but a trip to the bottle is starting to become overwhelming, with so many unfamiliar choices.
Luckily, we have Chief Winemaker at Angove, Tony Ingle, to share some basics with us, that will make that decision-making process a little easier and teach us a bit about wine in the process.
Why it’s important to read a wine label
Each wine label tells a story of the bottle you are about to drink. Beyond seeking the variety and brand, you can really start to pick and choose bottles based on your preferred characteristics and find a wine that’s right for you.
What to look for on a wine label
Country of origin Where the grapes were sourced to produce the wine.
Wine variety If stated, the wine must contain 85% of the variety. If the wine contains 15% or more of a second varietal, it’s to be listed in descending order.
Vintage The harvest year of the wine. The wine must contain at least 85% of fruit from the year listed. If the year is not specified, the wine can be categorised as non-vintage wines, which usually indicates lower-value wines as they are able to mix multiple vintages.
Volume of wine For example, 750 mL or 1L.
Standard drinks Number of standard drinks in the bottle.
Percentage of alcohol The percentage of alcohol by volume or ABV. For example, 13.5% Alc/Vol.
Producer Name and address of the vendor, manufacturer, packer or importer.
Certification Label/ logo certifying a status, e.g. organic or biodynamic certification. In Australia, organic certification is not mandatory. Producers and companies can have as little as 2% organic ingredients to label their product organic, so if you want to make sure the wine you drink is truly organic, look out for third-party certification on their label, such as Australian Organic’s recognisable ‘Certified Organic’ bud logo.
Allergen warnings Any allergens such as milk, egg or sulphites.
What your wine is telling you
Certified Organic Made from grapes grown without any synthetic chemical intervention – including artificial fertilisers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. Independently audited by a third-party organisation, adhering to strict standards of organic protocol. Certification ensures compliance with the national production standard so products, processes and methods can be tracked to their origin.
Organic Made from grapes possibly grown without any synthetic chemical intervention—including artificial fertilisers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides—not audited, not certified, no guarantees.
Clean Like organic, clean wine starts with organic grapes—but no certification means no guarantees.
Natural True natural wines should be organic and contain nothing but pure, fermented grape juice. Nothing else (including acids, enzymes or sugars) is added to the tanks during fermentation. Natural wines are unfiltered so sediment or cloudiness can remain. Natural wines can be made from non-organic grapes – no standards, not audited, not certified, no guarantees.
Certified Biodynamic Biodynamic wines are also organic. They rely on a homeopathic approach to the compost and vines, creating a chemical-free ecosystem while relying on the influence of certified inputs and the lunar cycle on the growing season.
Vegan Vegan wines are those which do not contain any animal products.
Preservatives/ additives free Contains no artificial preservatives including sulphur dioxide, bisulphites and sulphurous acid.
No-added Preservative Wines labelled as ‘No Added Preservative’ can still contain sulphites as they are a natural by-product created by yeast during fermentation.
The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.
From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.
Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.
Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.