We recently attended a tasting of Santa Barbara County Chardonnays, where everybody brought a bottle.
The question on everyone’s mind was this—how can you tell by the label what the wine’s level of quality?
There are plenty of things the label won’t tell you, and that is one of them.
However, there are two indicators of quality we always look for:
1. Estate bottled and produced: This means a real, working winery grew the grapes and then made the wine at their own facility. And that means there was a greater level of control, and likely, of care, that went into that bottle.
2. An appellation name on the label: Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Maria Valley or another federally designated appellation name means that 85% of the fruit had to have come from that region. If you are looking for a high quality wine, that is a good start.
Do you have any “reading wine label tips”?