martes, 25 de octubre de 2016

Rioja Urbina Wine Tasting at Langport Arms Hotel in Somerset


- Name: The Langport Arms Hotel
- Adress: Cheapside, Langport, Somerset, TA10 9PD
- Telephone: +44 1458 250530
- Email:
- Web:

- Description: The Langport Arms Hotel is well known within the area, especially as a function venue. The business is divided into guest accommodation, meeting room hire, function trade and restaurant with carvery/a la carte menu as well as a separate wine bar and bistro and the lounge bar. There are also ten en suite bedrooms (two recently built within the courtyard) along with a self-contained cottage built in 2009. The ballroom has an established function trade and can seat up to 200 and is especially popular for weddings within the area.

- History: The Langport Arms Hotel was originally built as a private house in 1420. Although it has been greatly extended and dramatically changed over the years much of the original building remains the same. From the 16th century the building was used as an inn and was then known as The Swan. During the 18th century it became a coaching inn known as The Langport Arms Hotel.

- The Bar: The bar is fully equipped with a wide range of traditional beers, spirits and real ales to suit everyones taste. Their is a lunchtime menu available, also an outside smoking area to relax and enjoy the surroundings. So why not call in for a drink in the bar or lounge area of the hotel. You can either meet friends in the bar for a social visit or sample some drinks before a meal in the restaurant & carvery.

- Accommodations: The hotel accommodation comprises of 10 beautifully decorated bedrooms all with en-suite facilities. Each room has it's own direct telephone system, tea and coffee making, colour television and some have a trouser press. All rooms are non smoking and unfortunately pets are not allowed.

- 'La Roche' Bistro & Wine Bar: Operating the "Black Rock Grill' concept where your main course is served on a block of volcanic rock heated to 440c. The choice of your main course is seared on both sides for 40 seconds to seal, then presented with the salad or vegetables and potatoes of your choice.

To get the best result from your choice, slice thinly and flip on to the rock and eat, taking a little longer depending on how you like your meat cooked. Remember chicken must be well cooked. A separate knife and fork is provided to cut the raw chicken, then use the cutlery on the table to eat with. They recommend where sauces are served you use them as a dipping sauce not to pour directly onto the rock.

- The Carvery Restaurant: The superb air conditioned Carvery Restaurant is ideal for all occasions. Whether you require an intimate table for two or large parties. There is always a good selection of meats accompanied by a variety of fresh seasonal vegetables. There is a choice of desserts from the chilled display and wines available from the main wine list. The Beaufort Room can hold up to 40 guests for the smaller dinner parties or wedding receptions. In fact the hotel can cater for any requirements.

- Banquets: The Hotel offers a range of rooms to hold your banquet depending on the amount of guests. These include The Ballroom, The Beaufort Room and The Carvery Restaurant. To help you in planning your function a menu offering a selection of dishes is available on request. Assistance in planning your menu can also be provided. Discounts are offered on groups of more than 50 and 100 guests.

- The Conference Room: The Beaufort Room can accomodate up to 20 people for a board room meeting or up to 35 theatre style. This room is available on a room hire basis of either 1/2 day at £35.00 from morning until the afternoon or a full working day at £70.00. Audio-visual equipment can be provided but must be pre-booked and a hire price will be given on application.

- The Ballroom: The Ballroom is situated on the first floor to the rear of the hotel. It can cater for up to 150 guests for that unique wedding reception or private dinner and dance. It has a fully equipped bar and a stage area; ideal for either sound systems or live music. The bar services are included in the booking of The Ballroom. The Ballroom can accomodate up to 60 people for a board room meeting, up to 150 theatre style or a mixture up to 120 people and is available for 1/2 day at £70.00 or a full working day at £140.00.

- Outside Catering: The Hotel offers catering facilities at any venue or marquee location within a 15 mile radius of Langport. You may choose any of the menus within the brochure.

- Weddings: The Hotel offers the full range of facilities for that special day. The Hotel has a full colour special wedding brochure which lists all the wedding menus and is available on request. To compliment your evening you may wish to take advantage of the in-house disco, alternatively you may prefer to book a live band.

- Langport: Langport is a small town and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated 5 miles (8.0 km) west of Somerton in the South Somerset district. The parish (which covers only part of the town) has a population of 1,081. The parish includes the hamlets of Bowdens and Combe. Langport is contiguous with Huish Episcopi, a separate parish which includes much of the town's outskirts.

- Landmarks: Two buildings in the town, the Tudor House and The Warehouse in Great Bow Yard, have been restored by the Somerset Buildings Preservation Trust. Close to All Saints Church, an archway crosses the road, bearing a Perpendicular building known as The Hanging Chapel. After serving this purpose it housed first the grammar school (founded 1675), then the Quekett museum, named after John Thomas Quekett (1815–61) the histologist, a native of the town, whose father was master of the school. The hanging chapel afterwards became a masonic hall.


- Name: Quantock Abbey Wine Cellars
- Adress: Mill Farm, Weston Bampfylde, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 7HY
- Telephone: 01963 440404 / Fax: 0870 7621757
- Email:
- Web:

Quantock Abbey Wiene is a fine wine merchant based at Weston Bampfylde on the Somerset and Dorset border near Yeovil. They specialize in fine wine imports from around the world. Countries from which they import wine directly include: France; Italy; Spain; Chile; Argentina; South Africa; New Zealand and Australia.

As one of the south wests leading independent wine merchants they offer a range of wines that will not be available in the Supermarkets and will have been individually chosen by them after a rigorous selection process. They taste many wines throughout the year and will choose only the very best for their list. Some of the suppliers with whom they have worked successfully over the years include Bodegas Urbina located in La Rioja wine region (Spain).

If you are looking for an independent wine specialist in the south west of the UK then Quantock Abbey Wine Cellars is the wine merchant you have been looking for. Based near Yeovil they are ideally placed to be the main Somerset wine merchant and the main Dorset wine merchant but they also do deliver wine throughout the UK. They are based just off the A303 on the outskirts of Sparkford where their warehouse is crammed with fine wines from around the world.

- They can supply businesses and individuals with the following: Red Wines; White Wines; Rose Wines; Sparkling Wines; Dessert Wines; Fortified Wines and Mixed Cases.

- As well as importing wine they also offer the following services: Party service; Glass loan; Sale or return; Bar service; Wedding Wine; A full range of soft drinks and beers to order.


- Family Winery: Bodegas Urbina is a family winery with four generations since 1870 dedicated to grape growing and winemaking. The present winery designed, built and run by the family Urbina since 1986 has been created solely to facilitate the mission of the winemaker at the time of producing fine wines. The winemaking for commercialization dates from 1870 and performed in ancient underground Cuzcurrita drafts.

- Own Vineyards: Bodegas Urbina has 75 hectares of native varieties of Rioja, whose sole purpose is the quality of their wines. The wines are a combination of grapes from Cuzcurrita, the westernmost part of the DOC Rioja; It produces wines with great aging potential, fit for the Gran Reserva and Uruñuela vineyards located in the heart of the appellation produce wines of great consistency and body, very nice.

- Limited Production: Bodegas Urbina has the capacity to produce 300.000 bottles of red Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva and 50.000 bottles of White and Rose grapes from their own vineyards, which are grown under traditional practices, not using herbicides and limiting use of pesticides and fungicides. The cultivation is done in low-trained (vignes basses) and trellis, and does not force the production, not exceeding the 4,500 Kgrs. / Ha. Within the production capacity, wines are selected in order to be labeled as URBINA.


Their wine list is to long but here is a list of the amazing grape varieties that their fine wines contain. If you go to their webpage and click on any one of the grape varieties it will show you which current wines they have with that grape variety:

- Merlot: Merlot is one of the three varietals that make up the bulk of the fine wines produced in Bordeaux and is used at up to 100% in Pomerol. Its chief characteristics of softness and a plummy fleshy style have led to its planting around the globe and has found a niche for itself in a number of places, not least Chile where it has become a signature variety.

- Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon blanc is a green-skinned grape variety which probably originates from the Bordeaux region of France. It is now planted in much of the worlds winelands, producing a crisp, dry, and refreshing white varietal wine. Aside from its undoubted greatness in the upper Loire, the variety also reaches a peak in the South Island of New Zealand and is making waves in South Africa, especially in the south of the country.

- Colombard: Principally known for its production of floral dry white wines in the Gascony region of France, it has now become widely planted in Australia and South Africa, chiefly being used as a blender with chenin or chardonnay. A useful variety where some fresh aromatic character is called for.

- Ugni Blanc: Neutral light bodied - mainly used in spirit production and thus widely planted in the Charente and Gascony regions of France. Also known as Chasselas and Trebbiano, it is widely planted as a bulk wine producer.

- Cabernet Franc: Cabernet Franc tends to be softer and has fewer tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon, although the two can be difficult to distinguish. Sometimes the French refer to Cabernets, which could mean either of the two grapes. Its typical aromas include herbaceousness and a pronounced peppery nose, even in ripe fruit. Depending on growing region and the style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, and cassis. In good years in its native Loire it can aspire to greatness but in lean years can be green and unforgiving.

- Gamay: Gamay is a purple-colored grape variety used to make red wines, most notably grown in Beaujolais. Its full name is Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc, and it probably originated as a mutation of Pinot Noir. It is a very old cultivar, being mentioned already in the 1400s. It has been cultivated because it makes for abundant production rather than due to the quality of the wine made from it. The Beaujolais might disagree though and some of the top producers there make very good wine indeed.

- Grenache: Grenache is usually blended with other varieties, rather than made into a varietal wine, although some growers champion it as a single varietal. In France Grenache is the dominant variety in most Southern Rhône blends, especially Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is also frequently used to make lighter, rosé wines in France and Spain.

- Malbec: Malbec is a black, mellow grape variety originally grown in France, in the Loire Valley and Cahors. Long known as one of the six grapes used in the blending of red Bordeaux wine, it is increasingly celebrated as an Argentine varietal wine where Cahors notwithstanding it probably achieves its best. It is also grown in the cooler regions of California. It has an extensive listing of synonyms; currently more than fifty; e.g Auxerrois in Cahors, Côt in the Loire and or Pressac in other places.

- Mourvedre: Mourvèdre is known by various names: in Spain as Monastrell in the Americas and Australia as Mataro, and in France sometimes as Balzac. Its names probably come from the towns of Mataró in Cataluña and Murviedro near Valencia. In certain regions of France it is also still known as Estrangle-Chien ("dog strangler"). The grape requires a hot climate to ripen, and is thus only found in the very south of France. Mourvèdre is more than capable of generating vin de table with a great degree of finesse, especially in blends with Syrah and Grenache.

- Nebbiolo: The grape is thought to derive its name from the piedmontese word nebia which means fog. During harvest, generally in late October, a deep, intense fog sets into the Langhe region, where Nebbiolo thrives. It was cultivated since the 14th Century in Valtellina, an east-west valley in the Lombardy region at the foot of the Alps, north of Lake Como. Yet the first clear written references to this grape sort date back to the XIX century only. Until now Valtellina is the only region where Nebbiolo is grown in Italy outside Piedmont, along with the Aosta Valley. Nebbiolo is sometimes referred to as the Pinot Noir of Italy for the complex and rare wines that it produces in Barolo. It is also becoming popular in Australia where it makes a fruitier yet quite interesting style.

- Petit Verdot: Petit Verdot is a variety used in the production of Bordeaux where it was chiefly used to add colour and body to the wine. It is also planted in Australia where it is a little softer in style and is rarely used on its own but blended with Merlot or Cabernet. Can be quite complex with claretty fruit characteristics.

- Pinot Noir: Pinot noir grapes are grown in diverse locations around the world, but the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France. Production of pinot noir dates back more than two thousand years. It is widely considered to produce some of the finest wines in the world, but is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. Of all varieties Pinot from the new world is nearly always compared to Burgundy, often detrimentally, and has yet to forge a distinct identity away from that region despite some great wines being produced in New Zealand, Australia and California.

- Pinotage: Pinotage is a wine grape that is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut (called Hermitage in South Africa and parts of Europe, hence the portmanteau name of this grape variety). Pinotage is a controversial grape variety that was created in South Africa in 1925 by Abraham Izak Perold, a professor at Stellenbosch University but not used commercially until 1959. Perold was attempting to combine the best qualities of Pinot Noir, a grape that can be difficult to grow but with excellent wine-making properties, with the Cinsault, which is very prolific and sturdy. Unfortnately it rarely achieves the quality of either and only the best producers make a wine of any fineness.

- Sangiovese: Sangiovese also known as Brunello, Morellino and a host of lesser names is a red wine grape variety originating in Italy where it is now recognised as a superior variety. Although it can be found as a varietal, and as a single-variety wine such as Brunello di Montalcino or Sangiovese di Romagna, it often forms part of a blend. The traditional home of Sangiovese is in Tuscany, and it is the major component in blends such as Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano. The grape is also used to make some modern "Super Tuscan" wines like Tignanello. It is a slow-ripening grape. Sangiovese is becoming increasingly popular as a red wine grape in Australia. This is part of a growing trend in Australia to use a wider range of grape varieties for winemaking.

- Syrah: Syrah or Shiraz is a variety chiefly found in the hotter viticultural regions, notably Australia and the Rhone Valley. It is also found in Chile, California, New Zealand and South Africa where it makes wines of greater or lesser quality depending on the region. Capable of greatness in Australia and the Rhone where it is the chief variety in Hermitage and Cote Rotie, it is also used in a number of lesser wines from Southern France. The name derives from Shiraz in Iran, once an important wine producing region.

- Tempranillo: Tempranillo is native to northern Spain, where it makes the famous red wines from the Rioja and Duero regions. It is widely cultivated in both northern and central Spain. It is also fairly common in Argentina, and plays a minor role in the wines of two regions of Portugal, the central Alentejo and Douro, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and mainly used in blends to make port wine. Tempranillo does best in cooler grape growing regions, as it does not tolerate hot or dry weather well. Pests and diseases are a serious problem for this grape variety, since it is has little resistance to either. It is lightly coloured and ages well in American and sometimes French oak. Tempranillo is also known as Cencibel and Ull de Libre. Until recently, some suspected that Tempranillo was related to the Pinot Noir grape, but recent genetic studies tend to discount this possibility.

- Zinfandel: Zinfandel, in Europe known as Primitivo, is a red-skinned wine grape. It is popular in California for its intense fruitiness and lush texture. Typically, Zinfandel tastes of white pepper with bramble and fresh or fermented red berries. Vintners use Zinfandel grapes to produce a wide range of wine styles including sweet White Zinfandels, light-bodied reds reminiscent of Beaujolais nouveau, full bodied dry reds, sweet late harvest dessert wines, and ports.

- Primitivo: Also known as Zinfandel, this early ripening variety is grown mainly in Puglia in Southern Italy where it makes full bodied very fruity wines with lots of body and extract. For more on this variety see zinfandel.

- Albarino: Albariño or Alvarinho is a variety of white wine grape grown in Galicia and northern Portugal, where it is used to make varietal white wines. International wines made from this varietal are most notably from the Rías Baixas DO. It is also common in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal. Its recent emergence as a varietal led the wines to be "crafted for the palates of Europe, America and beyond and for wine drinkers who wanted clean flavors and rich, ripe fruit" and led to wines completely different from those produced across the river in Portugal where it is turned into Vinho Verde. It is said to be related to the Gros Manseng with which it shares some characteristics.

- Chardonnay: Chardonnay is believed to be named after the village of Chardonnay in the Mâconnais region of France. DNA fingerprinting research at the University of California, Davis suggests that Chardonnay has originated as a cross between Pinot and the Croatian Gouais Blanc grape varieties. Part of the attraction of Chardonnay, for wine makers and lovers alike, is its versatility. In the New World it is often made using full malolactic fermentation to soften the acidity and some oak handling. Without oak, Chardonnay generally produces a soft wine, often with fruity flavors. When aged with oak, Chardonnay can acquire a smokey, vanilla, caramel, and butter aroma. The origin of the oak - either French or American - will affect the final flavour, along with the degree to which any oak barrels were toasted. For budget wines, the oak is added as staves or even chips to stainless steel containers, which is cheaper than oak barrels. In the much cooler climate winemaking region of Chablis, oak treatment of wine has traditionally been unpopular. Malolactic fermentation is not typically used either. This produces a wine with generally more noticeable acidity which focuses on minerality and purity. Other regions of Burgundy produce more full-bodied styles. Chardonnay is also an important component in Champagne and there are some 100% Chardonnay Champagnes labeled blanc de blancs. It is also used by sparkling wine producers who want to produce a Champagne-like wine.

- Chenin Blanc: Chenin Blanc is a variety of high acidity and great longevity that reaches its peak on the chalk slopes of the middle Loire where it makes the great sweet wines of Vouvray and Saumur. It also makes fine dry wines from the Loire in Touraine and further afield makes wines of some quality in Australia and South Africa where it is known as Steen. Chenin is versatile and can take oak ageing well but its dry styles never quite achieve the greatness of the Loire sweeties.

- Gewurztraminer: Gewürztraminer is a white wine grape variety that performs best in cooler climates. It is known for its spicy characteristics. The name literally means "Spice Traminer", and derives from the grape being a highly aromatic variant of its parent, simply called "Traminer". It is now typically grown in the Alsace region of France, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, Australia and California, The characteristic of the wine, rather than any specific spice, is that there is a strong smell of lychees on the bouquet. This characteristic aroma means that Gewürztraminer is classified as an aromatic wine grape. Dry Gewürztraminer also have aromas of roses, passion fruit and floral notes. As such until recently it used to be considered as one of the few wines that is suitable to be enjoyed with curry and other Asian foods. But it can be over-aromatic for many after the first glass. It also goes well with some cheeses, and fleshy, fatty (oily) wild game. It is believed to be related to Viognier, another aromatic grape.

- Muscadet: Muscadet or Melon de Bourgogne is a variety of white grape grown in the Loire Valley region of France and best known through its use in the eponymous wine Muscadet. As its name suggests, the grape originated in Burgundy and was grown there until its destruction was ordered in the early 18th century. In the vineyards around Nantes, however, the harsh winter of 1709 destroyed so many vines that a new variety was needed, and the Melon grape was introduced. Since then it has been used solely in the production of the light dry white wine Muscadet, which is made entirely from the Melon grape. The grape is so associated with this popular appellation of the western Loire that the grape itself is often known as Muscadet. It makes very crisp dry white wines which at their best can be full flavoured and quite complex.

- Cattarrato: Very dry full flavoured variety from Sicily, more commonly used in the production of Marsala, where the grapes are dried before fermentation.

- Muscat: The muscat family of grapes of the species Vitis vinifera are widely grown for wine, raisins and table grapes. They range in colour from white to almost black, but almost always have a pronounced sweet floral aroma. The breadth and number of varieties of muscat suggest that it is very old, perhaps the oldest domesticated grape variety. There are theories that most families within the Vitis vinifera grape family are descended from the Muscat family.

- Pinot Gris: Pinot Gris is a variety found in Alsace region of France where it used to be called Tokay. It is a greyish colour and is reckoned to be a clone of Pinot Noir. It is an old variety that dates back nearly 1000 years but has recently risen to prominence in its Italian guise, Pinot Grigio, where it has become enormously popular and widely planted. It has a distinct style when well made, being slightly floral and fruity yet dry and quite full bodied. It is now widely distributed around the world and cultivated succesfully in many places.
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- Prosecco: Prosecco is a variety of white grape grown in the Veneto region of Italy, and also gives its name to the sparkling wine made from the grape. The grape is grown in the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene wine-growing regions north of Venice. Its late ripening has led to its use in dry sparkling (spumante) and semi-sparkling (frizzante) wines, with their characteristic bitter aftertaste. The cocktail Bellini, made with sparkling wine and peach juice, and the cocktail poinsettia, made with a mixture of sparkling white wine, vodka, and cranberry juice, should properly be made with Prosecco wine.

- Riesling: Riesling is grown historically in Germany, Alsace, Austria, and northern Italy and is arguably the most noble of the noble white varieties making wines at its best of great subtlety and power. Mostly made in a sweeter style it reaches a peak with the Late Harvest and Eiswein styles where it has great ageing potential and complexity. The drier wines can be fabulous too if left to age, the high acidity making them hard to drink when young. Now cultivated succesfully around the world, Riesling is synonymous with great German wine. It has a unique aroma and flavour that makes it stand out amongst varieties.

- Verdicchio: Verdicchio is a variety of white grape grown in the Marche region of Italy and gives its name to the varietal white wine made from it. The name is a derivative of the word "verde" which means green due to its slight green/yellow hue. Its high quality white wines are produced around the area of Castelli di Jesi and Matelica, and are noted for their high acidity and a characteristic nutty flavour. The grapes are also used to make sparkling wine.

- Viognier: In France, Viognier is the single permitted grape variety in the famous appellations of Condrieu and Château Grillet, which are located on the west bank of the Rhône River, The wines of Condrieu are the most famous, and most expensive, Viogniers in the world. Viognier grapes can be difficult to grow and low yielding. The variety is not very resistant to disease. As a result it was till recently dying out. However the fashion for dry aromatic wines has seen a rapid resurgence in plantings around the New world, were it must be said it makes an agreeable if not great wine. The grape prefers warmer environments and a long growing season, but can grow in cooler areas as well. It is a grape with low acidity; it is sometimes used to soften wines made predominantly with the red Syrah grape.

- Sémillon: Sémillon is a golden-skinned grape used to make dry and sweet white wines, most notably in France and Australia. In France it is chiefly found in Bordeaux where it is blended with Sauvignon and Muscadelle to make a dry often quite neutral wine which can occasionally achieve greatness such as in the great dry whites of the Graves. However it is in the glorious dessert wines of Sauternes that it really shines and indeed merits its ranking as one of the noble varieties. It is also planted quite widely in Australia where it is often blended with chardonnay although in some areas, straight sémillon is capable of great age and complexity. These include the Hunter Valley and Margaret River regions.

- Pinot Blanc: Pinot blanc is a white wine grape. It is a clone or genetic mutation of Pinot gris, which is itself a clone of Pinot noir. It is grown in France, particularly Alsace, and in Germany where it is known as Weißer Burgunder or Weißburgunder. It s superficially akin to Chardonnay in character but lacks the depth and can be little more aromatic.

- Tannat: A variety specific to the South West of France, principally the Bearn region where it is made into Madiran. Also grown widely in Uruguay. Tannat is well named for the variety is unusually tannic in style and on its own can be rather tough at any age. Modern more gentle wine making techniques can render a more user friendly wine but it is never without its slightly Sloe -like tannins. Supposedly a good source of Resveratrol or antioxidants and thus considered "healthy" by some.

- Cabernet Sauvignon: Widely planted grape from the Bordeaux region, responsible for some of the world,s greatest wines. Cabernet Sauvignon is to red wine what Chardonnay is to white. It reaches its peak in the great Medoc Chateaux where blended with Merlot amongst others it makes the great wines of Latour Lafitte and Mouton. There are hardly any wine producing countries where Cab Sauv is included in the best wines. Even die hard countries like Spain and Italy allow it in some of ther best wines, notably some of the supertuscans like Ornellaia and Tignanello. It rarely achieves greatness on its own but is often an essential ingredient. Rare amongst varieties it can display its trademark complex aromas of mint, capsicum, cedarwood and cassis even in basic house wines, one of the reasons for its phenomenal success.

- Pinot Meunier: One of the three main varieties that make up chamapagne, this variety is used to add body and weight, rounding out the greener chardonnay.

- Cinsault: Widely planted in southern France, this makes for fruity easy drinking wines and adds charm to the more serious syrah. It is also widely planted in South Africa where it is added to many blends to lighten and give more floral attractive notes.
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- Mauzac: A grape variety from southern France mainly used in the production of the sparkling Blanquette de Limoux.
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- Picpoul de Pinet: A variety from the Languedoc coast principally used in the production of Vermouth, but now becoming well known as a crisp dry white wine that goes well with seafood.
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- Gros Manseng: One of the varieties principally used in the production of Jurancon, but also planted more widely in the Gers region.

- Sauvignon Gris: A variety of sauvignon with a slightly darker skin.

- Nero D Avola: Nero d'Avola is considered as the most typical and representative red grape of Sicily, excluding the territory of Etna. Nero d'Avola ("black grape of Avola") was selected for cultivation by grape-growers of Avola several hundred years ago and spread recently throughout the rest of the island. When cultivated to yield a low quantity of fruit per vine, this grape variety is capable of ageing well. An aroma of red fruit and typically "sweet" tannins that persist after many years are the most significant components. At the same time, this grape also lends itself well to the production of young wines with highly pronounced aromas of red fruit (plum, blackberry) and smooth tannins. It may also have a peppery or jammy taste.

- Negroamaro: Negroamaro, is a red wine grape variety native to southern Italy. It is grown almost exclusively in Puglia and particularly in Salento, the peninsula which can be visualised as the “heel” of Italy. Although amaro is the Italian for ‘bitter’, the name is thought to derive from two words meaning ‘black’: the Latin language ‘negro’ and the ancient Greek ‘maru’. The grape can indeed produce wines very deep in color. Wines made from Negroamaro tend to be very rustic in character, combining perfume with an earthy bitterness. The grape produces some of the best red wines of Puglia, particularly when blended with the highly scented Malvasia Nera, as in the case of Salice Salentino.

- Montepulciano: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a type of wine grape as well as a type of red wine made from these same grapes in the Abruzzo region of east-central Italy. Up to 10% Sangiovese is permitted to be added to the blend. It is typically a fruity, dry wine with soft tannins, and as such is often consumed young. If aged by the winery for more than two years, the wine may be labelled "Riserva."

- Trebbiano: Trebbiano is a white grape used to make white wine, and the most common white grape variety in Italy, accounting for around a third of all Italy's white wine. The grape is known as Ugni Blanc in France, where it is also the most widely planted white grape. In France the grape is also sometimes known as Clairette Ronde, in Bulgaria and Portugal is called Thalia, and in Corsica as Rossola. The name, in fact, covers a collection of almost indistinguishable varieties, all of which are known for their bland flavour and high acidity. The most important sub-varieties include Trebbiano di Soave, Trebbiano Toscano, Trebbiano Romagnolo, Trebbiano Gallo and Trebbiano d'Abruzzo.

- Malvasia: Malvasia (also known as Malvazia) is a group of wine grape varieties grown historically in the Mediterranean and the island of Madeira, but now grown in many of the winemaking regions of the world. The name also refers to wines produced predominantly from Malvasia grapes. In the past, the names Malvasia, Malvazia, and Malmsey have been used interchangeably for Malvasia-based wines; however, in modern oenology, "Malmsey" is now used exclusively for a sweet variety of Madeira wine made from the Malvasia grape.

- Falanghina: A white variety grown principally in Campania in southern Italy. Styles vary from dry and full flavoured to aromatic.

- Verdelho: Verdelho is a white grape grown throughout Portugal, though most associated with the island of Madeira, and also gives its name to one of the four main types of Madeira wine. The grape has traditionally been one of the most popular grapes planted on the small island of Madeira since vines were first planted there in the 15th century. The variety of Madeira wine known as Verdelho lies between those of Sercial and Bual in style, being richer than Bual but not as dry as Sercial. The variety is known for its high acidity when aged, but if drunk young generally possesses more flavour than the other Madeiras. The grape is also grown in Spain, where it is called Godello and Verdello. The grape is also grown in Argentina, with at least one producer marketing a varietal called simply Verdelho. The grape has also been highly successful in the vineyards of Australia, particularly the Hunter Valley region, Langhorne Creek and the Swan Valley. Unlike the wines of Madeira, Australian Verdelhos are dry white wines which are fresh and aromatic, and quite suitable for lunchtime or summer drinking.

- Viura: The synonym used in the Spanish DO of Rioja for Macabeo, which is the most popular grape of northen Spain. High in production, the Macabeo takes well to hot and dry regions. It also buds late which makes it less likely to be harmed by frost. Together with the varietals Parellada and Xarel-lo it is used in the production of the sparkling Spanish wine Cava. Both still and sparkling wines from the Macabeo are dry, medium in acidity, and have notes of delicate wildflowers and bitter almonds. Macabeo is best consumed young.

- Torrontés: This grape varietal, spelled torrontés, makes wine which bears the same name. It has turned into the symbolic white grape of Argentina. Although the origin of the grape was formerly unknown, recent research has proved it comes from the Malvasia group of grapes, originating in the Mediterranean region. Its recognition is the result of wines produced in the Valley of Cafayate, in Salta Province, the northernmost and highest altitude Argentine wine region.

- Bacchus: A cross from Germany of Riesling, Silvaner and Rivaner that ripens late and does well in England

- Carignan: Carignan is a Spanish variety often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Mourvèdre, Merlot, and Syrah especially in the Languedoc region of France, where it is very widely planted but now on the decline. It has an upright growth habit and can be grown without a trellis.

- Cortese: A variety of white grape grown in the Piedmont region of Italy - principally used in the production of Gavi, the main white wine of the region.

- Garganega: The chief variety of Soave in the Veneto. Capable of much complexity and depth when cropping levels are kept low. At its best this grape will give a good, rather delicate, wine laden with aromatic hints of lemon and almonds.

- Tinta Barocca: Tinta Barroca is a Portuguese red wine grape that is grown primarily in the Douro region with some plantings in South Africa. In Portugal, it is a common blending grape in Port wine while in South Africa it is normally made into a varietal. The vine was introduced to the Douro region in the late 19th century and has the advantages of being able to withstand cool conditions while planted on north-facing slopes.

- Touriga Francesca: Touriga Francesa (or Touriga Franca) is one of the major grape varieties used to produce port wine. Touriga Francesa is lighter and more perfumed than Touriga Nacional and adds finesse to this powerful wine. Touriga Francesa has been described by Jancis Robinson as playing “Cabernet Franc to Touriga Nacional’s Cabernet Sauvignon.”

- Touriga Nacional: Touriga Nacional is a variety of wine grape used predominantly to make port, and considered by many to be Portugal's finest grape. Also occasionally known as Mortágua, the Touriga Nacional grape is unpopular with some vineyards as its grapes are unusually small, leading to comparatively low yields. Nonetheless, it is hard to find a manufacturer of port that does not consider the grape as one of its most important ingredients, and it is the principal variety used in the great vintage ports and table wines of the Douro valley.

- Palomino: The main variety in sherry production, white with a distinctive flavour when made into sherry. The grape is low in acidity and has a tendency to oxidise, neither of which poses problems for sherry but results in low quality table wines.

- Verdejo: Good quality Spanish grape variety for white wines. The variety can oxidize relatively easy. The wines are well balanced and structured. Verdejo wines have the taste and smell of pears and can be nutty and honeyed after some aging in bottle. Chiefly planted in the Rueda district, it is also planted more widely including La Mancha.

- Pardina: A White variety from southern Spain previously used in the production of Montilla - now making dry white wine with some character.

- Durif: The grape is named after Francois Durif, a botanist at the University of Montpellier. It was in a vineyard near the university that he discovered the Peloursin berry that contained the first Durif seed in 1880. Syrah was only identified as the source of the pollen in 1997 following DNA fingerprinting at the University of California, Davis. Confirmed as recently as 1997, old plantings of Durif continued to be used to produce popular wine in the Rutherglen, Victoria region of Australia. Durif is now being used in many other wine regions of Australia, and is sometimes used to make sparkling red wine. It is definitely one of the grapes known as the Petite Sirah variety which is extensively planted in California, although other analysis has shown that in vineyards with the most reliable planting records it may only be one of three distinct varieties known collectively as "Petite Sirah".

- Aglianico: Aglianico is a red wine grape grown in the Campania and Basilicata regions of Italy. The grape is believed to have originated in Greece, introduced to Italy by the Phoenicians around the same time as the Gaglioppo vine. Wines produced from Aglianico tend to be full bodied with firm tannins and high acidity making this a wine that has ageing potential. The rich flavours in Aglianico make it conducive for matching with rich meats such as lamb.
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- Fiano D Avellina: A little known variety from Southern Italy making some of Italy's finest dry white wines. A real treat.

- Corvina: Corvina is a wine grape variety used to make red wines that is sometimes also referred to as Corvina Veronese or Cruina. It is mainly grown in the Veneto region of northeast Italy. Corvina is used with several other grapes to create the light red regional wines Bardolino and Valpolicella that have a mild, slightly bitter fruity flavour with hints of almond.

- Rondinella: Rondinella is a red wine grape mainly grown in the Veneto region of Italy and used in wines such as Valpolicella and Bardolino. The main grape used for these wines, however, is the Corvina.

- Molinara: Molinara is a red wine grape from Italy. It adds acidity to the Valpolicella blend made with Corvina and Rondinella. Bardolino also employs the grape at the level of 10% – 20%. It is seldom seen outside these wines, and is losing ground to Corvina in its home territory, but can make wines with bright flavours of red currants and a certain floral quality.

- Barbera: Barbera is a red wine grape variety that is widely planted in Italy. It gives good yields and can impart deep colour, low tannins and (unusually for a warm-climate red grape) high levels of acid. Century-old vines still exist in many regional vineyards and allow production of long-ageing, robust red wines with intense fruit and enhanced tannic content. When young, the wines offer a very intense aroma of fresh red and black berries. In the lightest versions notes of cherries, raspberries and blueberries and with notes of blackberry, black cherries and fruit in brandy wines made of more ripe grapes. Many producers mature the wine in oak barrels, obtaining very good results in terms of complexity and longevity when vanilla and ‘toast’ is added to the original fruit aroma. The lightest versions are not recommended for cellaring. Wines with better balance between acid and fruit, often with the addition of oak and high alcohol content - and reduced yields - are more capable of cellaring.

- Muller Thurgau: Müller-Thurgau (also known as Rivaner and/or Riesling X Sylvaner, especially in Europe). It was created by Hermann Müller from the Swiss Canton of Thurgau in 1882, and is still used to make white wine in Germany, Austria, Northern Italy, England, in Australia and New Zealand. With around 42,000 hectares cultivated world-wide, Müller-Thurgau is the most successful newly-created varietal of the last 125 years. In 2007 the 125th anniversary is celebrated at the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute.

- Marsanne: A little known variety outside of the Southern Rhone region of France, this is chiefly used in the production of white Chateauneuf du Pape. Also grown in the Goulburn Valley in Victoria, Australia and vinified by Chateau tahbilk.

- Arneis: Arneis is a white wine grape variety originating from Piedmont, Italy. Arneis (little rascal, in Piedmontese) is so called because it is regarded as a somewhat difficult variety to grow. It has been grown since the 15th century. The white wines made from the Arneis grape tend to be dry, vibrant and full bodied with notes of pears and apricots.

- Rousanne: One of a number of local varieties peculiar to the Rhone valley, famous for making up the assemblage in white Chateauneuf du Pape. rarely found on its own but has been spotted recently further south in Corbieres.

- Clairette: A variety from the Rhone valley most famous for making the local sparkling wine, Clairette de Die. Also used in many of the regions white wines including Chateauneuf du Pape.

- Albillo: A little known indigenous variety from the Ribero del Duero region of Spain. It makes fresh summery well balanced wine when handled well and makes a good Sauvignon alternative.

- Gruner Veltliner: A native to Austria making wines in a variety of styles from crisp fresh quaffable styles to rich late harvest wines. Versatile and often delicious.

- Carmenère: Originally from Bordeaux and widely planted in Chile where it was often mistaken for Merlot, Carmenere has recently come into its own as an interesting variety in its own right. In Chile it makes wines of more complexity and interest than Merlot and as such is finding favour.

- Tinto Fino: The local name for the Tempranillo variety in Ribera del Duero.

- Grolleau: A red grape from the Central Loire in France used in the production of Rose and for blending with Cabernet Franc in some reds. Characterised by soft slightly anonymous fruit and lowish acidity.

- Inzolia: A native variety in Sicily that makes wine in a number of styles, though more normally it is an aromatic dry style. Used in the production of Marsala and also known as Ansonica.

- Aligote: White variety native to Burgundy. Tends to be more acidic than chardonnay and was often used as a base for Kir. Now rehabilitated and making interesting wines.

- Petit Manseng: A grape high in acidity and aromatic power which is capable of making very sweet wines of balance and elegance. Chiefly found in South West France in the Jurançon and Béarn regions of the Pyrenées Atlantiques.

lunes, 24 de octubre de 2016

Palmers Wine Store and Cellar in Bridport


- Name: Palmers Wine Store
- Adress: Old Brewery, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 4JA, England
- Tel: 01308 427500 Fax: 01308 421149
- Email:
- Web:

Palmers Wine Store is a family owned, independent, leading Wine Merchant since 1794. They are located in a historic Brewery site in Bridport (Dorset). Offering a range of over 1.000 wines, spirits, fortified wines, liqueurs and real ales.

They have built a reputation on their outstanding customer service and the high quality of their wines. This wines offer a great sense of regionality and true reflection of the place and people who make them.

- E-comerce: Palmers Wine Store offer excellent wine online with free delivery over £90 to the UK mainland. Retail store sales still account for the vast majority of wine sales, yet online wine sales are growing. The fact is that these e-commerce sites are helping customers acclimate to buying wine online, a significant factor for an ecommerce category that has grown steadily, but unspectacularly for the last decade.

It’s the holiday season for consumers, but for the wine industry value-chain its “OND” an acronym for October-November-December, also known as the make or break time of year when upwards of 40% of all annual retail wine sales are realized.

- Wine Dispenser Machine: Wine dispensers are devices designed to serve and preserve wines. Dispensers store stored wines at cool temperatures and oxygen is prevented from entering the bottle when pouring. Wine dispensers vary greatly in use and function, most commonly wine dispensers are used in restaurants and bars to prevent spoilage when selling wine by the glass. The dispenser has the additional benefits of controlling the amount of the pour limiting over pour.

The Palmers machine dispenses wine in sample size portions whilst preserving it in perfect condition. Sampling is a fun way to try before you buy, experiment with new wines, varieties and regions and offers a unique opportunity to try iconic wines without breaking the bank.

Sampling in Palmers Wine Store is simple, come in the shop, register for a card and add some credit (minimum £10). Wines are dispensed in three sizes from 25ml and the price of each wine is displayed on the machine, samples start from as little as 30p each. Try a wine (spittoons provided), try another, come back another day and try something new. You can also purchase cards online here, great as a gift.


- Finding your style: Everything a winemaker does (from choosing where to site his vineyard, and which grape varieties to plant, through to how he makes his wine) goes towards setting the style of wine he produces. When you buy wine, the range of brands and producers can be bewildering. That's why it's useful to identify the styles of wine that you like, and use these as a starting point to learn more and broaden your horizons. Wherever your tastes lie, they will be affected by occasion (you may enjoy one style of wine, say a dry Riesling from Australia, with a picnic on the beach, while a big, chunky California Cabernet Sauvignon is your perfect partner with venison on a cold winter's evening by the fire). There are no rules when it comes to finding your style. It's down to personal taste, experience, and, above all, having lots of fun!!

- A world of choice: The international wine trade has blossomed over the past 20 years and (in theory) it has never been easier to buy good wine. If you have deep pockets, a private wine consultant can help you put together a great cellar and there are plenty of books, magazines, websites, and wine clubs that can guide you to a good bottle. But, inevitably, we still find ourselves in that familiar position staring at a wall of wine in a store, wondering which to choose. And decoding a wine label is not an easy job, because there is so much variation in the type and amount of information given.

- Vintage Wines: It is a popular misconception that “vintage” wine means wine of superior quality, and that if a bottle has a year on the label, the wine “must be good”. The word “vintage” on a wine label simply means the year in which the grapes were grown it does not carry with it any judgement of quality.

Good vintages are those years when weather conditions in a particular vine growing region were just right to produce good wine. In parts of the world with a consistent and predictable climate year on year (Australia or Chile, for example) vintage makes little difference, but elsewhere, the weather can greatly influence the quality of the wine. There are specialist charts that rank vintages for different regions according to quality, and these (coupled with expert advice) can be a useful guide when buying wines at the upper end of the price range. But they should be used with caution. A localized hailstorm may devastate vines on one side of a valley, but leave the other side untouched. And while a good producer will usually be able to make a fine wine in a “bad” vintage, a bad producer may still struggle in a “good” vintage.

The key, as ever, is to seek out wines made by reputable producers. But this is not information that we all readily have to hand when choosing a wine for dinner. And always sticking to names we know and trust can prevent us from discovering new, perhaps even more enjoyable (occasionally magnificent) wines.

- Reading a wine label: Many wine-lovers like to think (or pretend) that they know exactly what they are buying, but there are now so many wines on the market that it is difficult even for wine experts to know exactly what lies behind the label, and some wine producers and merchants have become very adept at marketing their wines via a misleading label. For example, many people like Chardonnay, and if you saw an Australian “Colombard Chardonnay”, you might be tempted. But the Colombard grape can make up 80 per cent of the blend, and, in that case, the wine will not taste like a typical Chardonnay but will instead be quite neutral in flavour.

There is no global classification of wine quality. But many countries, or regions within those countries, have come to realize that integrity is important for long-term sales and so have put in place a set of rules that define what may and may not be included on the label. Nowhere is this more strictly adhered to than in France.

Typically, a label will carry the name of the winery or producer, the country and region of origin, the style of the wine, its alcohol content, and details of bottling. It may include the name of the vineyard, the grape variety (or varieties) used to make the wine, and details of the vintage (the year the grapes were grown). It may also carry some form of quality classification, awarded by the government of the country of origin.

- France: The highest quality classification for French wines is Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC or AC), which covers about 40% of the country’s production. If you see AOC on a label, you will know that the wine has been made in a specific named region (the appellation), and according to set quality standards. Depending on the region, AOC wines may have additional designations: Burgundies, for example, carry the titles grand cru and premier cru to reflect the highest and second-highest quality respectively, and Bordeaux wines have their own distinct classifications.

The next level of classification is Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure (VDQS), which covers just 1% of wines, most of which are consumed in France. This classification is commonly seen on wines aspiring to AOC status. Below this is Vin de Pays (VdP; country wine), which covers 25% of French production. This classification was established in 1968 to recognize improvements in quality by producers of regional French wines. It allows them to put information on their labels, such as the place of origin and the grape varieties used. The total area covered by each appellation is variable. Sometimes it is a large region, such has Vins de Pays d'Oc, which covers four French departments, and sometimes it is a small zone. Many Vin de Pays wines are good for everyday drinking, and some are truly excellent. Look out for those made by enthusiastic producers from Australia and elsewhere in the New World, who are using new technology to breathe fresh life into old, established French vineyards, especially in the Languedoc-Rousillon region. The lowest category Vin de Table (VdT; table wine), covers 28% of production, almost all of which is consumed in France. Also known as vin ordinaire, this wine is not for keeping, and its robust character means that it is often drunk mixed with water.

There is no doubt that the region around the city of Bordeaux produces some of the great wines of the world. There is no single system that classifies Bordeaux’s 57 appellations, and different producers use different terms for wines of similar quality. The famous Bordeaux Classification of 1855 divided red wines, especially those of the Médoc, into five quality classes, or crus (growths ju the best being the premiers crus, the next the deuxièmes crus, and so on. Below these w ere the i rus bourgeois — as the name suggests, not quite aristocratic, but eminently respectable wines, the best being singled out as supérieur, or, for the real stars, exceptionel. The great white wines of Bordeaux were given three classifications: premier cru classéy premier cru, and deuxième cru. And, save for a few changes necessitated by change of ownership, the crus have maintained their places in this league ever since, giving them tremendous prestige and value.

Throughout France, terms like cru classé and grand cru classé are used (albeit more loosely) to denote the best wines of the region.

The French system is a reasonable guide to quality. But there are many VDQS or Vin de Pays wines that you might well enjoy more than an AOC wine, so don't be snobbish. My advice is to first identify the style of table wine you like, then go up a notch in terms of quality, and see whether you like, or even notice, the difference.

- Italy: Like French wines, Italian wines are differentiated primarily by region (or appellation). Chianti is from Tuscany. Barolo and Barbaresco are from Piedmont. Soave, Amarone, Valpolicella, and Bardolino are from the Veneto in northern Italy, and so on. As in France, the wines are classified by quality, the lowliest being Vino da Tavola (VdT, or table wine), which is not required to put the region of origin on the label. Next up is Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT, similar in level to the French Vin de Pays). Higher classifications are Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and the top-rank Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG), wines that adhere to quality standards similar to the French AOC. The wines within this class will also carry either the name of the vineyard or the producer, or both. There may be huge differences in quality within a single appellation; my tip is to look for good producers, rather than putting too much faith in designations.

- Spain: A Spanish wine labelled Denominación de Origen (DO), like a French AOC, comes from a named area and has been quality-checked by an independent standards committee. It is worth looking out for two variants of the DO designation: Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa), which identifies the best wines from the regions of Rioja and Priorat, and Denominación de Origen de Pago (DO Pago), which is used for some excellent single-estate wines. Vino de la Tierra identifies some good regional wines (rather like the French Vin de Pays designation) while Vino de Mesa is a basic table wine. Spanish wines can also be classified on the basis of the length of time they are aged. The youngest style is joven, which is wine that has not been aged in oak at all and is meant to be drunk within a year. White or rosé crianza wines must be aged for a minimum of one year before being released for sale, at least six months of which must be in oak barrels. While crianza reds have at least one year in oak but another year in the bottle before release. Reserva whites have two years ageing, with at least six months in oak and reserva reds have at least three years ageing with at least one in oak. The highest level is gran reserva, a name reserved for wines from the very best years. White gran reservas require four years ageing with at least six months in oak, and the reds require five years ageing with at least two years in oak.

- Portugal: Portugal follows a French-style classification system. Denominagào de Origem Controlada (DOC) is the highest category, equivalent to the French AOC. Indieagao de Proveméncia Regulamentada (IPR) indicates a wine with DOC potential. Vinho Regional (VR) denotes a regional wine from a defined area (like Vin de Pays), while Vinho de Mesa is a table wine. Sometimes a producer may include the term "Reserva" on his label. This is used to indicate a vintage year of outstanding quality. The wine may come from a demarcated region but, as this is not requisite, it could also be a blend from two different areas.

- Germany: German wines are graded by the natural sugar content of the grapes used to make them. The more sugar, the higher the quality mark given. This means that the sweetest, most alcoholic wines are given the highest quality grades. There are four basic quality categories. Deutsche Tafelwein is ordinary table wine (with no named vineyard). Landwein is a wine that comes from one of 17 approved regions, and must have at least 5.5% ABV (alcohol by volume). Qualitatswein bestimmter Anbaugebiet (QbA) is a wine from any one of 13 approved regions, made only from certain grape varieties, and is at least 7.5% ABV. The name of the vineyard may be given if at least 85% of the grapes were grown there. Qualitätswein mit Prädikat (QmP) is the top grade. These wines come from a specified region and grape variety. Within this top grade, the QmP wines are quality tested and further sub-divided according to their residual sugar level and sweetness. Kabinett wines are the lightest and the driest. Spätlese wines are slightly sweeter, made from late-picked grapes. Auslese wines are sweeter still, made with late-picked grapes and maybe some botrytized grapes. Sweeter still is Beerenauslese, made entirely from botrytized grapes and with impressive potential alcohol levels ol 15.3% to 18.1%. The last category is Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) amber-coloured, powerful, and very complex. This intensely  powerfully sweet wine is made from individually picked, botrytized grapes that have been left on the vine until they have almost completely shrivelled.

All German wines classified as QbA or QmP also have on their label an AP (Amtliche Prufnummer) number. This proves that the wine has passed analytical and tasting tests and that the origin of the grapes is genuine. The number is divided into five sections, and you can use the last two of these to play a fascinating tasting game. The second to last number is the application number and the last number is the year in which that application was made. If you have two bottles of the same wine with exactly the same AP numbers then you can be sure that the wine inside came from the same cask. But if the application number is different then the two wines may taste Subtly different, being from the same cask but bottled on a different date, or they could taste very different, being from grapes grown miles apart, picked on different days, and vinified in different tanks and with different sweetness levels.

- The new world: Labels on New World wines tend to emphasize the grape variety and brand name over the region. The label on the back of the bottle also gives much more information than appears on wines from Europe, the precise location of the vineyard, and a description of how the wine has been aged, for example. However, the lack of independent quality standards means that knowledge of good producers is even more important than for European wines. You may see terms like “Reserve” and “Estate”, which mean respectively that the wine is the highest quality from that particular vineyard, and that it is bottled on the same estate where it is grown. However, these terms are often used loosely, and are far from a guarantee of quality.

- North America: There is a voluntary appellation system in the US. Each individual state is recognized as its own appellation of origin, as are the smaller counties within it. So, although the label may state an appellation name, there is no guarantee that the district named has met any quality standards. The only rule is that at least 85% of the wine in the bottle is actually from where the label says it’s from. American law also requires that the producer’s name and address be on the label. In general, the brand name and the style or grape variety will be the most prominent words on the label. In the case of higher quality wines, the label will state a year, but if the word “vintage” does not precede this year then it indicates only that the wine was bottled in that year. If the word “Reserve” appears on the label, you may expect it to indicate that the wine is the best from that particular vineyard. However, my advice would be not to place too much credence in this: less scrupulous producers use it as a marketing tool rather than a real indication of higher quality. Many wines may also be labelled as “Estate” or “Estate bottled”, meaning that the grapes were grown on the same estate as that in which the wine was made and bottled, rather than either grapes or wine being driven for miles across the country to be bottled.

- Australia: Australia's appellation system, which was enacted only in 2001, does nothing more than define boundaries within a set of Geographical Indications (Gift). Each State is divided into regions, which are then further split into sub-regions. There is also a simple and straightforward "Label Integrity Program", which rules that if the label states Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, then at least H5 cent of the wine must be Chardonnay grown in the GI-defmed Adelaide Hills district.

Australian wine labels also tend to have the vineyard name and the grape variety prominently displayed and sometimes, but not always, a vintage. There is also often a good deal of helpful information on the back label, such as the precise location of the vineyard, whether the wine was aged in oak barrels, and sometimes even tasting notes.

- South Africa: South African labels follow similar patterns to those of Australian and American wines. There is no strict appellation system as the wine industry is still relatively young and undeveloped and new geographical areas for wine production are still opening up. The vineyard name, as well as grape variety, region, and vintage are all displayed on the label, but successfully choosing a good South African wine necessitates knowing something of the winemaker or vineyard.