Can you judge a wine by its label? In a nutshell, yes! Taking a closer look at the details may help score you a better-tasting bottle!
Look for alcohol level. A peek at this percentage will tip you off to how heavy the wine will feel in your mouth. Ten percent should feel similar to water; 12 to 13 percent can feel like skim mil; and 15 percent or higher will have the body of whole milk.
Ignore fancy artwork. Stickers that feature beautiful vineyards or estates are trying to get a point across---this bottle means business---but the wines might not live up to the imagery.
Look for "ancient". Spotting this or "old vines" on a lable may mean that the grapevines are decades old. These tend to produce fewer grapes and concentrated juices,so the bottles may have stronger flavors.
Ignore the grape types. If you don't see any recognizable words like "merlot" or "chardonnay", that doesn't mean the wine isn't one. Wines from Europe--the so-called Old World--are often labeld by origin rather than grape style.
Look for flavor clues. The back label is often full of hints to the wine's taste, so make sure you turn the bottle over.