If you’re working with a limited knowledge of wine, choosing your next bottle is probably a process akin to judging a book by its cover. You look for labels that are eye-catching, artistic, and demonstrate a style in line with the flavor portfolio you’re hunting for. You narrow that selection down to what’s in your price range. And then you take a gamble on your pretty new bottle.
But for the avid wine enthusiast, the bottle’s design is just the icing on the cake. Once you have a clear understanding of wine terminology—as well as your own palate & preferences—it’s not just about the look of the bottle. With a solid foundation of wine knowledge, you can develop an in-tune understanding of the wine you’re holding before you’ve even popped the cork.
But wine terminology can seem vague and confusing to beginners. What does it mean when a wine is labeled “vintage”? What is a vintage wine? What’s the difference between a vintage and a non vintage wine? Find out now.
What is a Vintage Wine?
Vintage wines are made from grapes that were all harvested in the same year. So when you see the word “Vintage” on a wine label, you’ll typically see it accompanied by a year. That’s the year all of the grapes were harvested. Non-vintage wines, on the other hand, can be made from grapes that were harvested in different years.
Are Vintage Wines Better Than Non-Vintage Wines?
Not necessarily. It ultimately comes down to your personal preference. Vintage wines might tend to have more consistency, but non-vintage wines might offer more complexity. We recommend experimenting with both to find what you like best. But if you’re looking for a dependable bottle, it might be worth focusing on vintage wines.
What Makes a High-Quality Vintage?
There are many factors that contribute to the quality of a vintage wine. The most important factor is the weather conditions during the growing season. If the weather was ideal during the growing season, then the grapes will be of higher quality. Weather conditions can also affect the quantity of grapes produced. For example, if there was a drought during the growing season, then there would be fewer grapes available for making wine. Unusually high or low humidity, rain, and more can all have an effect on the produce. Because of this, you’ll find some years produced better wine than others. By focusing on finding the right vintage, you might be able to use that year to find other varieties you’ll love.
Discover Pennsylvania Wine
If you’re in Pennsylvania, you’re never more than one hour away from a local winery or vineyard. Traveling a wine trail gives your wine tasting a purpose. Wine trails are designed to give you a richly textured experience, featuring the different growing conditions throughout the state. It’s not just about seeing every winery in a certain area. It’s about crafting an experience for your palate. Pennsylvania’s Wine Land is what you decide to make it. The passionate, hardworking winemakers of PA are here and ready to toast with you. Plan your trip today!