Each year, grapes are harvested and processed into wine. The year is the wine’s vintage or birth year. It’s usually listed on the bottle label. Weather is the largest factor in vintage as it dictates the ripeness of the fruit and the sweetness of the wine. If wine drinkers face uncertainty about which vintage to buy, wine clubs introduce individuals to many vintage wines and can take the uncertainty out of choosing wine.
Vintage Vs. Nonvintage Wine
In its simplest form, vintage is the year which the grapes were harvested and made into wine. Most wines on the market have a vintage listed on the label, but wine producers have the option to mix two or more years of wine to create a nonvintage wine. It’s usually noted on a wine list as NV. Wine producers must have a high percentage of the designated vintage in the bottle to label it as that vintage. Some countries allow as little as 75 percent of the vintage; the remaining 25 percent can be a different year!
What Does This Mean?
Although vintages are rated by professional wine tasters on a variety of factors, the rating should not stop you from trying it. Each person has around 10,000 taste buds, and your taste buds may leap for joy at a vintage that has been rated “bad.” This doesn’t mean your taste buds have gone off the deep end. It just means that you like it. No two sets of taste buds are exactly alike, and there will be people who absolutely hate the vintages with the highest rating. You may love a region’s vintage from 1995, but absolutely hate the 1996 version.
How Wine Clubs Help
Wine clubs offer a variety of vintages, delivered to you on a monthly or quarterly basis. This variety helps you determine your likes and dislikes. Plus, wine clubs help you keep wine on hand.
A wine vintage is little more than the resulting wine from a region’s crop of grapes. It takes on the favor of the region and is directly influenced by the weather. Remember, don’t let reviews or ratings keep you from trying a vintage. Different people have their own set of taste buds, which determine what they like or dislike. What vintage is your favorite?