Understanding Spanish labels
5 Sep 2008 by Jancis Robinson

blanco, white.

bodega, wine cellar or winery.

clarete, uniquely Spanish light red that is somewhere between pink and full tinto, now outlawed by the EU.

Crianza, the most basic level of wine that has been deliberately aged, but possibly only for six months, in small oak barrels. Intermediate quality level between Joven (sin, ie without, crianza) and Reserva.

DO, Denominación de Origen, Spain's answer to France's AC. Most of Spain's best wines still qualify for their local DO; Spain is not (quite) as anarchic as Italy.

DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) is a theorectically superior category, currently comprising only Rioja and Priorat. Known as DOQ in Catalan.

DO Pago, recently created category of DO for single-estates.

espumoso, sparkling.

Gran Reserva, top of the range wines aged for longer than a Reserva.

dulce, sweet.

Joven, literally ‘young’, a wine that has not been aged like a Crianza or Reserva.

Reserva, special bottling aged for longer than a Crianza.

rosado, pink wine - quite popular in Spain.

seco, dry.

tinto, deep red (cf clarete)

vendimia, vintage.

viña, viñedo vineyard.

vino, wine.

Vino de Mesa, table wine (as opposed to DO or Vino de la Tierra).

Vino de la Tierra, Spain's answer to France's Vin de Pays.

VOS, sherry with an average age or more than 20 years.

VORS, sherry with an average age or more than 30 years.