Glossary of Wine Purchasing Terms & Meanings
When appraising a bottle of wine there are 3 major categories that need to be looked at, this often will determine the resale value and what quality the wine is in. Ullage, Label & Capsule. In some instances the packaging can lead to a higher price.
Ullage Terms Explained
Base of Neck
Indicates a very minimal reduction of wine due to evaporation. An excellent level for any wine 10 years or older.
Just Below Base of Neck
Indicates a minimal reduction of wine due to evaporation. A very good level in any wine 15 years or older.
Very high shoulder
Indicates a very slight natural reduction of wine due to evaporation through the cork and capsule. A good level in any wine 15 years or older.
Normal level for any Bordeaux 20 years or older.
Indicates a natural reduction through easing of the cork and evaporation through cork and capsule. We will inspect these wines or detailed images prior to making any offers
Indicates some weakening of the cork and therefore risk of oxidation. This is not unusual in wines over 50 years old and pricing will take this into account. Bottles of wine from more important, older vintages can be attractive as collectors often understand this
Indicates high risk of oxidation, Unless extremely old we will avoid these sorts of wines
Perfect Label Condition
This is extremely rare, often very young wines or those where the labels have been covered in cling-film to protect integrity
Minor Label Damage
Labels that have small marks, scuffing or a slight tear. This could include a small price written on the bottle or minor warping from moisture in a winefridge
Labels that have larger damage, often isolated to one portion of the label such as large tears, scrapes, moisture stain etc.
Badly Damaged Label
Only used to describe extreme problems such as major portions of label damaged or missing, or the label is unreadable, major stains affecting the underlying integrity or a complete loss of adhesion to the bottle
Minor Capsule Damage
Generally small tears or scrapes (often a by-product of being moved in and out of a wine cellar)
These are Capsules which have more serious damage that has occurred from water damage, minor bulging of corks or significant scrapes/tears
Badly Damaged capsule
Only used if serious damage has occurred, missing or cork has popped through at some stage, these wines lose significant value