How to read a Slovak wine label

All you need to learn are a few simple terms.

(Source: Ján Svrček)

This is an article from our archive of travel guides Spectacular Slovakia. For up-to-date information and feature stories, take a look at the latest edition of our Spectacular Slovakia guide.

First, look to see whether a wine is červené (red), biele (white), or ružové (rosé), and suché (dry) or sladké (sweet).

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Then check out the grading system. Slovak wine comes in three grades: révové vína stolové (table), akostné (quality), and vína s prívlastkom (wine with a special attribute).

Wine lovers will want bottles from the latter two grades. Wines marked "quality" are made with a single variety of grapes from a single region, both of which are listed. They are almost always drinkable, and many times quite good.

Higher quality wines are marked s prívlastkom, a rating subdivided into smaller categories. Essentially, these subcategories indicate the amount of sugar in the grapes before fermentation (a sum that doesn't necessarily predict sweetness).

Usually, wines marked kabinet (cabinet), neskorý zber (late harvest), and výber (grape selection) are excellent. The phrases themselves are antiquated translations from German.

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