What Is Table Wine?

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You have set the dinner table with delicious food, then for the ambiance, the music is on and you the hostess are ready for your guests to arrive. Now, you are confused about the wine you should serve at the party. You are contemplating between a table and regular wine. If you didn’t know better then, you must understand that table wine is an old term; it’s just the same one as the others. To explain further you have to go through this article.

Definition of table wine:

If you are confused about the table wine term then, you are not alone in this path. The reason for the confusion is table wine is defined differently in various parts of the world, and the definition changes continuously. For example, in France, there is no exact thing as a table wine, but people like to use it still.

Also, when you are not an expert and looking for an answer to the question What Is Table Wine? At first, you need to know the differences between dessert and sparkling wines. The sparkling type is with bubbles, whereas dessert wine is sweet, and it can be a table, regular or sparkling.

Mainly, regular wine is manufactured under some strict rules, which gives quality. In the case of table wine, it does not have those restrictions. By this you understand that these drinks are not of good quality, this is also based on the idea that these drinks lack certain standards.

Indeed, table wine is sometimes cheaper, this may be because you don’t have to pay for the rules and regulations. However, this doesn’t compromise the quality of the drink. It can always be of grand quality. Additionally, to find the differences between the two, you need to know about the sources of the wines.

Most wines are made of plum, cherry, pomegranate, elderberries, and rice. Here, you will not get information about these wine types. For the table wine, grapes are the main ingredient. In technical terms, table wine is just like any other wine type that is served and consumed during a meal.

However, for your better understanding, here is the region-wise definition of Table wine. This will help you understand the meaning of it in different regions.

Table wine served in the USA:

In the USA table wine consists of fourteen percent or less alcohol. It is mainly dry, non-sparkling, and unfortified wine. This means these drinks are not expensive and cheaper. But these can always have the best qualities. You have to keep in mind that, the quality of the production matters not the brand. Moreover, wine normally tastes fine when you drink them after one year of manufacturing.

These are wines are manufactured in bulk and often they have a quick method. Even if the process sounds easy you might think the wine will be of low quality, you must never dismiss the taste of table wines.

Table wines in Europe:

Based on the variations of procedures, here we will talk about the table wines made in Europe. These products have less regulation and are divided into two parts. The first one is quality ones in specific places and table wines.

The second type is only produced in special regions and under special conditions. So, these are good quality wines. This also matches with the definition of the USA.

However, these are defined differently in Europe, and it’s crucial to know about the value of these drinks.

For instance, you can look at the complex classification that persists in France. The classifications as such:

  • Table wine anywhere situated in France.
  • Drinks mainly wines of specific quality and origin
  • High-quality wines from a wine area
  • Country wine types from a wine area.

After that EU has replaced these categories into two classes.

  • PDO or Protected Designation of Origin
  • PGI or Protected Geographical Indication

This means that France earlier had three classes:

  • A from PDO
  • Vin De France which is the table wine.

In this method, France has ignored the categorization of table wine, and it is thus associated with low quality. However, you will still hear this term, this is because vintners also use the same. Italians call it wine, in Germany, Portugal, and Spain people ignore the European regulations and still label the bottles as table wine.

Are table wines of low quality?

If you look at the manufacturing, and ingredients of the wines you will understand that these are not of low quality. However, it can be true, and for this reason, these are labeled PDO or PGO. A winemaker in the USA will have to go through hard restrictions to grow and produce the wines.

Some winemakers simply produce the wine, and they do not fuss over the procedures. They mainly want to experiment, so they use different types of grapes to get permission. They also use grapes with new techniques.

The entire process of labeling the wines is not only time-consuming it’s also bureaucratic. This is also the reason the wines are expensive, and some winemakers like to avoid the hassles and the price.

They also believe in the negative connotations of PDO and PGI. So, they would just use the term Table wine to have a greater advantage in wine manufacturing.

Is table wine cheap?

If you buy table wine in the USA, you will find it cheap, but this is not the same in Europe. In the EU some bottles can cost $45 to $170, in the case of Italian versions. It will always depend on the popularity and the quality. So, now you will understand the meaning of table wine, and the definition of PDO and PGI labels. To buy the best wine all you need to know is quality.

How to buy a table wine?

The table wine you are looking for can come from a vintner, who is courageous enough to move the industry. Or it can be made from the best quality grapes. The first thing you need to look for is a good seller. Talk to them and find out the good quality of different wines. As they are professionals, they will be able to give you a good deal.

On the other hand, the table wines sometimes have a back story, which can be a good topic at the dinner table.

If you have a tight budget then, you must understand that pricier wines have better quality. A $15 bottle will have lower quality than a $25. So, this is one thing you can consider while choosing the best table wines. This is a small classification but it will matter.

Classifications of wine quality:

Wines are classified into three qualities:

  • Everyday wines: With these drinks, you can have any good food, and the wine must be blanched and has a body. These are low-quality wines and they get sold quickly.
  • Premium wines: These are the most complex beverages and are more refined than the previous ones. These wines have better features, and you will get a better balance. You will get the quality and taste of a particular win region.
  • Luxury wines: These have flavors and you can identify them with the same. These are more complex than premium wines and have better characters. The complexity increases with the age of the wines.

Quality starts with the type of grapes used in the wine, but it also depends on the soil and climate conditions. So, you must know that one type of grape can be used to make various wines, but the weather and soil quality will differ. You might feel the differences in taste.

Any wine would taste sweet:

As you will understand, the idea of table wine is somehow futile. To make things literal, if the wine is on the table, it’s table wine. Naturally, you like to have some special bottles for yourself, so you do not bring them out in front of the guests. Here on the table you only use the wines that are cheap and easily available. So, it wouldn’t matter whether you are choosing a white or red wine on the table. You can pour a glass of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or any other high quality on the table, it will depend on how much you are willing to pay and want to please the boss.

However, if you want a picture-perfect dinner setting with the best wine bottles then, you must look for a drink that has at least 14% of alcohol with lighter flavors. If you want to be traditional, stay away from the bottles labeled QWPSR, PGI, and PDO.

But other than finding out the best table wine, you can always order different bottles on the table. Make sure that your guests get to choose and have a sip of different wines with their meal. You can go with a pack of wines of the same brand and serve it during dinner. Your guests will praise your thoughts, and everyone will enjoy the meal.


Whether you go with a regular or table wine, you need to know the quality of the drink. If they taste good then, you will get the satisfaction of pleasing the guests.

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