Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Wine Labels Soon To Speak Volumes

Some newly proposed regulations out of Washington would require wine and beer makers to include alcohol and nutrition information on their labels for the first time, and some are beginning to squawk about it already. But I say, relax.

As reported, the new rules would require labels to divulge levels of alcohol, carbohydrates, protein, fat and calories for the product inside. You might think that wine labels already include alcohol content, and the vast majority already do -- all you have to do is look for it. But only those wines with a hefty 14 percent or more are actually required to display that information.

Winemakers can't help themselves in opposing this proposal. They've been saddled with such a widely divergent set of regulations from state to state and from Washington for so long they are naturally wary.

But I say the proposal is a natural outgrowth of an ever-growing need for information in the consumerism era that winemakers should come to grips with. Think about it, winemakers already have to disclose 14 percent or higher alcohol levels. Where's the harm in putting lesser amounts on the label? It's actually a selling point with purists today.

Consumers want certain information with which to make buying decisions, and winemakers ought to give it to them because they have got nothing to hide. You mean there's really calories and carbohydrates in wine? Oh my. It won't cost wineries a thing in the end, but it will, for example, inform diabetics better about how much they can imbibe with their dinner.

Where I have sympathy for the wineries is their fear about how the proposed regs could be manifested. Huge letters and numbers on the front label, for example, is not necessary. But readable numbers on a back label is not draconian.


Anonymous Jim Gordon said...

I think more label info will be a good thing for consumers, too. Psychologically, at least, it will help remove wine from the "liquor" category and move it over to the "food" category, which is where it belongs.

11:54 AM  
Blogger JD said...

Exactly. Jim, you hit it right on the head!

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Blogger ThePurpleSeal said...

Hi there,

That was a very interesting blog to read! Im a big fan of wine and a while back I started brewing my own wine, I have really started getting into it and now actually sell my wine to friends and family. I wanted to add that extra touch to my wine so I designed my own wine labels and had them printed by a british labels company who did a excellent job. It has made my wine bottle look really great!

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The best winery in Connecticut is Connecticut Valley Winery. Owner Tony Ferraro and his winemaker son Jason Ferraro do an excellent job with there 11 wines. The are true blending masters!! Thanks, Joe

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