Listing Ingredients on Wine Labels
Lisa Strid, our winemaker at Aridus, returned from the "Big Wine Event" in Sacramento this week. One of the topics of discussion was the TTB is seriously looking at regulating all wine labels to list the ingredients that were added to the wine.
I can understand this evolution. Purchase an apple drink at your local grocery store, and you will find all the ingredients are listed on the back. I would read the ingredients to find out calories, sugar content, and to see if there are any chemicals that I know are not good for me.
But very few people read the contents, and when they do, they have this reaction to the fact that they are ingesting substances they can’t pronounce. In winemaking, all additives usually come from natural sources, and only food grade ingredients are added. However, the chemical names are not always appetizing.
Will people be shocked to find out that “metabi-sulfites” or “tartaric acid” was added to their favorite Chardonnay? These are necessary ingredients to make sure the wine will live a long and non-vinegar life.
Will people be put off by reading the chemical components of wine?
I think consumers will be surprised with some ingredients, but in the long run, be more educated consumers. This will lead to reading the wine label for caloric information, not so much for the preservatives, and we will see a trend towards “lighter” wines.
Overall, this would be a step in the right direction. Most consumer products now must list the ingredients. However, here lies the delicate dance of ingredients vs. trade secrets. The topic of our next blog.