Starting with the 2007 vintage, California's Bonny Doon Vineyards will list all ingredients on its red and white wine labels. Ingredient labeling has long been a debate in the wine world: advocates say that full disclosure provides meaningful information to consumers; dissenters believe that the information is confusing or could cause unwarranted concerns. Currently, the U.S. government permits more than 200 additives in wine.
Bonny Doon president Randall Grahm observes, "It's useful to provide more detailed information about the ingredients used in wine production and reduce our dependence on standard wine additions, even those considered to be benign such as tartaric acid, bentonite, yeast nutrients, enzymes, sulphur dioxide."
Personally, I'm an advocate of ...
... of more detailed labeling. In fact, I think that the information on the back label of a South African pinotage is amazingly helpful:
Pinotage is South Africa's flagship grape, having been developed in 1925 by crossing Pinot Noir with Cinsaut. This example hails from the wine producing region of the east of the Breede River Valley Drakenstein Mountains. The inky hue presages an intense nose of liquorice and plums, while the palate demonstrates a complex array of spices and ripe woodland fruits, buttressed by fruit and oak tannins. Serve with moussaka, spare ribs, chilli con carne or even curry. Drink within 12 months of purchase.
INGREDIENTS: Grapes (Pinotage), Preservative (Sulphur Dioxide), Tartaric acid. Made using: Yeast, Yeast Nutrient (Diammonium phosphate).
Cleared using: Bentonite, Pectinolytic Enzymes. Closure: Cork
Use the DAILY guidelines for sensible drinking. Refraining on one day should not mean excess on another.
UNITS PER DAY
Most studies show that 1-2 units of alcohol once or twice a week do not cause harm in pregnancy.
DO NOT DRINK and drive, play sport or operate machinery. It is illegal to sell alcohol to under 18 year-olds.
SUITABLE FOR VEGETARIANS
10.5 UNITS OF ALCOHOL PER 75cl BOTTLE.
BOTTLE HOLDS AN AVERAGE OF 6 GLASSES
100 CALORIES PER 125ml GLASS
What do you think about ingredient labeling on wine? Are you concerned about the additives, calories or health implications and would like to know more about what you're drinking?