What’s in Your Wine? Andrew Jefford Weighs In

The week before last, I wrote about the shortfalls with ingredient labeling for wine.  Since there aren’t labeling requirements for wine (besides the vague ‘contains sulfites’) in the United States, it’s up to wine makers to decide whether it is in the best interest of their customers to know what they are drinking.  However, nearly all of the wine makers in the US aren’t listing ingredients on their labels.  I wish they did.  But I am certain that unless they are forced to do so, most will continue to choose to not list additives used in the vineyard and winery.   In his column on new European Regulations for organic labeling, Andrew Jefford, journalist for Decanter (and many other publications), hit upon ingredient labeling this past Monday:

“I’m not saying, of course, that full disclosure of additions would result in better wine. It’s not the presence or absence of an intervention, an addition or an adjustment which matters, but the quality of judgment which lies behind that presence or that absence. Full disclosure would, though, make all winemakers at least stop and think about why they are making an addition – and might spare us some of the wine caricatures which undisclosed, heavy-handed additions create.”

The practice of labeling ingredients will almost always result in customers getting an honest look into what’s in the bottle they are about to purchase – and customers have the right to know what, besides fermented grapes, is in the bottle.  And most importantly, the customer can choose to support or not support those who add what they deem is more than necessary to the finished wine.