If your New Year’s Resolution included being more
conscientious about what you eat and drink, then the addition of nutritional
information to wine labels might strike you as a good thing. For those in the
wine industry, however, the proposal is something less helpful.
As has been
much in the wine-industry news lately, the Oregon State Alcohol Tax and Trade
Bureau (TTB) has proposed a requirement that winemakers there list nutritional
information on their wine bottle labels. Now, you may be saying to
yourself… What!? Because, like many people I know and with whom I have
discussed this notion, the idea seems superfluous at best, idiotic at worst.
And as we know when it comes to all things state-related, one state’s law
can soon impact the nation. So it’s not surprising the Oregon winemakers
have been digging in their heels in opposition to this. You should be too.
proposal presents a number of problems, both logistical and philosophical. From
the former, it’s not easy for winemakers to list the ingredients that go
into their wines – it’s an ever-changing array of components added
with the temperament and nuance of an individual and generally with little
consequence to the wine drinker other than a resulting product that they enjoy.
Nutritionally? If you’re that worried about what nutrition you’re
getting from your wine, I’m afraid you’ve got bigger problems than
can be solved on a wine label.
And, speaking of the label, the ones that
already have government-mandated copy publicizing alcohol content and the
dangers thereof (which I agree isn’t a bad idea), it’s also the
space that the winemaker relies on for telling the particular wine story –
not to mention for grabbing the attention of the wine-buying public from its
position on store shelves.
So, in other words, there are many reasons why this
is a bad idea. For Oregon’s sake and for overall wine-drinking sanity,
let’s hope this particular label idea doesn’t stick.