The labels are voluntary, and wineries that don’t want to add them don’t have to. But voluntary is better than nothing, given the long and tortured history of the proposal.
The plan to add basic calorie, alcohol, and serving information to wine, also called serving facts, has been hanging around Washington even longer than the blog has been in existence — held hostage by the recession, a change in administrations, and the foolishness that passes for government in Washington. In addition, there was determined opposition from most of the beer, wine, and spirits industries, which saw the nutrition labels as costly and burdensome.
So the government agency that regulates liquor came up with the voluntary compromise, no doubt goaded by the biggest booze companies in the world. Diageo, among others, sees it as giving those who use it a competitive edge, and they’re right. Which of us wouldn’t be glad to see this information on a wine label?
A winery that wants to add the labels won’t need to do anything other follow the samples in this link, says Michael Kaiser of the Wine America trade group. Hopefully, many will do it, since the long-term benefits will outweigh the short-term costs. An informed consumer is more likely to buy a product than consumers kept stumbling around in the dark by an industry that still acts, in many ways, as if Prohibition just ended.
And mandatory labeling? If and when that happens is anyone’s guess, says Kaiser. And his group still opposes it.