Wine labels must adhere to the rules of percentage standards

by OptimediaLabs on February 20, 2013

While this blog has previously discussed new federal food labeling standards consumers should be aware of, it is also important to pay close attention when picking a wine. Choosing between red and white or dry and sweet is rarely as crucial as nutritional aspects, but according to the Bellingham Herald, there are still important things to look for when shopping for wine.

For example, when it comes to Washington wines, there are certain rules that wine labels must follow. First, there is the 95 percent standard, which means that if a Washington winery wants to list a certain vintage on the label, at least 95 percent of its grapes must be harvested in that year.

Next, is the 85 percent rule. That distinction refers to the use of grapes within a particular American Viticultural Area (AVA).

"An AVA is a designation granted by the federal government in recognition of an area with distinct geographic, climatic and soil conditions," the article said. "The rule is important because grapes grown within an AVA often have different flavor profiles and characteristics than from other areas."

Lastly, there is the 75 percent labeling requirement. This rule says that for companies that want to have a single variety on their label, a wine must contain at least 75 percent of the particular grape inside the bottle. For example, a beverage could not be distinguished as a "Merlot" if less than 75 percent of Merlot grapes were used. Otherwise, it must be called "red wine."

The same way that food companies must adhere to certain nutritional standards, wine labels must also be truthful and informative to consumers. When companies want to design custom labels, investing in a Primera LX900 color label printer can be greatly beneficial.

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