A proposed ruling by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) issued at the end of July would require wineries to provide a Serving Facts panel on all wine labels. Nutritional facts required are calories, carbohydrates, fat, and protein per serving size. Like Washington state law, the TTB proposed ruling will also require that all wine, regardless of alcohol content, be labeled with the percent alcohol by volume. The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the National Consumers League, two U.S. consumer groups, have shown strong support for nutritional labeling of alcoholic beverages and have petitioned the TTB to amend the current rules. Two trade organizations, Wine America and the Brewers Association, have expressed concern that the mandatory labeling requirements would be a financial burden for small producers. TTB has determined that the cost for analytical testing would be around $250 per formulation. The following is an example of the proposed nutritional label for a 750 mL bottle of wine.
The TTB is seeking comments on the proposed rule and serving sizes. Specifically, the Bureau is asking small businesses that would be affected by the costs to comment on the potential impact it may have on them. The comment period on the ruling was recently extended to January 27, 2008. Wine America requested an additional 90 days since the previous deadline of October 29, 2007 was during harvest. An announcement will be sent out later this month. To learn more about Notice No. 73, Labeling and Advertising of Wines, Distilled Spirits and Malt Beverages (Docket ID: TTB-2007-0062), and to make comments on the proposed ruling, go to http://www.regulations.gov.
Informational Forum, Dec. 6
Kerry Ringer and Jim Harbertson, WSU-Prosser Enology Faculty, will host a forum on December 6, 2007 in Prosser to provide information on the proposed ruling, and an opportunity to hear and discuss the potential impact on Washington State wineries.
For more information, email Kerry Ringer or call her at 509-786-9324.