What information to include on wine labels

October 15 is National Red Wine Day, a perfect time to explore the power labels have to guide consumer decision making.

Let's be honest: Not all consumers are going to be master sommeliers that can infer loads of information from a geographic region or vintage. In the competitive market, it is often best to provide more information than the bare minimum regulations require. Food pairing suggestions, a brief description of the flavor profile or information on the vineyard can all be included on the label to strengthen customer perception. 

Of course, before reaching the market place, wine labels need to be approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, part of the Department of the Treasury. This agency has adopted a number of regulations about what information a wine label must include, as well as certain information that should be omitted. 

Federal regulations state that every container of wine must have a brand name or trademark. However, if the bottle boasts the name of a vineyard, a minimum of 95 percent of the grapes used must come from that orchard. 

American wine labels must include the name and address of the bottler or packer, and also indicate the alcohol content of the wine per volume. A government warning also needs to be included on either the front, back or top label. Labels also need to accurately describe the type or variety of wine being sold. 

With all these requirements, it can often be difficult to fit in the information or graphics required to make your vintage stand out. Investing in in-house wine label printing solutions can give your organization the opportunity to experiment with different labeling strategies to ensure your product has the necessary shelf appeal. 

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