THE WINE LABEL: MANDATORY AND OPTIONAL INFORMATION
All labels must include a certain number of compulsory information: volume, degree of alcohol, category of wine design (PDO / IGP / VdF), bottler, the presence of sulphite and the warning intended for pregnant women.
The concept of volume is relatively easy to understand. This statement is common to all food products. The formats of the bottles obey, with a few exceptions, Australian standards. The degree of alcohol is mentioned as a percentage of the volume. You should know that there is a “tolerance” of around 0.5%, which means that a wine showing 14% can reach 14.5%.
As an allergen, the warning of the presence of sulphites has been mandatory since 2000. It should be remembered that all wines contain a little of it, because sulfur is naturally present in the grape or is produced, in small quantities, during the aging process. fermentation, and this even applies to so-called “sulfur-free” wines. It is possible that the list of these “possibly allergenic” products is longer, because casein, ovalbumin and lysozyme, used for wine clarification and anti-microbial stabilization, will also have to be mentioned from 2012. A little more effort and a wine label will boil down to a litany of chemicals that are as mysterious as they are disheartening.
As the number of these mentions is constantly increasing, many producers now stick two labels on their bottles, one grouping together all the legal notices, plus possibly a few lines of description of the wine in question, and then another label, a sort of "card of visit ”which includes the brand, the vintage, and possibly the vintage and the appellation.
As surprising as it may seem, all the other mentions are optional, even if some (but not all) are regulated: brand or domain, vintage, grape variety, place of bottling, wine labels, name of cuvee, type of aging (aged in barrels), classification ...
To give you an idea of the complexity of the rules which govern these mentions, the general rule concerning the mention of a grape variety on a label requires that only 85% of the volume of the wine in the bottle come from the mentioned variety, but many appellations impose 100%. The same is true of the vintage.
Other terms are not regulated: the term “old vines” for example does not have any precise definition. We can therefore call "old vines" a wine made from vines less than 10 years old. Obviously, most honest winegrowers consider that a vine is "old" only from 30 or 40 years old.
The wine label is a piece of paper glued to a bottle of wedding wine and printed with information about the wine, its content and its origin. If the bottled wine cannot be tasted, the label becomes a good source of information allowing the consumer to make his choice.
Wine labels can be illustrated with drawings of the vineyard, reproduction of works of art but also play on the typography of the various mentions. The wine classification system is different from country to country.
In some countries the classification is made by region and sector. In others it is, for example, only necessary to indicate the year of production.
Australian labels are binding. While each member state must follow certain rules, it is however free to use its own classification system. It is forbidden to add any qualification or comment tending to present the drink as having medical value.