Wine industry experts weigh in on whether wine labels should be more transparent, revealing when common additives are used. We live in an age of transparency. Today’s consumers—especially the millions of younger millennials who grew up with the ability to instantly Google for the answer to any question—expect to know a lot more about the food and beverages they buy than their parents or grandparents ever did. Read Andrew Kaplans opinion on SevenFiftyDaily.
Look at your typical wine bottle today, and aside from a warning that it Contains Sulfites, and maybe some colorful prose about the winemaking technique, or the grapes used, there’s usually no mention of the ingredients. Yet many winemakers routinely use a wide range of additives or processing materials that the average consumer might be surprised to learn about.
For example, how many wine drinkers are aware that the color of their wine may have been intensified by an additive called Mega Purple to give it a darker, richer appearance? How many vegetarian or vegan imbibers are aware that egg whites, or an ingredient made from fish bladders called isinglass, may have been used as a fining agent to clarify their wine? The list goes on, with a wide variety of other common additives expanding the options modern-day winemakers have at their disposal for tweaking their production.
This lack of transparency clashes with what today’s consumer has come to expect. According to a recent report by the marketing research consultancy FutureCast, “Consumers ask, how is the food I’m buying enhancing the quality of life for my family or myself? How does it reduce negative impacts on my well-being?”