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Eliot Knows Archives

Eliot Knows Graphic

 

 

Prohibition Agent Eliot Ness knows all there is to know about TTB and the regulated industries. Take a look below to see his answers to popular questions.

 

“What does a wine label really say about the wine?”

There's no denying the importance of the wine label!

As American adults become more adventuresome in their wine selections, they look to the wine label for more information. But making sense of wine labels can seem like a daunting task when consumers are faced with row after row of wine labels.

On the one hand, the label is designed to invite consumers to drink the wine, hinting at its character and personality, as well as that of the winery. On the other hand, every label must provide certain information about the wine.

With a little practice, you can learn a fair amount about a wine simply by learning how to properly navigate the wine label.  What is the dominant grape in the wine? Where were those grapes grown?  What makes one wine different from another?

TTB has put together a pamphlet (TTB P 5190.1:  What You Should Know About Grape Wine Labels) which contains enough basic information to assist you in making an informed choice when buying wine. While not every labeling possibility is included in this guide, it will certainly give you a good grasp of the fundamentals, such as:

  • Vintage Date
  • Estate Bottled
  • Appellation of Origin
  • Viticultural Area
  • Alcohol Content
  • Declaration of Sulfites
  • Brand Name
  • Varietal Designations
  • Other Designations
  • Country of Origin
  • Name and Address
  • Net Contents
  • Health Warning Statement

By investing a little time into studying labels before you buy, you will increase your chances of finding a wine to suit your tastes.

Please note:  The pamphlet discusses wine made from grapes, although wine may also be made from other types of fruit and agricultural products.

For more wine labeling resources, visit TTB.gov’s Wine Labeling pages, or visit the Online Wine Seminar at TTB.gov’s Tutorials and Job Aids section.

 

Visit the Eliot Knows Archives to see other popular questions and answers.

Page last reviewed/updated: 10/20/2011

Eliot Knows Archives

Eliot Knows Graphic

Prohibition Agent Eliot Ness knows all there is to know about TTB and the regulated industries. Take a look below to see his answers to popular questions.

 

"What do I need to do to get into the wine business?"

Federal law requires that anyone wishing to conduct wine operations (other than as a home winemaker) must first establish premises, obtain a bond and receive permission from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). In addition, law requires that anyone wishing to produce or blend wine in the United States must first obtain a Federal Basic Permit from TTB.  The web page below provides detailed information on entering the wine industry:

The Federal Application Process for the Wine Industry

Visit the Eliot Knows Archives to see other popular questions and answers.

Page last reviewed/updated: 10/20/2011

Eliot Knows Archives

Eliot Knows Graphic

Prohibition Agent Eliot Ness knows all there is to know about TTB and the regulated industries. Take a look below to see his answers to popular questions.

 

“Why is this section called 'Eliot Knows'? Who in the world is Eliot Ness?”

Photo of Eliot Ness's credentials.

Photo of Eliot Ness's credentials.

When people hear the name "Eliot Ness," it may conjure up images of Al Capone, Thompson "Tommy gun" submachine guns, and the crime fighting “G-man” portrayed by Kevin Costner in Brian De Palma’s 1987 movie “The Untouchables.” 

That character is largely a myth. Nevertheless, the real Eliot Ness’ life was intriguing in its own right, and his tenure as a Prohibition Agent represents a colorful time in our nation’s history.

Eliot Ness broke onto the 1920's Chicago scene to put Al Capone, the most famous of the crime bosses of his time, out of business.  Although many assume Eliot Ness worked with the FBI, he was actually an agent with the Prohibition Bureau of the Treasury Department during a time when violent struggles between bootlegging gangs and hijackings of booze-laden trucks and ships were frequent occurrences.  In 1929 Ness was chosen to head a special investigative unit charged with destroying Capone's breweries and gathering evidence of Prohibition violations.

Eliot Ness and his agents proceeded to dismantle Capone's businesses one brewery at a time.  When news hit the streets that Ness and his agents refused to accept bribes and turn a blind eye on Capone’s illicit activities, a newspaper columnist called them "Untouchable." Thus the "Eliot Ness and the Untouchables" myth was born.  The rest— as the saying goes— is history.

While Ness's crusade against Capone's bootlegging operations did not directly lead to his conviction and imprisonment, Ness and his team did greatly hamper Capone's financial resources by raiding the mobster's breweries and speakeasies and helping collect the evidence that put Capone away on tax evasion charges in 1931.

Learn more about this infamous historical figure at our Eliot Ness biography page.

Also, you may want to take a guided tour of TTB.gov with Prohibition Agent Eliot Ness!

Visit the Eliot Knows Archives to see other popular questions and answers.

Page last reviewed/updated: 10/20/2011