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Ruling 60-369

Rev. Ruling 60-369

Wine Labeling

Section 205(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act requires that alcoholic beverages be so labeled as to prohibit deception of the consumer and so as to provide the consumer, among other things, with adequate information as to the identity and quality of distilled spirits and wines. Section 4.34(a) of the Wine Labeling and Advertising Regulations under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act provides, in part, that if the class of wine is not defined in sections 4.20 through 4.25 of the regulations, a truthful and adequate statement of its composition must appear upon the brand label of the product in lieu of the class designation. Since a standard of identity for "aperitif wine" is prescribed in section 4.21(g) of the Regulations, and as that definition recognizes the use of caramel for coloring purposes, no declaration of the presence of caramel color is required on the label of such product. Held, the color of special natural wines produced on bonded wine cellar premises, which do not have enough of the taste, aroma, and characteristics of "aperitif wines" to be so classified, but are otherwise similar, and are, therefore, designated "Grape Wine and Natural Flavors" or "Grape Wine with Natural Flavors Added," may be adjusted to attain uniformity by the addition of caramel color without disclosure of that fact on labels. However, this rule does not apply to the labeling of wine specialty products where caramel color is employed for the purpose of simulating or enhancing the color of a particular natural flavoring material, such as "Cocoa," "Peach," "Blackberry." etc.

27 U.S.C. 205; 27 CFR 4.34


Last updated: May 2, 2024