TTB Public Guidance

 

February 12, 2020
TTB G 2016-2A

Wines that Require Either Formula Approval or Formula Approval with Laboratory Sample Analysis

The following charts list the types of beverage and nonbeverage wines that require formula approval or formula approval with laboratory sample analysis.  When a formula is required, domestic proprietors must obtain formula approval before beginning production, and importers must obtain formula approval before submitting the labels to TTB for approval.

If you do not see a wine listed in the charts below, then formula approval and/or laboratory sample analysis is not generally required. However, TTB may request submission of a formula or samples for laboratory analysis on a case-by-case basis.

These charts are updated from time to time as TTB policy changes. The date of the most recent revision is listed at the bottom of the page.

For more information about formulas, laboratory sample analysis, and how to apply for approval, visit our Alcohol Beverage Formula Approval page.  You may also use our interactive formula tool to determine if a particular beverage or nonbeverage wine requires formula approval.

 

Domestic Wine | Imported Wine

Domestic Wine

Formula approval or formula approval with laboratory sample analysis is typically required for the following domestic beverage wines:

Note: The formula requirements for domestic beverage wines are not impacted by the alcohol content of the wine or whether or not the wine is required to be covered by a certificate of label approval (COLA) or certificate of exemption; therefore, if the alcohol content of any of the domestic beverage wines listed below is less than 7 percent, the formula requirements still apply.

 

Domestic Beverage Wines
that Require a Formula or Formula and Laboratory Sample Analysis

Kind of Domestic Wine

Formula Approval Only

Formula Approval and Laboratory Sample Analysis

Notes and References

(Related to production standards and formula requirements)

Agricultural wine
(Wine made from products other than the juice of fruit)

 

 

Certain agricultural wines are exempt from formula review requirements under
TTB Ruling 2016-2
27 CFR 4.21(f)
27 CFR part 24, subpart I

Aperitif wine

 

27 CFR 4.21(g)
27 CFR part 24, subpart H

Imitation wine

 

27 CFR 4.21(h)(1)
27 CFR part 24, subpart J

Other than standard wine

 

27 CFR 4.21(h)(2)
27 CFR 24.211; 24.218

Rice wine

 

Classified as beer for production/tax purposes, classified as wine for labeling purposes
27 CFR 25.55
27 CFR 4.21(f)

Rice wine with added colors or flavors

 

Classified as beer for production/tax purposes, classified as wine for labeling purposes
27 CFR 25.55
27 CFR 4.34

Saké

 

Classified as beer for production/tax purposes, classified as wine for labeling purposes
27 CFR 25.55
27 CFR 4.21(f)
Saké Resources

Saké with added colors or flavors

 

Classified as beer for production/tax purposes, classified as wine for labeling purposes
27 CFR 25.55
27 CFR 4.34
Saké Resources

Substandard wine

 

27 CFR 4.21(h)(2)
27 CFR part 24, subpart J

Vermouth

 

27 CFR 4.21(g)(2)
27 CFR part 24, subpart H

Wine specialty
(Wine that does not fit into any of the classes defined in the standards of identity, such as flavored or colored wine) 

 

27 CFR 4.34
27 CFR part 24, subpart J

Wine made by blending wines produced from different kinds of fruit

 

27 CFR 4.34(a)
27 CFR 24.211; 24.218(a)(2)

Wine made by blending wines produced from different kinds of agricultural products (other than fruit)

 

27 CFR 4.21(f)(iii)(6); 4.34(a)
27 CFR 24.200; 24.218

Wine made by fermenting together fruits and agricultural products (other than fruit)

 

27 CFR 4.34(a)
27 CFR 24.211; 24.218

Wine made with any ingredient that typically contains thujone

 

For example artemisia (wormwood), tansy, yarrow
27 CFR 4.34
27 CFR part 24, subpart J

Wine made with “hemp” ingredients

 

27 CFR 4.34
27 CFR part 24, subpart J
TTB Hemp Policy
TTB Industry Circular 2019-1

 

Formula approval or formula approval with laboratory sample analysis is typically required for the following wines that may be produced by a domestic winery. They include:

  • Wine or wine products that are unfit for beverage use and thus may not be sold or consumed as beverage wines (Other than Standard Wine in 27 CFR part 24)
  • Blending wines that are used in the production of another kind of beverage wine but may not be sold or consumed as beverage wines (Other than Standard Wine in 27 CFR part 24)
  • Wines that are beverage wines, but that are not labeled with their part 24 class name (high fermentation wine and special natural wine)

Other Domestic Wines and Wine Products
that Require a Formula or Formula and Laboratory Sample Analysis

Kind of Domestic Wine

Formula Approval Only

Formula Approval and Laboratory Sample Analysis

Notes and References

(Related to production standards and formula requirements)

Cooking wine

Different requirements apply to salted cooking wine

 

Unfit for beverage use
27 CFR part 24, subpart J
27 CFR 24.82; 24.211; 24.215

Heavy bodied blending wine

 

May be used in the production of another kind of beverage wine but may not be sold or consumed as beverage wine
27 CFR part 24, subpart J
27 CFR 24.211; 24.213

High fermentation wine

 

Beverage wine, but is not labeled as “high
fermentation wine”
27 CFR part 24, subpart J
27 CFR 24.211; 24.212
27 CFR 4.21(a), (d), and (e)

Nonbeverage wine

Different requirements apply to salted cooking wine and vinegar

 

Unfit for beverage use
27 CFR part 24, subpart J
27 CFR 24.82; 24.211; 24.215

Salted cooking wine

 

Unfit for beverage use
27 CFR part 24, subpart J
27 CFR 24.211; 24.215(b)

Spanish type blending sherry

 

May be used in the production of another kind of beverage wine but may not be sold or consumed as beverage wine 27 CFR part 24, subpart J
27 CFR 24.211; 24.214

Special Natural Wine

 

Beverage wine, but is not  labeled as “special
natural wine”
27 CFR part 24, subpart H
27 CFR 4.21(g); 4.34

Vinegar

 

Unfit for beverage use
27 CFR part 24, subpart J
27 CFR 24.211; 24.215(c)
See FAQ G7 for additional information on wine vinegar

Imported Wine

Formula approval or formula approval with laboratory sample analysis is required for the following imported beverage wine products:

Note: Formulas are generally not required for any imported wine that contains less than 7 percent alcohol by volume, that is, products not classified as wine under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act.  In addition, formulas are not generally required for imported nonbeverage wines.

Imported Beverage Wines
that Require a Formula or Formula and Laboratory Sample Analysis

Kind of Imported Wine:

Formula Approval Only

Formula Approval and Laboratory Sample Analysis

Notes and References

(Related to production standards and formula requirements)

Agricultural wine
(Wine made from products other than fruit)

Different requirements apply to rice wine and saké

 

Certain agricultural wines are exempt from formula requirements under
TTB Ruling 2016-2
27 CFR 4.21(f); 4.38(h)

Aperitif wine

 

Vermouth from Italy is exempt from formula and laboratory sample analysis requirements
27 CFR 4.21(g); 4.38(h)

Asian plum wine

 

Includes any plum wine produced in Asia
27 CFR 4.21(e); 4.38(h)

Imitation wine

 

27 CFR 4.21(h)(1), 4.38(h)

Other than standard wine

 

27 CFR 4.21(h)(2); 4.38(h)

Retsina wine

 

Must be produced in Greece, unless grandfathered under 26 U.S.C. 5388.  See also Industry Circular 2006-1
27 CFR 4.21(i); 4.38(h)

Rice wine

 

27 CFR 4.21(f); 4.38(h)

Rice wine with added colors or flavors

 

27 CFR 4.34; 4.38(h)

Saké

 

27 CFR 4.21(f); 4.38(h)
Saké Resources

Saké with added colors or flavors

 

27 CFR 4.34; 4.38(h)
Saké Resources

Substandard wine

 

27 CFR 4.21(h); 4.38(h)

Vermouth

 

Vermouth from Italy is exempt from formula and laboratory sample analysis requirements
27 CFR 4.21(g)(2); 4.38(h)

Wine specialty
(Wine that does not fit into any of the classes defined in the standards of identity, such as flavored or colored wine) 

 

27 CFR 4.34, 4.38(h)

Wine made by blending wines produced from different kinds of agricultural products (other than fruit)

 

27 CFR 4.21(f)(iii)(6); 4.34(a); 4.38(h)

Wine made by fermenting together fruits and agricultural products (other than fruit)

 

27 CFR 4.34(a); 4.38(h)

Wine made with any ingredient that typically contains thujone

 

For example artemisia (wormwood), tansy, yarrow
27 CFR 4.34; 4.38(h)

Wine made with “hemp” ingredients

 

27 CFR 4.34; 4.38(h)
TTB Hemp Policy
TTB Industry Circular 2019-1 

 

Green icon with a white phone CONTACT US

Questions? For more information about alcohol beverage formulas, contact the Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division at 202-453-2250 or toll free at 866-927-ALFD (2533), or contact ALFD online.

For questions about submitting samples to the TTB lab, contact the Scientific Services Division online.

 

TTB G: 2016-2A
OPR: Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division
Last updated: February 12, 2020

Page last updated: February 12, 2020
Page last updated: February 12, 2020
Maintained by: Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division