Rev. Ruling 55-618
Advice has been requested whether wine labels may bear phrases such as "Altar Style," "Altar Type," "Kosher Style," or "Kosher Type."
Section 30 of Regulations No. 4 provides in part that containers of wine, or any labels on such containers, or any individual covering, carton, or other wrapper of such container, or any written, printed, graphic, or other matter accompanying such container to the consumer shall not contain any statement that, irrespective of falsity, directly or by ambiguity, omission, or inference, or by the addition of irrelevant, scientific, or technical matter, tends to create a misleading impression.
The Internal Revenue Service has held for many years that where a label for wine contains the words "altar wine," the wine so labeled may be sold only to ministers of the gospel, priests, or religious organizations for sacramental use. When labels bearing such statements are received for approval, the Form 1649, Certificate of Label Approval under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act, is issued with the qualifying statement that "this certificate covers the attached label only if the wine bottled thereunder will be sold to ministers of the gospel, priests, or religious organizations for sacramental use exclusively and will not be sold for beverage use to the consuming public."
It is held that, although altar wines, labeled as such, are not offered for sale to the general public, the use of the phrases "Altar Style" or "Altar Type" would be misleading to persons or organizations qualified to purchase altar wines. It is further held that the use of the phrases "Kosher Style" or "Kosher Type" on non-koshered wines would be misleading to the consuming public. Accordingly, the foregoing phrases may not be used under such circumstances.
27 U.S.C. 205; 27 CFR 4.39