This is the second of two parts looking at consolidation in the wine business and the rise of the giant producer -- a handful of which dominate the U.S. wine business. Today, advice on how to tell which multi-national made the wine you drink. The first part, which ran on Dec. 13, looked at company size and why it matters.
What do the Barefoot, Cupcake and Two-buck Chuck wines have in common? Each are labels owned by one of the largest wine companies in the country, but you can’t tell that by looking at the label.
Nowhere does it say that E&J Gallo owns Barefoot, perhaps the best-selling wine in the U.S. Or that The Wine Group makes Cupcake through its Underdog division. Or that Two-buck Chuck, the Charles Shaw wine sold at Trader Joe’s, is one of dozens of labels produced by Bronco.
That’s because there is no legal requirement to do so, and most wine companies aren’t interested in that sort of thing. So what’s a curious consumer to do? Googling the wine while standing in the store aisle isn’t the most efficient use of time. Rather, look for clues on the back label – details of which are after the jump.