Not everyone in the wine business thinks nutrition fact boxes are the spawn of the devil
Anthony Riboli didn’t necessarily want a nutrition facts box on his peach flavored fizzy wine. But U.S. and Italian wine regulations required it – and you know what? The facts box isn’t so bad.
“I wish I could say I had a choice in the matter, but now there are obvious benefits,” says Riboili, the fourth-generation winemaker for his family’s San Antonio Winery and its four brands. “Are wine connoisseurs going to care? Probably not. But it will it open us up to drinkers who may not identify themselves as wine drinkers? I can see that.”
The wine in question is the Stella Rosa Golden Honey Peach, a fizzy Italian moscato flavored with peach that has 100 calories, no added fruit juice and no sodium. How do I know this? It’s on the back label. (Click on the label to make the picture bigger.)
The wine snobs reading this probably stopped after the last sentence. It’s bad enough he’s writing about nutrition facts again, they’re thinking, but a peach-flavored moscato? That’s not even real wine. Cancel my subscription!
Which is their loss. As has been argued here for years, the future of the wine business has a nutrition facts box in it, even if no one in the wine business wants to admit it. If Smoothie King wants ingredient transparency, why not wine?
Yes, there will be short-term difficulties, particularly for smaller producers. But the long-term benefits will be more than worth it. Consider just one: A light beer has about 100 calories, while a normal glass of wine has 125. In other words, not all that much difference, and wine tastes better. But how is anyone going to know unless they can check a nutrition facts box?
In fact, Riboli told me that the peach wine nutrition facts box has worked so well that he’d consider adding one to San Antonio’s traditional wines, assuming any potential legal issues could be resolved about how the information could be used.
One other note: The wine was damned good – well-made, peachy, not too sweet, and fresh and sparkly. I’ve tasted much worse from serious winemakers chasing 92 points, but who don’t want to use a nutrition facts box.