This week’s wine news: Silly wine descriptions that are so silly even I don’t believe them, plus the EU takes on nutrition labels and the sad state of organic wine
• No sense at all: John Tilson at the Underground Wine Letter has found three silly wine descriptions that prove, again, how little the Winestream Media writes for the average wine drinker. Or for anyone who cares about English. Click on the link and read all three; this, part of one of them, will give you a hint of what’s in store: “texturally silken, supremely elegant effort transparently and kaleidoscopically combines moss, wet stone, gentian, buddleia, coriander, pepper, piquant yet rich nut oils and a saline clam broth savor. …” Know that I am a professional writer who has been paid to do this since I was 15 and have won numerous writing awards, and I have never seen the word gentian. Let alone used it. Is it any wonder I worry about the future of the wine business?
• Nutrition labels: EU wine producers, as well as beer and spirits makers, will make more nutritional and ingredients information available to consumers, including calorie information for wine, reports Decanter magazine. It’s part of a requirement by the EU that producers improve nutrition and ingredients information for consumers. The story notes there is disagreement between the industry and some public health officials as to whether the information is enough, but it still puts the EU decades ahead of the U.S. Here, nutrition labeling is optional, and most producers don’t do it because they think it will scare or confuse consumers.
• No to organic: The U.S. is fourth worst in organic vineyards among major global wine grape growers, reports the Wine Industry Insight website. Just 2.7 percent of U.S. vineyards are organic, compared to industry leader Italy’s 15.5 percent. That’s especially intriguing given the value and popularity of the rest of the U.S. organic industry, which accounts for more than five percent of U.S. food sales.