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trymahjong

Why aren’t “all” ingredients listed on wine bottle labels?

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I hope I don’t embarrass my self with this question.

i am sort of “wine naive”.

 

So yesterday attended a wine tasting where the focus was on small batch wines with little or nothing added to them.

we were told some wines couldn’t be listed as vegan or vegetarian because of ingredients.

Also got information that there is a much sought after level beyond ‘ organic’ but I forgot the name.

 

i was a bit puzzled when it was over.

 

so now I’m wondering why ingredients aren’t listened on wine labels after the % of different varieties of grapes are listed.

 

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To be honest I thought this would be the ingredients list on a bottle of wine:

 

Grapes

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I guess making wine is like making sausage: you really don't want to know.
Here's an interesting article about wine additives.
(Fish bladders?! Who knew!)

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Wines containing more that 7% ABV are governed by the Federal Alcohol Administration Act and are outside of the FDA's ingredient labeling jurisdiction.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, dbigtex56 said:

I guess making wine is like making sausage: you really don't want to know.
Here's an interesting article about wine additives.
(Fish bladders?! Who knew!)

Yeah, isinglass, it's a fining, or clarifying agent. (I do a little home winemaking) Generally the isinglass is going to agglomerate suspended solids in the wine and cause them to fall to the bottom as lees, and theoretically the isinglass all ends up in the lees, which are discarded when the wine is racked, so winemakers don't consider the isinglass to be "in" the wine anymore, but because the wine process involved an animal product at one point, the wine can't be considered vegetarian. Wines that want to be considered completely vegetarian will use a non-animal derived fining agent, like bentonite, a type of clay. You have to use a lot more bentonite than isinglass though.

Edited by Reefmonkey
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9 hours ago, cspwal said:

To be honest I thought this would be the ingredients list on a bottle of wine:

 

Grapes

 

sulfite.jpg

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I am beginning to get the picture.

 

remembering what I said about being a novice..... the wines tasted nice. Only I didn’t get that slight headache nor the indigestion feeling I usually get. I wondered as I tasted them if they would be similar to wines bottles 500 years ago?

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On 6/8/2019 at 7:40 AM, trymahjong said:

I am beginning to get the picture.

 

remembering what I said about being a novice..... the wines tasted nice. Only I didn’t get that slight headache nor the indigestion feeling I usually get. I wondered as I tasted them if they would be similar to wines bottles 500 years ago?

Kinda depends on the style of wine. A vintner who goes after the big bold California styles that are all about varietal, you probably would not have found wines that tasted like those centuries ago. But a lot of European wines are probably very similar to what they were centuries ago, especially certain Italian styles. And retsina is a style that probably tastes nearly identical to the way it did at least 2,000 years ago.

 

Don't assume though that older winemaking techniques were better. Before the advent of cultured yeasts and dosing grape must with sulfites or sulfur dioxide to kill wild yeasts before starting fermentation, winemaking was much less predictable than it is now. Winemakers would of course use the lees from an old batch of wine of proven quality to inoculate the next batch with yeast that worked (although they didn't really understand why this worked), a batch could still become contaminated with a wild yeast species (both from the grapes or from the poor sanitation back then( that would give it a funky flavor, or worse, make it spoil, and wine makers would try to recoup their losses by blending this off. There was a reason the ancient Romans rarely drank wine that hadn't been cut with water and sweetened. And speaking of the Romans and sweetening wine, from Roman times through the 1800s, lead acetate was regularly added to wine to sweeten it and balance the flavor.

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5 hours ago, Reefmonkey said:

wine makers would try to recoup their losses by blending this off.

Many years ago I knew an elderly gentleman whose opinions on wine were formed in the early 20th century.
According to him, only novices would drink rose' wine, because most of it was created by unscrupulous vintners who would mix a bad white wine with a bad red, and serve it to the unsuspecting hoi polloi.

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