In the not very distant future, each wine bottle (or wine box) sold in the U.S. might have a nutrition label like every other beverage. There’s a proposal being studied by the Federal Tax and Trade Bureau that would require all alcoholic beverages, including wine, to place a standard nutrition label on their packaging.
The rules could pose a special hardship for wineries, who have to cope with frequent changes in vintage and composition:
“If labeling is made mandatory, then the Wine Institute is asking for accommodations, such as being allowed to generalize the calorie and carb counts on wine, rather than needing to have each vintage of each variety analyzed. Additionally, they want the option of choosing the style of label, perhaps putting the information on a thin strip-style label rather than the more traditional (and much larger) box format that appears on other foods and drinks.” [From MSNBC.com – Cheers? Booze bottles may get nutritional labels by Michelle Locke.]
I suppose it might be interesting to know the calories in a particular wine, though somehow I doubt it would lead to different choices. Picking lower-fat crackers is one thing; is one really going to pick a wine based on calories rather than taste and preference? Personally, I’d be most interested in such labeling for beers, where there is an enormous variation between brews. Sierra Nevada Stout, for example, packs in 20 carbs, about ten times as many as an ultralight beer.
What do you think – do wines need nutrition labels?