Wine’s New Fine Print – New York Magazine

Winemaker Tony Coturri has always argued that the wine world would change overnight if wineries were required to list everything on the label that went into the final product. Coturri winery would have “just grapes” of course. New York Magazine did a piece about this issue:

Randall Grahm made news four years ago when he began citing not only tartaric acid but also substances used to process the wine (indigenous yeast for fermentation; bentonite, a clarifying clay) but gone by the time it’s bottled. Shinn Estate Vineyards followed suit with its North Fork estate-bottled wines, and the Anderson Valley winery Foursight printed its first ingredient list last summer.

But there’s risk attached to laundry lists of unfamiliar terms. Would the average drinker be glad to know his wine was clarified with isinglass, a fish-bladder extract, or its alcohol level boosted with beet sugar? “To have a long list makes it look like anti­freeze,” says David Lillie, co-owner of Chambers Street Wines, who likes the idea less in practice than in theory.