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Buying Someone Wine For Christmas?


The labelling may not be as accurate as you think!

Wine bottles contain a whole stack of information. Descriptive words such as ‘gooseberry’, ‘leather’ or ‘passionfruit’ can often be found on the back label.

But the alcohol-by-volume statement, giving a percentage of alcohol content for a 750-millilitre bottle gives winemakers some leniency as to how what the alcohol percentage actually is.

In Australia and New Zealand, a leeway of 1.5 percent is allowed (higher or lower) than what is actually in the bottle; ie a bottle of wine labelled at 13 per cent alcohol could range from having 11.5 to 14.5 percent alcohol.

The US has the same 1.5 per cent leeway while European laws only allow a variance of 0.5 per cent.

There is technology that can find an exact percentage of alcohol in a wine sample, but wine law allows wineries to understate or overstate the amount of alcohol.

Wine Australia explained the variance made it possible for winemakers to keep using the same label, allowing for variations between seasons and possible indiscretions in laboratory testing.