This California red wine offers a short, sweet lesson in wine labeling

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As Presidents Day approaches, why not celebrate with a richly textured red blend dedicated to the memory of “Honest Abe” Lincoln?

Honesty is a core value on which all wine labels in the United States must be judged before they are offered for sale. Wine labels are regulated by a branch of the US Treasury called the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB, which dictates which wine label declarations are required (such as region of origin of the grape and the alcohol content), which are authorized (such as grape variety and vintage) and which are prohibited (such as comments deemed false, denigrating or indecent).

However, not all statements need to be 100% accurate to be considered true enough to be printed on a wine label. For example, when a wine is labeled as Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, it does not mean that 100% of the grapes used to make the wine must be of that variety. TTB requires that it contain at least 75% of the named grape variety. This same 75% threshold applies to the accuracy of region of origin designations, such as California or Sonoma County. The TTB, however, raises the bar for wines that aspire to greatness. A higher minimum standard of 85% applies to grape and region claims on any wine that names a US wine-regulated area, such as Napa Valley, as its source.

Which brings us back to this dense, dark and rich California red blend honoring the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Many winemakers choose to label wines as blends and use umbrella appellations like North Coast to disguise their sources of grapes and vineyards. However, this “honest” red blend stays true to its namesake by telling you up front that it is a blend of Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon and that these grapes come from Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma. With an extra day off to enjoy this weekend, you might have more time to savor its chewy flavors of dark plums, dark chocolate, and dark cherry cobbler, and appreciate all-American honesty. of its label.

$15.99 14.5% alcohol

PLCB Item #2247

Sale price until 2/27 – regularly $17.99

Also available on:

Joe Canal’s in Marlton, $15.99, marltonjoecanals.com, Traino’s Wine & Spirits in Mount Laurel and Voorhees, $16.97, trainoswine.com, Total Wine & More in Wilmington and Claymont, Del. — $16.99, totalwine.com.

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