Wine alcohol content frequently under reported
Wine enthusiasts are taking note of a recent study by UC Davis agricultural economist Julian Alston and his colleagues that said the amount of alcohol in wine isn't always stated accurately on the label.
The San Francisco Chronicle's restaurant blog, "The Inside Scoop SF," reported on the study, which said that nearly 60 percent of wines under reported their alcohol, while just 10 percent reported accurately. Overall, alcohol levels were under reported by a mean 0.13 percentage points across the board.
Writer Jon Bonné contemplates whether winemakers are trying to bridge a divide between consumers who say they want less alcohol, but are buying wines that have more.
"I’m not sure that explains the mislabeling, which has a lot of complex components (cost savings, consumer bias, regulatory leeway) but it’s an increasingly frequent conclusion. It’s what the study’s authors concluded," Bonné wrote.
The U.K. newspaper The Guardian reported that winemakers have deliberately chosen to understate wine alcohol content for marketing purposes.
"The substantial, pervasive, systematic errors in the stated alcohol percentage of wine are consistent with a model in which winemakers perceive that consumers demand wine with a stated alcohol content that is different from the actual alcohol content, and winemakers are willing to err in the direction of providing consumers with what they want," The Guardian quoted the Alston study.
"What remains to be resolved," the study says, "is why consumers choose to pay winemakers to lie to them."/span>
Wine alcohol content is becoming more of an issue.