Saturday, August 3, 2013

Part 3: wine ingredients labeling.

Part 1.

Part 3.

This is wine. If I made my wine like I make coffee, the ingredients would be grapes and yeast. Sulfur dioxide might be added as a stabilizer, but if I "shopped local" - could get wine from the guy at the farmer's market - I'd pass. Maybe the wine is good, maybe it's not so perfect, but that's the nature of, well, nature.  Nature + art/craft/process = product.

This is the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR) link to Section  24.246,  Materials authorized for the treatment of wine and juice.  It lists what's permissible, it's general purpose, and acceptable doses. Guys sit around determining this stuff, and it sounds like this: "The fumaric acid content of the finished wine shall not exceed 25 lbs/1000 gals (3.0 g/L). 27 CFR 24.182 and 24.192. 21 CFR 172.350."  Riveting stuff! Practically sells itself!

soylent purple
Mega Purple, the brand name, anyway, isn't on the list. This is from The Gray Report.  "Wineries adore Mega Purple because American consumers are caught up in the idea that for wine, darker is better. Black fruit is better than red fruit. Roses should be red, not light pink. And heaven forbid if a bottle of Zinfandel doesn't look inky."

Again, from Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation: Why the Fries Taste Good (Excerpt):
"Studies have found that the color of a food can greatly affect how its taste is perceived. Brightly colored foods frequently seem to taste better than bland-looking foods, even when the flavor compounds are identical. Foods that somehow look off-color often seem to have off tastes. For thousands of years, human beings have relied on visual cues to help determine what is edible. The color of fruit suggests whether it is ripe, the color of meat whether it is rancid. Flavor researchers sometimes use colored lights to modify the influence of visual cues during taste tests. During one experiment in the early 1970s, people were served an oddly tinted meal of steak and French fries that appeared normal beneath colored lights. Everyone thought the meal tasted fine until the lighting was changed. Once it became apparent that the steak was actually blue and the fries were green, some people became ill."  


I'm standing in front of two bottles of wine and one is Cheese Puffs Wine but it has a calm and clever label and a name to match.  The other is Real Wine.  Maybe it doesn't hit all the marks on the palate and it's pale. Without labeling I might opt the former; with labeling: the latter. And I'd like it, because an honest art beats a false showmanship any time.* 

*Sometimes Donald Trump is funny.