Actually, I don’t so much care about the oak chips and oxygen – that’s okay with me. But this just goes to show why it’s unwise to rely on government oversight of unhechshered products.
Wine labels tend to focus on romance; the small amount of government-mandated information includes the percentage of alcohol, a warning against consuming wine when pregnant or driving, and a disclosure of sulfites.
It might be disenchanting if the label also listed the chicken, fish, milk and wheat products that are often used to process wine. And it would be hard to maintain the notion that wine is an ethereal elixir if, before uncorking, consumers read that their Pinot Noir or Syrah contained Mega Purple (a brand of concentrated wine color), oak chips or such additives as oak gall nuts, grape juice concentrate, tartaric acid, citric acid, dissolved oxygen, copper and water. The mention of bentonite, ammonium phosphate and the wide variety of active enzymes used to make some wines would end the romance.
Federal regulators are considering revamping the rules governing wine labels, and if changes are made, the information revealed may surprise many wine buyers. Additives that supplement what nature failed to provide in an individual wine — tricks of the trade that winemakers rarely talk about — could soon be listed in detail on the labels.