The new federal regulations on advertising and labeling malt beverages, wine, and distilled spirits. Part 2 – updates and issues regarding advertising and labeling regulations for wine.
Yesterday we wrote about the recent updates to the new federal regulations related to labeling and advertising for alcoholic beverages as they relate to malt beverages. Today we write about the changes to advertising and labeling for wine. The currently set changes to come out of Notice 176 (and there will be others) for the labeling and advertising of wine are as follows:
- Citrus wines are a thing of the past. Well, you’ll still get them, but the standard of identity that made them their own thing under 27 CFR 4.21(d) as opposed to just being another type of fruit wine under 27 CFR 4.21(e) will be eliminated. But don’t worry, your old “citrus wine” labels won’t need to get updated. – “TTB sees no reason to continue to distinguish between citrus wine and fruit wine. TTB is eliminating the class designation “citrus wine,” and amending § 4.21(e) to include citrus wines in the fruit wine class. The final rule also adds language to clarify that wines previously designated as “citrus wine” or “citrus fruit wine” may continue to use that term on the label instead of “fruit wine.” Thus, labels will not have to be revised as a result of this amendment.”
- Imported bulk wine can now have a vintage date. 5 liters or less. That’s the current size of a container of imported wine that can bear a vintage date (or it if it gets bottled from an original container bearing a vintage date in the US). The TTB is doing away with this wine labeling restriction. – “TTB believes the amendment will provide additional labeling flexibility to bottlers who import vintage wine in bulk for bottling in the United States. As long as the bottler has the appropriate documentation substantiating that the wine is entitled to be labeled with a vintage date, it should not be disqualifying that the wine was imported in a bulk container that did not bear a vintage date.”
- Natural wine designation now comports with the IRC. Notice 176 had contained a provision to update references in the grape wine, fruit wine and citrus wine categories to state that they must meet the Internal Revenue Code standards for “natural wine” (see below at section 4.21 additions). Since no comment regarding the proposal came in, the TTB has decided to move forward – “ TTB believes that the alignment of the regulations under the FAA Act and the IRC will facilitate compliance with the production standards specified under the IRC for “natural wine.”
- Personalized labels are easier to obtain. The new rule creates a new section for malt beverages, wines, and spirits, each delineating a definition for personalized labels and allowing for changes in line with Guidance 2017-2.
- Some guidance on wines below 7 percent abv. Clarifying language is added to the new regulations on wine to discuss what standards and labeling requirements may apply to wines that do not meet the definition of wine under the FAA but that do meet the definition under the IRC. See sections 4.6 and 4.7 below.
Those issues summarized above and some of the other matters that we will cover in additional posts about these changes are reflected in these specific changes to 27 CFR part 4 that the Rule details which are:
PART 4—LABELING AND ADVERTISING OF WINE
1.The authority citation for part 4 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 27 U.S.C. 205, unless otherwise noted.
2.Add § 4.6 to read as follows:
- 4.6 Wines covered by this part.
The regulations in this part apply to wine containing not less than 7 percent and not more than 24 percent alcohol by volume.
3.Add § 4.7 to read as follows:
- 4.7 Products produced as wine that are not covered by this part.
Certain wine products do not fall within the definition of a “wine” under the FAA Act and are thus not subject to this part. They may, however, also be subject to other labeling requirements. See 27 CFR parts 24 and 27 for labeling requirements applicable to “wine” as defined by the IRC. See 27 CFR part 16 for health warning statement requirements applicable to “alcoholic beverages” as defined by the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act.
(a) Products containing less than 7 percent alcohol by volume. The regulations in this part do not cover products that would otherwise meet the definition of wine except that they contain less than 7 percent alcohol by volume. Bottlers and importers of alcohol beverages that do not fall within the definition of malt beverages, wine, or distilled spirits under the FAA Act should refer to the applicable labeling regulations for foods issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. See 21 CFR part 101.
(b) Products containing more than 24 percent alcohol by volume. Products that would otherwise meet the definition of wine except that they contain more than 24 percent alcohol by volume are classified as distilled spirits and must be labeled in accordance with part 5 of this chapter.
4.Amend § 4.10 by adding the definition of “Certificate of label approval (COLA)” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
- 4.10 Meaning of terms.
Certificate of label approval (COLA). A certificate issued on form TTB F 5100.31 that authorizes the bottling of wine, distilled spirits, or malt beverages, or the removal of bottled wine, distilled spirits, or malt beverages from customs custody for introduction into commerce, as long as the product bears labels identical to the labels appearing on the face of the certificate, or labels with changes authorized by TTB on the certificate or otherwise (such as through the issuance of public guidance available on the TTB website at http://www.ttb.gov).
Subpart C—Standards of Identity for Wine
5.Amend § 4.21 by:
a.Revising paragraph (a)(1);
b.Redesignating paragraphs (a)(2) and (3) as paragraph (a)(5) and (6), respectively;
c.Adding new paragraphs (a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(4);
d.Removing and reserving paragraph (d);
e.Revising paragraph (e)(1);
f.Redesignating paragraphs (e)(2), (3), (4), and (5) as paragraphs (e)(5) (6), (7), and (8), respectively;
g.Add new paragraphs (e)(2), (3), and (4);
h.In redesignated paragraph (e)(8), in the first sentence, remove the phrase “ e.g., “peach wine,” “blackberry wine.” ” and add in its place the phrase “e.g., “peach wine,” “blackberry wine,” “orange wine.” ”; and
i.In redesignated paragraph (e)(8), inserting a new sentence after the end of the second sentence.
The additions and revisions read as follows:
- 4.21 The standards of identity.
(a) * * *
(1) Grape wine is wine produced by the normal alcoholic fermentation of the juice of sound, ripe grapes (including restored or unrestored pure condensed grape must), with or without the addition, after fermentation, of pure condensed grape must and with or without added spirits of the type authorized for natural wine under 26 U.S.C. 5382, but without other addition or abstraction except as may occur in cellar treatment of the type authorized for natural wine under 26 U.S.C. 5382.
(2) Still grape wine may be ameliorated, or sweetened, before, during, or after fermentation, in a way that is consistent with the limits set forth in 26 U.S.C. 5383 for natural grape wine.
(3) The maximum volatile acidity, calculated as acetic acid and exclusive of sulfur dioxide is 0.14 gram per 100 mL (20 degrees Celsius) for red wine and 0.12 gram per 100 mL (20 degrees Celsius) for other grape wine, provided that the maximum volatile acidity for wine produced from unameliorated juice of 28 or more degrees Brix is 0.17 gram per 100 mL for red wine and 0.15 gram per 100 mL for white wine.
(4) Grape wine deriving its characteristic color or lack of color from the presence or absence of the red coloring matter of the skins, juice, or pulp of grapes may be designated as “red wine,” “pink (or rose) wine,” “amber wine,” or “white wine” as the case may be. Any grape wine containing no added grape brandy or alcohol may be further designated as “natural.”
(e) * * *
(1) Fruit wine is wine produced by the normal alcoholic fermentation of the juice of sound, ripe fruit (including restored or unrestored pure condensed fruit must) other than grapes, with or without the addition, after fermentation, of pure condensed fruit must and, with or without added spirits of the type authorized for natural wine under 26 U.S.C. 5382, but without other addition or abstraction except as may occur in cellar treatment of the type authorized for natural wine under 26 U.S.C. 5382.
(2) Fruit wine may be ameliorated, or sweetened, before, during, or after fermentation, in a way that is consistent with the limits set forth in 26 U.S.C. 5384 for natural fruit wine.
(3) The maximum volatile acidity, calculated as acetic acid and exclusive of sulfur dioxide, shall not be, for fruit wine that does not contain added brandy or wine spirits, more than 0.14 gram, and for other fruit wine, more than 0.12 gram, per 100 milliliters (20 degrees Celsius).
(4) Any fruit wine containing no added grape brandy or alcohol may be further designated as “natural.”
(8) * * * If the fruit wine is derived wholly (except for sugar, water, or added alcohol) from more than one citrus fruit, the designation “citrus wine” or “citrus fruit wine” may, but is not required to, be used instead of “fruit wine,” and the designation must also be qualified by a truthful and adequate statement of composition appearing in direct conjunction therewith. * * *
- 4.27 [Amended]
6.Amend 4.27 by:
a.Removing the phrase “in containers of 5 liters or less” from paragraph (b);
b.Adding the word “and” at the end of paragraph (c)(1);
c.Removing paragraph (c)(2); and
d.Redesignating paragraph (c)(3) as new paragraph (c)(2).
Subpart D—Labeling Requirements for Wine
7.Amend § 4.35 by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:
- 4.35 Name and address.
(e) Cross reference—country of origin statement. For U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) rules regarding country of origin marking requirements, see the CBP regulations at 19 CFR parts 102 and 134.
Subpart F—Requirements for Approval of Labels of Wine Domestically Bottled or Packed
8.Add § 4.54 to read as follows:
- 4.54 Personalized labels.
(a) General. Applicants for label approval may obtain permission from TTB to make certain changes in order to personalize labels without having to resubmit labels for TTB approval. A personalized label is an alcohol beverage label that meets the minimum mandatory label requirements and is customized for customers. Personalized labels may contain a personal message, picture, or other artwork that is specific to the consumer who is purchasing the product. For example, a winery may offer individual or corporate customers labels that commemorate an event such as a wedding or grand opening.
(b) Application. Any person who intends to offer personalized labels must submit a template for the personalized label as part of the application for label approval required under §§ 4.40 or 4.50 of this part, and must note on the application a description of the specific personalized information that may change.
(c) Approval of personalized label. If the application complies with the regulations, TTB will issue a certificate of label approval (COLA) with a qualification allowing the personalization of labels. The qualification will allow the certificate holder to add or change items on the personalized label such as salutations, names, graphics, artwork, congratulatory dates and names, or event dates without applying for a new COLA. All of these items on personalized labels must comply with the regulations of this part.
(d) Changes not allowed to personalized labels. Approval of an application to personalize labels does not authorize the addition of any information that discusses either the alcohol beverage or characteristics of the alcohol beverage or that is inconsistent with or in violation of the provisions of this part or any other applicable provision of law or regulations.
Subpart G—Advertising of Wine
9.Amend § 4.62 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
- 4.62 Mandatory statements.
(a) Responsible advertiser. The advertisement must display the responsible advertiser’s name, city, and State or the name and other contact information (such as telephone number, website, or email address) where the responsible advertiser may be contacted.