“American” Wine Might Be Only 75% USA

According to regulations, wines labeled “American” need to be made with at least 75% American grapes. So what? Apparently a lot of “corporate” wineries are taking advantage of this law and importing tons and tons of the foreign stuff—imports are up 229% this year alone. From Decanter: “One industry insider said that the Ceres-based Wine Group in the Central Valley, which sells Franzia wines, was one example of a winery that used imported wine in its blends.” This behavior is causing an uproar among American wine growers.

This is the sort of thing that really depends on consumer choise, so how do you know which wines to choose? First of all, if it’s in a box, thats’ a bad sign. Other than that, you can look for a bottle that says “California,” because A 1942 state law requires California appellation wines to be made only from California grapes.—MEGHANN MARCO
Loophole allows foreign wine in American blends [Decanter]


Edit Your Comment

  1. ElizabethD says:

    I’m trying to deconstruct significance of the photo accompanying this post. “Offshore” wines? Hee hee. But what do I know. I sometimes drink wine from a box.

  2. Meg Marco says:

    The significance is, “awesome” and “has wine.”

  3. flyover says:

    I would shy away from any wine only labeled with the country it’s grown in, with no region/appellation/vineyard distinction – it’s probably crap.

    I’m sure most of this “american” wine, franzia included, is primarily used in cooking. Why do you think the huge producers can claim to be #1 sellers? Restaurants buy up the stuff for their red wine reductions & homemade white wine vinaigrettes etc etc.

    If you’re grabbing for Franzia & the likes on the shelf, chances are you could really give two shits where the grapes came from.

    Of course, I haven’t read the article yet….

  4. ryan says:

    There’s a huge surplus of wine in Europe right now as European wine consumption decreases and acreage of vineyards continues to grow. It’s creating an inexpensive for quality bulk wine for blending in to budget wines here.

    When it’s all said and done, I’m guessing the imported wine is probably helping the overall quality of budget wines. And if you can tell the difference between a Californian Cabernet and a French Cabernet, what in the hell are you doing drinking Franzia?

  5. Plasmafire says:

    hmm 75% American Wine… 25% other? so this is a turn back to the era of bootlegers?

  6. Pelagius says:

    I just look for the “Boones Farm” label. The rest is just a blur…

  7. Paul D says:

    Somebody tell Bill O’Reilly!!

  8. Smoking Pope says:

    Does it only get me 75% drunk? No? Then what do I care?