Natural Foods Merchandiser

Wines begin labeling antioxidant content

Already gaining in popularity, thanks to the Oscar-winning movie Sideways, pinot noir may seduce more fans with its health benefits. Willamette Valley Vineyards received approval from the federal government to label the resveratrol content of its 2002 Vintage Selection Pinot Noir and its 2003 Cluster Fermented Pinot Noir. In addition, the label states, ?Pinot noir develops a natural defense against botrytis (mold) in our moist, cool climate—the antioxidant resveratrol.? Most of the red wine?s health benefits have been ascribed to resveratrol.

In a confusing move, however, the Treasury Department?s Alcohol, Tax and Trade Bureau prohibited the winery from using the label on subsequent vintages. The ATTB advised the vineyard to remove the word resveratrol. Jim Bernau, president of WVV, said the company would continue using the labels regardless. ?We have been careful to avoid making any health claims on the label ? and rather have focused on [resveratrol?s] presence and the reason for its presence in our wine,? Bernau said. ?It is my hope that continued recognition by the public and public policy-makers toward the unique attributes of wine will support legal changes, which at a minimum allow wine producers to voluntarily list antioxidants on the label.?

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVI/number 4/p. 12

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