Would you buy a wine with no label?

August 13th, 2007 | Uncategorized
Only buy wine that is formally dressed!

When I first arrived in Spain a few years ago one of the things that first struck me when eating out was the number of unlabelled bottles served to the tables – not carafe wine, but wine bottled, with a cork, simply missing any form of identification. This was not an ‘under the counter’ operation, but very open and blatant, and an offer taken up by the large majority of customers. I have no doubt that this wine even tasted a little ‘sweeter’ to these consumers as they enjoyed a cheaper price as a result of not paying any tax!

Whilst this type of ‘deal’ is probably offered all around the vineyards of Europe, I cannot imagine it happening too much in the New World. The real shock for me however, was the sheer volume and audacity of the practice (especially when I consider the stringent controls that we face as wine producers, not only to guarantee the quality of our product, but also to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ on the label). In the past, for example, we have actually been pulled up for having a typeface that is 1mm too small, let alone not having any label at all! So it would hardly seem fair, to say the least…..

Possibly out of guilt, but more likely owing to the loss of taxes, our local Government has now started an initiative to stop the practice of unlabelled wine by printing a brochure. How this will help I am not quite sure, as it always the enforcement that seems to be a bit lacking here in Spain. I can only hope that we enjoy more success than the no-smoking law which appears to have made almost no difference whatsoever!

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