By Michael Kaiser
This past weekend, the fourth annual Wine Bloggers Conference was held at the Omni Hotel in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was a great opportunity for wine bloggers and others in the industry to really be introduced to the wonderful world of Virginia wine. Virginia wineries really delivered and they illustrated why the state has become so respected in the wine world.
WineAmerica had the honor of being asked to speak at the conference. Cary Green and I discussed the Legalities of Wine. Not the most exciting of subjects, but an important one. Cary discussed the CARE Act and the current state of wine distribution laws in the states. I handled the TTB regulatory discussion. It was a varied topic and we had some lively discussion with those in attendance.
The two keynote speakers at the conference were Jancis Robinson, the wine correspondent for the Financial Times, and Eric Asimov from The New York Times. They provided a good bridge from traditional wine writing and the relatively new medium of wine blogging.
Friday nights event at Monticello featured more than 30 Virginia wineries showcasing one red wine and one white wine. It was a great chance for me to meet some people face to face that I have been talking to for five years now. Despite the oppressive heat, the event was a huge success.
Saturday featured winery visits and a dinner that featured food pairing with some excellent Virginia wines.
The world of wine blogging is a relatively new world. As someone who reads wine blogs on a daily basis, I find them to be a unique way of learning about the wine industry from a different perspective. The medium will only continue to grow.
July 5, 2011
On behalf of the undersigned trade associations representing virtually all alcohol beverage producers, including brewers, distillers, vintners, and importers, we greatly appreciate the opportunity to share our views regarding the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposal to implement the menu labeling provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Affordable Care Act).
(1) the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the Department of Treasury (TTB) is the primary regulatory authority on the labeling of alcohol beverages pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act) (27 U.S.C. 201 et seq.);
(2) TTB has a “Serving Facts” rulemaking underway that is intended to establish a clear and consistent manner for determining and expressing nutrient values for alcohol beverages; and
As FDA recognized in its proposed rule, the primary federal regulatory Agency overseeing alcohol beverage labeling is TTB. In exercising its broad and longstanding regulatory authority, TTB is very familiar with the entire range of alcohol beverage products, as well as the day-to-day practices of producers and importers across the beer, wine and spirits categories. The Bureau regulates virtually every aspect of alcohol beverage products and the industry members who produce and/or import these products. Within the broader food industry, alcohol beverage importers and domestic manufacturers are the only entities required to undergo an investigation prior to commencement of operations. TTB requires completion of employment and financial questionnaires by key personnel and investors, as well as detailed information on the location and operation of each business.
 We acknowledge that FDA exclusively regulates the labeling of alcohol beverages that are not under TTB's jurisdiction, including beers
that do not meet the definition of a “malt beverage” under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act) (27 U.S.C. 201 et seq.)
and wine beverages containing less than 7 percent alcohol by volume. See, e.g., FDA, “Guidance for Industry: Labeling of Certain Beers
Subject to the Labeling Jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration; Draft Guidance.” August 2009.