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Archive for the ‘wine specialty’ Category

Milky Wine with Hops (+ Fairies)

There is no shortage of things to be learned from wine labels. I must admit that, before seeing Moo Clu, I was without a clue about clurichauns, let alone how to party like one. The label and this site explains that clurichauns are like leprechauns but far more mischievous.

If you treat them well they will protect your wine cellar, however, if mistreated, they will wreak havoc on a home and spoil the wine stock. Occasionally [they] can be heard singing Irish folk songs in the wine cellars. The clurichaun is great to have around the house because he also protects your home from vandals and thieves. … They are impeccably dressed and well-groomed. … Except for a pink tinge about the nose, they perfectly resemble leprechauns in all their physical characteristics, but they never wear an apron or carry a hammer, nor do they have any desire to work.

Moo Clu is honey wine fermented with lactose, hops and natural flavors. Sometimes, it is a fine line among beer, wine and other beverages (such as kombucha, barleywine, etc.). Just as there can be a fine line amongst the various Celtic Fairies.

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The Dessertification of Beverages (aka The ChocoVine Sensation)

Congratulations to Clever Imports for propelling ChocoVine into one of the biggest trends across wine and spirits in recent years. The brand seems to be growing at well over 100% per year, and at about 1 million cases per year, may just be getting going, in view of the recent deal with The Wine Group. ChocoVine is wine with chocolate and cream; it is produced in Holland by DeKuyper.

At first, many people spoke snidely of ChocoVine, suggesting that grape wine is not the best match with chocolate flavors. But, to a large extent, this condescension has been overshadowed by admiration, purchasing, and emulators. Chocolais is one example of a chocolate flavored wine that has hastened down the path cleared by Steve Katz at Clever. But there are well more than a handful of other, substantially similar examples, such as this one. TTB approved the first ChocoVine label in 2007. Three years later, TTB approved the first Chocolais label and the first Choco Noir label, both in November of 2010.

A bit further afield from ChocoVine, hundreds of other examples continue to accrue, further showing tremendous momentum behind a trend toward the dessertification of beverages. Here we have Pineapple Upside Down Cake Liqueur, various alcohol infused whipped creams, and cupcake flavored vodka. Let us know of other examples and what you think.

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Santa’s Elixir

Most people assume TTB would be okay with the second word but not the first. Actually, it’s the other way around. The federal government is okay with Santa, but is not fond of his elixir.

TTB asserts, from time to time as the issue arises, that the term “elixir” ought not to be allowed, because it would tend to suggest that the alcohol beverage has medicinal properties. That’s a big no no.

Good old Webster does not really disagree, and defines the term as:  “a substance held capable of prolonging life indefinitely.” Hence there are very few “elixir” approvals after about 1999.

We don’t normally show the whole paper COLA in the space above. But the paper COLAs are getting fewer and fewer, as the bulk of labels are submitted via COLAs Online. The above is starting to look like a fondly remembered antique. This 1999 approval, for Santa’s Elixir wine specialty, is one of the oldest readily available in TTB’s Public COLA Registry, because it starts showing images in about 1999. Adding to this approval’s old school quaintness, I believe I see indications of a typewriter, a Xerox machine, and perhaps there is some Wite-Out lurking in the shadows.

I am writing this about a week before Christmas, but now that we’ve established that Santa will be okay, let me take this opportunity to wish happy holidays to Margie, Corianna, Sydney, Inci, Marguerite, Monica, Gary, Dave, Brittany, Keenan, John, Jaycee, Alyson, Jon, Meralyn, Vince and all friends of the firm far and wide.

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Buck Bunnies and Spirits

The Buck Bunny didn’t get very far. It stopped not far from this 2006 approval. Maybe the antlers, or the spirits, or Jägermeister got in the way.

A contributor in California was concerned about the spirits added to this product, and the overall appearance. He said:

It seems legally interesting because it seems to contradict the TTB labeling code about wines containing distilled spirits and being similar to distilled spirits. Maybe those rules don’t apply to flavored wines. Also, it reminds me of a Jackelope.

Quite possibly, it also reminded Peach Street Distillers of a Jackelope. Peach Street rolled out their Jackelope Gin about a year later.

The spirits are probably a minor problem, compared to the other issues noted above. It is common to add spirits to wine. It is less common to mention them, but it is usually required, when those spirits are not derived from the same fruit as the base wine. Here it is grape wine with citrus spirits. If it were grape wine with grape brandy, the spirits would be less likely to show on the label.

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TTB Not OK with Vitamin Wine

nrg

Controversy in a cup. This little shooter raises a lot of TTB issues. First of all, it’s a gel-shot and those can be controversial from time to time. Next, it is technically a wine but it has added spirits — in the form of citrus neutral spirits (vodka, for all intents and purposes) and flavors. But wait, there’s more. It contains caffeine. It contains taurine. And … it contains added vitamins, in the form of Vitamin B6 and B12 (pyridoxine and cyanocobalamin).

Not too surprisingly, this 2006 gem of an approval is also “surrendered” (see about halfway down the form).

As of this writing, TTB does not allow vitamins to be directly added to beer, wine or spirits. Until recent months, TTB allowed vitamins to be added so long as their was no direct reference to the vitamins on the label or in advertising. TTB is at the early stages of developing regulations related to alcohol beverages containing vitamins, minerals and caffeine.

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