A wine label. The cover on the finished book of a wine’s life. That’s how I’ve often referred to them. In my world they are also the easiest way to explain to someone what it is that I do. Believe it or not most people’s faces gloss over when you tell them “I’m a winery compliance consultant”. When that happens I’ll then refer to wine labels, (after all everyone has seen them) and then will say “everything you see on a wine label, that’s compliance” to which they’ll nod their head and say something like “ah, I get it”.
For winery staff that are tasked with preparing or submitting labels for TTB approval (COLAs!) there are two very helpful resources available as guidance. The first of these is a TTB document, one of what they call their “beverage alcohol manuals”, or BAM. They have three of these, one for each of the beverage groups (spirits, beer and wine) but the BAM for wine has been MIA for several years. They just re-released it last week. This manual is a great resource for anyone who either needs to understand or is just interested in learning what all the wine label requirements are. I used this manual as part of my class at Napa Valley College for many years.
The second helpful resource covering a lot of the same TTB regulations is my book, The Inside Story of a Wine Label. I wrote this book in 2012 to share my knowledge of what goes into designing & submitting wine labels for TTB approval from my years of being involved in doing just that as compliance manager at wineries. It is also a great reference for winery staff as well as the curious consumer.
These two helpful wine label resources are the topic of my next video: