Posted by Ben Berkon on February 18, 2010 04:33 PM
Unless you’re a wine connoisseur, differentiating between a Pinot Noir and Bordeaux is difficult. At least that’s what various French wine producers and traders decided after supplying E. & J. Gallo, an American winery, with falsely labeled wines.
Over the past three years, E. & J. Gallo winery has been purchasing French wine and supplying it to Americans under false pretenses. While in similar situations a recall would be justified and swiftly enacted, this particular circumstance is different. According to The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, "[it] does not have recall authority.” Since the wine has not posed a health or safety issue, which is the usual recall reasoning, it just becomes an unfortunate incident.
Unlike the staunch regulations set by the Food and Drug Administration for other food and beverage products, there doesn’t seem to be comparable laws for the booming wine import industry. For instance, if American meat distributors were supplying poor-quality imported meats, the foreign meat trade would cease, and animals would be put through state-of-the-art tests or even killed.
These French wine producers and traders will pay tremendous fines for their actions. Still, however, a major and dangerous loophole has been uncorked in this recent grape debacle. It has yet to be seen what kind of actions will be taken, but some level of American embargos on French wine could very well be justified.
As for E. & J. Gallo – it should consider offering consumers a bottle or two, of Pinot Noir and Bordeaux, on the house.