Wine produced in or imported to the UK must comply with regulations on wine labelling.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched a digital guide - Food and drink businesses: working with the EU. It covers the key actions food and drink businesses may need to take after the end of the transition period.
The guide will host the most up to date guidance for wine producers and traders, with changes and additions made as further information is confirmed.
The description 'Wine' must be shown on the label as the category for wine without geographical designation where the provenance descriptor does not include the term 'wine'.
Provenance of wine
Wines without geographical designation are allowed to show country as 'Wine of England (or Wales)' or 'Product of England' or 'Produced in England' instead of 'Wine of United Kingdom' or equivalent. Other wines (Quality, Regional and sparkling) must also use one of these formats for the country.
Wines from 2009 and subsequent vintages which are not submitted and approved for either the Protected Designation of Origin (Quality Wine) Scheme or the Protected Geographical Indication (Regional Wine) Scheme may be entitled to describe one or more varieties and/or the vintage using the new descriptor of 'Varietal Wine' if they go through a Certification Process prior to sale of the wine. This is subject to national legislation.
Varietal Wine certification information and certification forms for varietal wine are available from the Wines of Great Britain (Wine GB) website. Applications must be submitted to Wine GB. These are passed on to Wine Standards Inspectors who may visit producers to check that records show details of production for wine intended for this category.
UK Quality Wine Schemes guidance
It is important to ensure your labelling complies with the following guidance:
- Guide to the UK Quality Wine Schemes – Still wines
- Guide to the UK Quality Wine Schemes – Sparkling wines
Units of alcohol and related health warnings are not compulsory on wine. Details about these items can be found on the Portman Group website.
Allergen labelling on wine
Wine can contain allergens which may affect consumers with a food allergy or intolerance.
The following wines must include a statement on one of the labels if any of the 14 allergens designated by food law are present in the product:
- wines with sulphur dioxide exceeding 10 mg/litre
- wines which are fined with milk or egg products (detectable limits in the finished product at levels above 0.25 mg/litre) should be clearly labelled.
The wording must include the word 'contains':
- sulphur dioxide/sulphites/sulfites
- ‘egg’, ‘egg protein’, ‘egg product’, ‘egg lysozyme’ or ‘egg albumin’
- ‘milk’, ‘milk products’, ‘milk casein’ or ‘milk protein’
Labels on imported wine
The main requirements for different categories of wine are set out in Labelling of Wines from Third Countries 2020. For advice on specific labels, contact your regional inspector.
Producers from outside the EU should direct enquiries to your importer in the UK. Importers in European Commission countries should contact the authorities in those countries.