Alcohol % levels on bottles

Hi all,

I wonder if anyone has any detailed knowledge on rules around alcohol levels displayed on bottles. For example I did read somewhere that in Italy wine makers can display a level up to 1% higher or lower than the real level. So if their wine read 15.5% they could legally put 14.5% on the label.

I ask as I was reading a review for a CNDP wine and the reviewers who tasted it early on said it came in at 15.3%, however on my labels of the wine it says 14.5%?


Don’t quote in a discussion with an expert or a Yorkshire wino, but I read an article which said you’re lucky if you get a Californian wine which displays an accurate alcoholic score. :roll_eyes::innocent:


In the EU you only quote xx.0% or xx.5% hence why many non-EU wines (particularly US ones) are over labelled before sale.

If I remember correctly is because of the test method used and its accuracy (r &R ?) is 1% spread (plus/ minus 0.5%)…but a while since i’ve studied !!

Also consider that the duty rate is higher on wine above 15%


Thanks James - that’ll be it then. Interesting to know

Sorry I have not read this in the actual regs, but from memory of what I have read in online discussions…

In the EU, alcohol percentage must be measured with an accuracy of ±0.5, and then the number quoted must be the measured value rounded up or down (at the choice of the producer) to a half percentage point. So the value quoted could be nearly 1.0 out, e. g. actual value 15.9, measured to be 15.4, quoted as 15.0.