What’s your tolerance?

Label alcohol tolerance by market 

25 Jun 2019
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In most markets, the alcohol statement is a mandatory component of wine labels and should be expressed as ‘X% alcohol by volume’ or words and expressions of the same or similar effect. In Australia, the tolerance (difference between the labelled alcohol content and actual alcohol content) is +/- 1.5% for table and sparkling wine, while fortified wine must be within +/- 0.5%.

For example, if a table wine is labelled as ‘13% alc/vol’, the actual alcohol content may be between 11.5% and 14.5%.

It is a condition of export that wines must first and foremost comply with Australian Labelling standards.

Internationally, the labelling rules and tolerances for the alcohol statement vary from country to country. Below is a summary of the current alcohol statement information for 33+ countries that Wine Australia publishes Export Market Guides for. Further information is provided in these guides which are updated as information becomes available from specific markets.

Where alcohol tolerances for specific markets are not specified, exporters should consult with their agent or importer in the specific market. 

For further information or clarification, you can contact Wine Australia at labels@wineaustralia.com or (08) 8228 2000.

Market Tolerance (%) Notes
Australia 0.5 Table wines and wine products between 1.15% and 6.5% alcohol by volume
  1.5 Table wines and wine products greater than 6.5% alcohol by volume
  0.5 Fortified wine
Brazil Not Specified – contact importer/agent in market  
Cambodia Not Specified – contact importer/agent in market  
Canada 1.0 For wines below 16% alc/vol
  0.5 For wines above 16% alc/vol
Chile 0.5 See guide for more information on types of products
China 1.0  
European Union (EU) 0.8  
Fiji 1.5  
Hong Kong 1.5  
India 0.5 For wines up to 20% alc/vol
  1.0 For wines above 20% alc/vol
Indonesia Not Specified – contact importer/agent in market  
Japan 1.0 The label must list the ethyl alcohol content at 15°C as a percentage of total volume rounded to the nearest percentage point. Specific formatting applies to alcohol labelling, see export market guide for more information
Korea 0.5  
Malaysia Not Specified – contact importer/agent in market  
Mexico Not Specified – contact importer/agent in market  
Myanmar 1.5  
New Zealand 1.5 Table wine
  0.5 Fortified wine
Nigeria 1.5  
Norway 0.8  
Papua New Guinea 1.5  
Philippines Not Specified – contact importer/agent in market  
Qatar 1.5  
Russia 1.0 For wine, sparkling wine, semi-sparkling wine and carbonated wine
  0.5 For aromatised wine, special wine & special fruit wine
Singapore 1.5  
South Africa 1.0  
Sri Lanka 1.5  
Switzerland 0.5  
Taiwan 1.0 Alcohol products other than distilled spirits including wine
  0.5 Distilled spirits
Thailand Not Specified – contact importer/agent in market  
Turkey 0.8 For table wines aged 3+ years claiming a vintage
  0.5 For all beverages with an alcohol content of > 1%, see export market guide for specific formatting
UAE 1.5  
United Kingdom 0.8  
USA 1.5 For wines below 14% alcohol by volume
  1.0 For wines above 14% alcohol by volume
Vietnam Not Specified – contact importer/agent in market  

 


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