brain.gifWe’ve all heard that drinking wine in moderation has proven health benefits. In fact a recent study has shown that drinking red wine in moderation actually improves memory function – if only Gothamist could remember the moderation part. So it came as no surprise when we learned that American wine producers want to note on their labels the levels of resveratrol and other polyphenols, which are attributed to reducing cholesterol, fighting cancer and even increasing longevity.

Wine Spectator recently covered a story about the first winery that has obtained federal permission to list the resveratrol content on two of its wines. Willamette Valley Vineyards will feature new labels on its 2002 and 2003 Pinot Noirs noting the micromoles of reservatrol per liter. Their first requests to add this information to the labels were rejected by the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Bureau (TTB) – but a Bill passed in Oregon allows Oregon wines sold in Oregon to have the antioxidants listed.

There is much battle over whether to allow this information on the labels. Will it encourage binge drinking of red wine (like we need a reason)? Will it give Americans a sense of false security (no, a bottle of red wine will not cancel out a pack of cigarettes)? Or will Americans know or even care about reservatrol and any other antioxidants in their wine?

Gothamist loves to hear that wine has health benefits but that’s not the reason we choose to drink it. We drink wine because we love it – we love the smells, the texture, the color and taste. If we are trying to be healthy we’ll have a side salad with our Hickory Burger from Houston's. But maybe that’s just us, would listing the antioxidant levels on a wine label make it more appealing to you? More information on a wine label is certainly helpful – but is this another example of marketers talking to themselves?

Go ahead, add it to the label - but remember, it’s what’s in the bottle that counts.