USE OF COLORING MATERIALS IN THE
PRODUCTION OF VERMOUTHS,
APERITIF WINES, AND OTHER SPECIAL NATURAL WINES
Proprietors of bonded wine cellars
and others concerned:
Purpose. This circular is issued to inform you that Revenue Ruling 63-71,
published in Internal Revenue Bulletin No. 1963-16, April 22, 1963, prohibits the
use of any coloring material other than caramel in the production of vermouths,
aperitif wines, and other special natural wines on bonded wine cellar premises.
Background. Alkanet root and root extract, annatto extract and seed, carmine,
cochineal, cudbear and cudbear extract, logwood chips extract, and American
saffron (carthamus tinctorius L.) have been reclassified as color additives by the
Food and Drug Administration of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
Section 240.440 of the Wine regulations, implementing section 5386(a) of the
Internal Revenue Code, provides in part that caramel may be added for coloring.
Revenue Ruling 63-71 holds that since section 5386(a) of the Code and the
regulations thereunder do not authorize the addition of any coloring material,
other than caramel, in the production of special natural wines, winemakers may not
use the coloring materials specified above, or any coloring material other than
caramel, in producing vermouths, aperitif wines, or other special natural wines.
Formulas. Revenue Ruling 63-71 also provides that where present formulas specify
the use of any of the specified coloring materials, or any coloring material except
caramel, a new Form 698-Supplemental, Formula and Process for Wine, must be filed deleting such coloring materials. Alternatively, riders may be filed amending the
formulas to delete the use of these ingredients. The riders should be filed in
triplicate with the Director, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division, showing (1) the
name and registry number of the bonded wine cellar premises, (2) the original
formula number, (3) the date of approval of the original formula, (4) the name of
the product involved, and (5) the substance which is being eliminated.
Inquiries. Inquiries in regard to this industry circular should refer to its
number and be addressed to the office of your assistant regional commissioner
(alcohol and tobacco tax).
Dwight E. Avis
Director, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division