SWEETENING OF NATURAL FRUIT WINE
Proprietors of bonded wine cellars
and others concerned:
Purpose. This circular is issued to inform you of a revenue ruling
regarding the sweetening of natural fruit wine, which will be published in an early issue of the Internal Revenue Bulletin.
Substance of Ruling. Section 5384(a) of the Internal Revenue Code
provides that to natural wine made from berries or fruit other than
grapes, pure dry sugar or liquid sugar may be added to the juice in
the fermenters, or to the wine after fermentation; but only if such
wine has less than 14 percent alcohol by volume after complete
fermentation, or after complete fermentation and sweetening, and a
total solids content not in excess of 21 percent by weight.
The provisions of 26 CFR 240.406 implement section 5384(a) of the
Code with respect to the production of a natural fruit wine, other
than grape wine, with the use of pure dry sugar or liquid sugar.
26 CFR 240.406 provides, in part, that after complete fermentation
of the wine, wine spirits may be added thereto in accordance with
the provisions of regulations. It was not the intent of the
regulations to preclude the final sweetening of wine after wine
spirits have been added.
Accordingly, the ruling holds that the final sweetening of natural
fruit wines produced under the provisions of 26 CFR 240.406 may be
deferred until after wine spirits have been added. However, the
quantity of pure dry sugar or liquid sugar that may be used for
such sweetening must be based on the total solids content and
volume of the wine before the addition of the wine spirits.
Inquiries. Inquiries regarding this industry circular should refer
to its number and be addressed to the office of your Assistant
Regional Commissioner, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax.
Ralph H. Alkire
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division