So, in my last post, I wrote about some "Texas" wines. Only the wines I wrote about weren't all from "Texas," necessarily. Thanks to Russ Kane at VintageTexas I found out that the subtle phrase "for sale in Texas only" on so-called Texas wine labels is essentially code for "the grapes and/or wine used are in part or completely from out of state." It allows the label to not have to list an appellation, hiding the real source of the wine.
I remember seeing that phrase on several bottles in various wine shops and sections at grocery stores on my Texas visit. I know that the Becker "Iconoclast" wine I wrote about had that phrase on the label. I'm not sure about the others, but I know I saw that phrase enough during my visit to wonder about it. Honestly, I assumed it was a taxation issue, so that you might pay less tax if you only sold in state.
Why assume that? Because there's an AVA for multi-state wine. It's call "American." You saw it on 1996 Washington wines when severe winter weather led to an extremely short crop that meant several wineries bought California and other wine to fill out bottlings. I've seen it elsewhere, without shame. Apparently, in Texas, the truth doesn't set you free. Perhaps other states have this sneaky kind of thing to obfuscate on the true source of the wine. I don't want to single out Texas unnecessarily. But I'm let down and frankly kind of pissed to learn all this. I'm a wine professional and that phrase wasn't even clear to me. How can that be ethical? Good going Texas.