by Andrew Chalk, Crave DFW
Some weeks ago I wrote about a wine carrying the familiar “Go Texan” mark of the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) that was made mainly (85%, as it happened) of non-Texas grapes. In the course of researching that story, I asked the TDA the minimum proportion of Texas grapes required in a wine carrying the Go Texan mark. They did not know the exact rule so I submitted a Freedom of Information Request for this information. Recently, they came back to me with the definitive answer: the minimum proportion of Texas grapes in a Go Texan wine is…Zero percent. In other words, you can put Go Texan on wine with grapes from anywhere.
This is not what I expected on the day that I first saw a wine with the Go Texan mark. Nor is it what the vast majority of consumers think Go Texan means based on the ones I have asked the question to (which is pretty much everyone that I have met over the last few weeks). The most common answer I got was that Go Texan meant 100% grapes. Seventy-five percent was another popular answer. Both numbers have a reasonable basis. One hundred percent is what common sense tells us. Seventy five percent is an existing federal standard for denominating a wine’s origin. The only people who answered zero percent were people who knew my predilection for asking trick questions.
The important thing to come out of this is that Go Texan (when applied to wine) is totally at odds with consumer expectations. I think the current rule is downright misleading. As I wrote, my instinctive reaction was to petition the TDA to simply make the Go Texan mark inapplicable to wine. Doing so would remove something that appears to help consumers make informed buying decisions by providing them with information but in actual fact misleads them. Continue to full article here.