Spoilage in wine shipping, which haunts consumers, distributors and merchants, has become easily detectable.
California’s wine industry has begun using a temperature-sensitive label that for about two years had been confined to the food industry.
The small label, programmed to reflect a band of temperatures, goes on bottles and packages. If a shipment stays within desired parameters, a light flashes green. If temperatures get too high or low, it flashes yellow.
Downloaded into a computer via a manual reader, data show what temperatures occurred and when, thus fixing responsibility for cooked wine.
In Napa, WTN Services, which both distributes wine and sells it directly to consumers under a program called Ambrosia, pronounces itself happy with the labels, which are made by an Idaho company called PakSense.
Customers pay $20 a box for the labeling, a relatively small insurance premium for expensive wine.
In Sonoma, the Schug Carneros Estate Winery began placing PakSense labels on shipments early this year.
Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York