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New label detects temperature change during shipping

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

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