TABLE WINE is an often-used phrase with the potential to confuse those who might understandably assume it has a single definition or meaning. Comprehending the specific meaning of this reference, however, essentially depends upon the cultural and contextual usage.
In the general culture of wine consumers, table wine means wines with alcohol from natural fermentation, in the range between 9% and 15%, and primarily served as an accompaniment to food. These are distinguished from fortified wines that have distilled alcohol added to bring them to a level of 16% alcohol or above.
Legally, in the United States, table wine means wine with a naturally-fermented (not fortified or added) alcohol content of between 10% and 14%. The phrases "light wine" and "natural wine" are also interchangeable here. Wine classified as table wine is taxed in the United States at a rate of US$1.07 per gallon. From 14% to 21% alcohol, the tax rate becomes US$1.57 per gallon.
This page was created January 29, 2001; last updated on March 6, 2012
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