SPELLING BEE - Cinsaut or Cinsault March 1, 2018 09:52

Spell "Sahn-so"

I am confounded as to why I am seeing more spelling with an "L" as in Cinsault on wine labels. Nothing totally wrong with that because it is the spelling in some counties. I even occasionaly slip the "L" in there myself. Except when it comes to American wine labels we are told to skip the "L".  Regulations in the USA stipulate that the spelling be without the "L" as Cinsaut.

This I learned 27 years ago.  Below you see the label for my first cinsaut bottling. It was sent to Washington DC for approval (all wine labels require a federal label approval) and was rejected because of the spelling Cinsault. I had already printed the labels and luckily received a one-time use dispensation, but I was told to never use this spelling again. I have not. The regulation sited is that a wine varietal label using this grape name must be spelled cinsaut.

On every label since I comply and use "cinsaut" based on that regulation. Every wine, before it can be sold in this country, must receive a certification of label approval. I prefer getting my labels approved, not rejected.

There is a comprehensive list of all approved grape variety spellings. The list below shows the section of that list that includes cinsaut.  The logic is that spellings need to be consistent in order to standardize a name so that consumers know what they are getting. When you have too many synonyms it will be confusing in the marketplace. Here are just a few of the synonyms: Cinsaut, Black Malvoisie, Cinsault, Chainette, Cincout, Cinq Sao, Ottavianello, Picardan noir, Cinquien, Cinsanet, Sinsó, Black Prince..

The List


27 years ago I spelled "sahn-so' cinsault,
but quickly changed to cinsaut.
This is my label today. Click it to read more and buy.