The Hidden Ingredients in Your Wine

Is your glass giving you more than just a buzz and a hangover?

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

While sipping a class of wine at dinner, you could unknowingly be putting more than just fermented grapes into your body. Are you taking in something dangerous with every swallow? Earlier this week, The New York Times published Eric Asimov’s article refuting the idea that wine matches up to its long associated “natural” and “pastoral" connotations.

There is a good chance that the bottle of wine you received as a gift, is a “manufactured product,” and laden with sulfites, caramel, enzymes, egg whites, and other chemicals and compounds not found on the eye-catching label. The addition of sulfites may serve to precent bacterial growth, it has also been the cause of respiratory problems, as well as 12 known deaths. Caramel, seemingly non-destructive, is linked to gastro-intestinal problems.

Although these chemicals might not be the healthiest or most natural for your body, a large percentage of wine drinkers probably won’t change their normal drinking habits or go-to bottle of wine. The cost of an alternative, a biodynamic or organic wine, could deter those who are not as health-conscious.

However, as Asimov discussed, without knowledge of ingredients in the beverage, those who have specific diets, should be cautious. The website for Franzia, an affordable drink option, provides no guarantee that their potential Vegan or Kosher consumers are safe, stating that “to the best of our knowledge none of these (animal) products remain in the wine after processing.”

If you are intent on knowing what you’re putting into your body as you pour another glass, look to products made by Bonny Doon Vineyard, Ridge Vineyards, or Shinn Estate Vineyards, all of whom have publicly declared the ingredients found in their wine.

Related Links
How to Read a Wine LabelAre There Pesticides in Your Wine?