Ask Sid: Arsenic in cheap wine?

March 25th, 2015
Ask your question here The International Wine & Food Society

Should I be worried about arsenic in wine?
Question: I just read a news article about cheap California wines containing arsenic levels that are 500% above what’s considered safe.  Should I be worried about buying a bottle that’s less than $10?  Please let me know what you think?

Answer: Yes I was intrigued by this article and video too that can be viewed here referring to the complaint filed against 26 California wineries in LA Superior Court seeking class-action status because of alleged high levels of arsenic in 83 of the 1306 bottles of wine tested. The report indicates that “nearly all the wines sell for between $5-$10 …and if you’re spending $20 on a bottle of wine you’re not going to have concerns most likely.” However despite the odds I still feel there are concerns at any price level about what is actually in that bottle of wine and therefore I support some form of simple ingredient labeling to be adopted by the wine industry itself to help the wine consumer decide. Read a good detailed article on this subject by John Tilson titled “Caution! What’s In Your Wine?”. They support the innovations in ingredient labeling by Ridge Vineyards & Bonny Doon Vineyards. Caveat emptor “let the buyer beware” still applies.

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March 25th, 2015

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