Monday, September 15, 2008

The Great Wine Swindle

Forget Facebook's redesign, here is an issue you should be really concerned about: According to Malcolm Gluck, wine producers use "a host of additives" to disguise the flavour or inferior grapes without listing them on the labels. The list includes sugar, hydrochloric acid, yeasts and ascorbic acid (sometimes they use harmful substances to raise alcohol content and traces of fertilisers have been found in some champagnes). I am not surprised here but what bothers me is that the Wine and Spirits Trade Association is exempt from labelling rules. Their spokesperson says that "it is possible for drinkers to find out what is in their wine by talking to the maker or importer". So the next time you are in Waitrose, make sure you brush up on your French or Italian to call the maker or importer of every bottle you are considering buying, should you find their phone number. Operators are on standby to confess that they top up their wine with ethanol... This is laughable in a pathetic way.

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