Wine additives should be labeled


About 25% of Americans drink wine on a regular basis. But you may be surprised to find out what's in some wine.

"The perception is that you're drinking fermented grape juice the reality is that's not exactly true," said Christopher Null.

Null studied the contents of modestly priced wines and found a lot more than just grapes.

"When you drink a glass of wine, especially a relatively inexpensive glass of wine, you're drinking a huge range of compounds and chemicals that you have no idea are present in the wine," said Null.

There can be more than 200 potential additives in wine, including: sulfites for preservation, mega purple for coloring, gelatin for texture and a chemical called velcorin which kills any living organisms in the wine.

The amounts used in a bottle of wine are legal and safe for consumption like all the other additives.

Industry experts said inconsistent grape harvests force wine makers to use additives to make sure each bottle of wine tastes the same.

Wine expert Clara Orban said wine has additives just like any other processed food item.

"I don't think additives in wine are something to worry about right now, we have very good and very strict food regulations in the United States right now," said Orban.

If people don't want anything in their wine and just want pure natural wine, Binny's Director of Wine Sales, Doug Jeffirs suggests, "organic producers, those that have sustainable agriculture that are giving back to the land,"

Those wines are labeled organic or natural and contain few or no additives. For Null it comes down to an issue of disclosure.

"I want to know what I'm eating and I want to know what I'm drinking too, labels should be required on wine just the way they are with any food," said Null.

Current regulations only require wine makers to disclose if sulfates, a preservative, are present.

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