Recently, a guy named Kevin Hicks decided to launch BeverageGrades, a laboratory that analyzes wine. After testing over 1,300 bottles of wine, Hicks discovered that nearly a fourth of the wines tested had higher arsenic levels than the EPA’s limit for drinking water: 10 parts per billion. To put this in perspective, rice grown in the US usually has about 260 parts per billion. And of course, if you’re drinking wine in the same volume that you’re drinking water, then honey, what you need to be worried about is alcohol poisoning, but we digress.
Most of the wines listed as containing dangerous levels of arsenic, date back to 2010, 2011, and 2012. They also happen to be cheaper wines. Here’s a full list. Some of the more popular brands being sued include Franzia, Ménage à Trois, Sutter Home, Wine Cube, Charles Shaw, Glen Ellen, Cupcake, Beringer and Vendage.
The Wine Group recently told CBS, “It would not be accurate or responsible to use the water standard as the baseline,” because people drink a lot more water, and more often, than wine. The Wine Group also points out that the highest level of arsenic cited in the lawsuit, are “only half of Canada’s standard for wine, of 100 parts per billion.” Again, just to give you perspective, rice is usually 260 parts per billion, and you’d probably die from alcohol poisoning before you died of the arsenic in these wines.
Snopes reports: CBS This Morning cast additional doubt on the urgency of the “arsenic in wine” scare by testing four of the wines named in the lawsuit. In those tests, the levels of arsenic in wine found did not match those reported in BeverageGrades’ testing. CBS News also spot-checked and tested four wines listed in the lawsuit. They were not the same vintages, but the arsenic levels were all considerably lower than BeverageGrades’ results. One of them, The Wine Group’s Flip Flop Pinot Grigio, came in within the acceptable federal arsenic levels for water.
The Wine Institute has also responded to the lawsuit: “… we believe this allegation is false and misleading and that all wines being sold in the U.S marketplace are safe. Arsenic is prevalent in the natural environment in air, soil and water, and in food. As an agricultural product, wines from throughout the world contain trace amounts of arsenic as do juices, vegetables, grains and other alcohol beverages. There is no research that shows that the amounts found in wine pose a health risk to consumers.”
They also point out that the US Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) monitors and tests all wines for compounds, including arsenic, on a regular basis. Several countries that have arsenic limits of 100 parts per billion for wine, have found that the wine which California exports to their countries is below the legal limit.
“We are concerned that the irresponsible publicity campaign by the litigating party could scare the public into thinking that wine is not safe to consume, which is patently untrue,” says The Wine Institute. “We will continue to keep consumers, the media, and industry informed.”
It’s downright disturbing that so many respectable news organizations are perpetuating and dramatizing this misleading story at the expense of upstanding American families, businesses, and farmers. These brand’s reputations could be seriously damaged by all this hoopla, and the lawsuit is most likely hot air.
Whatever you believe, whoever you believe, (and while we do love our awesome California wines, and will continue to purchase them) we highly recommend you patronize local Texan-owned businesses. Texas is just THE BEST y’all. Texan wines include the elegant …
- Messina Hof
- Brennan Vineyards
- Duchman Winery
- Fall Creek Vineyards
- Landon Winery
- McPherson Cellars
- Pedernales Cellars
- Perissos Vineyards
- Spicewood Vineyards
- William Chris Vineyards
- Alamosa Wine Cellars
- Driftwood Estate Winery
- Flat Creek Estates
- Hye Meadow Winery
- Pilot Knob Vineyard
- William Chris Wines
And that’s a partial list y’all! You didn’t know there were so many Texas original wines, now did ya?