April 04, 2008

Uh, Oh. This Could Explain A Lot

Italian Wine Under Investigation for Adulteration

Italian authorities are investigating incidents of adulterated wine, prompting the government on Friday to play down fears of another health scare like the one that hit mozzarella cheese last week. A news magazine revealed that police were investigating the cheap end of the market for adding harmful chemicals into wine.

In a separate investigation at the luxury end, 600,000 bottles of vintage Brunello di Montalcino have been seized by investigators who suspect winemakers used grapes other than Sangiovese, the only ingredient allowed in the Tuscan wine, a favourite of U.S. connoisseurs, L'Espresso magazine reported.

Police in the far north and south of Italy found evidence that cheap wine was being cut with sugar and sulphuric and hydrochloric acid, L'Espresso said.

It quoted investigators as saying 70 million litres of the adulterated wine may have been put on the market, with price tags of between 70 cents and 1 euro ($1-3) a bottle. In some cases only one fifth of the ingredients in the tainted 'wine' would have been grapes, L'Espresso said.

The everyday plonk at Orgle Manor is, in fact, usually a cheap Italian red of some sort, and while it's often under the Bolla or Citra monikers (although since I got my last raise, not the Citra so much), I also like to range up and down the Italian aisle at Total Bev and sample a variety of other labels from Tuscany, Piedmont and, when I'm feeling especially adventerous, Apulia. One of my favorites is a Taurino Salice Salentino, which I would heartily recommend to go with any really hearty Italian cooking.

Posted by Robert at April 4, 2008 12:57 PM | TrackBack

Me, I'll try the occasional Chianti Classico, but usually only the high end. For plonk, I'll go with a cheap Rhone if I venture out of the U.S. or Australia at all.

God only know what the frogs put it that stuff, though, to make it go farther -- bits of shredded Templar and Cathar and waste water from the omnipresent nuke plants, most likely.

Posted by: The Abbot at April 4, 2008 03:00 PM

A clerk at Total Bev down here suggested Gumdale Zinfandel and their cab-zin blend. It has become my new favorite. It is wonderful and on the cheap side (under $10!)

Posted by: Mrs. LMC at April 4, 2008 03:48 PM

Incidentally, the US just recently passed Italy in wine consumption, and wine passed beer in the US.

Posted by: Boy Named Sous at April 4, 2008 07:04 PM