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If you care what you put in your body, then it is worth while looking into how the wine you consume is made. Did you know that by law in the US, wine producers can legally, and without disclosure, use 76 different FDA-approved additives on the bottle. Almost all wines contain additives, but not all of them should be a cause for concern. The wine additive, called isinglass, is a form of collagen made from fish bladders. This has been an integral part of traditional French winemaking for centuries and isn't necessarily something to be concerned about—unless you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Besides some chemicals, other additives can find their way into a bottle of wine for the manufacturer to keep a standard mouthfeel, color, and flavor profile. Food coloring, commercial yeast, sugar, and acidifiers are some of those extra ingredients that help give consumers exactly what they are expecting from a specific brand. Some of those names include gum arabic, activated carbon, ammonium phosphate, alumino-silicates, ascorbic acid, citric acid, copper sulfate, polyoxythylene 40, dimethyl dicarbonate, carbohydrase, oak chips, tannin and, mega purple.

The most worrying chemical in wine is, in my opinion, the herbicides and pesticides, such as Roundup. It is important to note, that even though drinking Roundup-laced wine sounds terrifying, the verdict is still out on just how much glyphosate—the potentially carcinogenic ingredient in Roundup—could impact our health if it's in our glass of vino, but studies have shown significant impact on the nervous system, see here: Glyphosate and its effects on the nervous system


What should you look out for when buying wine?

Organic wine:

Although it varies from country to country, typically an organic wine is regulated and needs to be certified by a third-party company and must meet rigorous standards such as no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and no added sulfites. Please note that there is an exception in Europe and Canada, where organic wine standards allow small amounts of added sulfites if the total quantity doesn't exceed 100 parts per million (ppm) for reds and 150 ppm for whites.

To compare, conventional wine standards in these countries allow sulfite levels up to 150 ppm for red wine and 200 ppm for white.

Adverse reactions to sulfites


Biodynamic wine:

must adhere to all the organic criteria and more. Biodynamics is the practice of viewing the vineyard as an ecological entity regarded from the soil up.

Natural Wine:

Is not regulated. Natural winemaking is technically the first and oldest method of growing wine. It is made entirely without chemical intervention and with the bare minimum of technological manipulation. However, it's crucial to note that "nonchemical intervention" doesn't mean an absence of intervention entirely. Winegrowing and winemaking across all categories is precise, painstaking labor, and it's extraordinarily so in natural wine. Soil fertility and diversity in the vineyard's ecosystem are vital, meaning problems among the vines, like an invasion of leaf-munching Japanese beetles, require rethinking symbioses within the entire operation rather than locating a tank of pesticide spray.

Conventional wine:


Does not need to list of additives on the bottles label, except sulfites, cochineal extract/ carmine and FD&C No. 5

Food coloring and its effect on health


In my opinion it is best not to drink at all but if you do on occasions, buy organic if you can and if not, drink a glass of water with every glass of wine.


Follow @bhealthyeathwole for holistic wellness and plant-based recipes!


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