Top 8 Worst Wine Additives
Wine makers can draw from hundreds of items to tweak a wine to exactly what they want, in a “mad-scientist” kinda way, legally and without disclosing to you what they added.
We are going to talk about the biggest additive offenders that are commonly used in mass produced wine.
- Mega-Purple – This additives is used to “correct” the color of the wine. This is legally allowed to be added, and the winery doesn’t have to disclose that to you. Why is it so terrible? It covers up the true taste and quality of a wine that makes up that wine. I like my wine to look the natural way it was meant to look. Don’t add mega-purple just because it doesn’t look the way you bulk mad-scientists want it to be made.
- Ferrocyanide – This is added to wine to remove iron that could be in wine either from an imbalance in the soil where the grapes were grown or from using poor quality containers for the grape and wine storage. So not only do wine makers have to add the ferrocyanide, they then have to add an additional chemical that will remove the ferrocyanide. If it isn’t removed in under 10 days, it literally breaks down and turns into cyanide. CYANIDE. Do you know the dangers of ingesting cyanide?
- Isinglass – This is fish bladder. Truly. It’s dried fish bladder. It can legally be added to wines and is used to clarify wine. Who even thinks of adding a fish bladder to wine?
- Casein (milk protein), eggs, gelatin – These are both used as a clarifying agent to remove sentiment and suspend solids. Most people have no idea that animal bi-products are added to their wine. These bizarre ingredients are frequently chosen due to how cheaply they can clarify a wine. Quality vintners will typically use higher quality and natural finning agents, such as clay or carbon.
- Ammonia – Ammonia is added to wine to give more life to yeasts that aren’t completing the fermentation process. Since ammonia is commonly used for sanitizing and cleaning, I would just rather not. Go google the dangers of ammonia consumption and come back to me and let me know if you are still comfortable with small dosing of ammonia day after day.
- Copper Sulfate & Copper Citrate – Copper Sulfate is categorized as a POISON. This poison is added to wine to remove the free sulfur. Free sulfur is what gives off the rotten egg smell. Unfortunately residual copper can have very negative consequences on our health. It can also remove a portion of the aroma, including thiols, which mutes and alters the true aroma of the wine.
- Sugar & Syrups – These are added to adjust the flavor and make it appeal to more people. It is also added to increase the alcohol content. Adding sugar is starting to be banned in some states. To get around that, wine makers are adding sugar rich grape concentrate to give the same results.
- Saw Dust – Vintners add saw dust with the intention of giving the wine the tannin flavor and texture without doing the work of aging in barrels. To get that woodsy tannin texture, it would normally be done by aging the wine in wood barrels. Instead, to speed up the process and make more money, some vintners will add sawdust.
People should be allowed a choice in what they are putting into their bodies. Also, if you are working to lean a cleaner and healthier life, which I feel most of us are, why would we want to subject our bodies to such those additives?
Mass wine producers modify their wine similar to the way all mass produced processed foods do. In a lab with lots of chemical additives all around. Where a wine is grown, how it is grown, how much sun, rain, wind etc all gives to the “terroir” of a wine. Good wine makers and good vintners agree that additives should be used sparingly and the wine should be relying on the terroir of a wine, not what they can add to a wine.
Why does any of this matter?
Some side effects to wine additives are:
- Brain Fog
- Poor Sleep
- Stuffy Nose
You need to research and do some digging to ensure that you are finding a wine that won’t leave you feeling like crap for days. Just because some of us don’t have short term side effects, do you think consistently putting something like ammonia or ferrocyanide won’t make a difference on your health?
Because it definitely will.
I found this book extremely interesting with finding insights to the good and bad with wine and additives.
But there is hope
They key to avoiding all of this drama and added crap is to do what you should do with everything in your life
– – – – you research and find a company you can trust!!!
I did my research, and it led me to the coolest and most unique company.
It’s a company that works with farmers from all over the world that take pride in using organic and/or bio-dynamic farming methods.
There is one company that is changing the wine game!
I found a company that promises wine that is 100% free of chemical additives, completely organic grapes and no added sugars or sweeteners.
This company even has all of the wine independently tested to ensure that it meets their standards!
Choosing a better wine has given me more power over what I bring into my home and what I put into my body
If you aren’t sure what wine would be right for you, check out my wine profile quiz here!!!
Are you ready to finally try it? Email me at Jennifer@JenniferSleider.com
Or click here to schedule a time to chat with me!
This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, if you purchase something, you are supporting a small business and I can continue to feed my family 🙂
I never understood the meaning of vegan wine until I read your post. I almost laughed at it to be honest. I’m not laughing anymore. Do you know if there has been any studies on what these crappy/dangerous wines and chemicals will do to our bodies and brains after an extended period of time? Are the Scout & Cellar wines available outside the US?
I am so glad that you found this educational! I used to think vegan wine was some kind of a joke too! There are quite a few studies out there about what these additives can do, but not enough that are long term and that link it from being added to wine. You can google Dangers of ___ and add in one of the additives, like “Dangers of Copper Sulfate” to see just how dangerous these are!
Unfortunately, with how extensive alcohol laws are, Scout & Cellar does not ship outside of the United States yet.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about wine additives with me!
I don’t have much knowledge of wine. To me, wine is “nice,” “sweet,” or “sour,” and I distinguish them by color. Since I love to study and my knowledge of wines is noble, I really like your posts and the way you write. Today I have learned a lot about new things, and from now on, I will be more careful about wine selection. Also, I can’t wait to try Scout & Cellar wines.
I appreciate you taking the time to read about it!
We live in wine country in California and I have friends that have small speciality wineries. We have talk a bit about things that they could add but don’t. I had not idea about some of this. My wife and I made about 2 gallons of wine two years ago from our own grapes. I am a bit afraid to drink it and am working on a way to have it tested. Thanks for your article. I think from now on, when I go wine tasting I will ask about this.
Wine Country! I hope to get there next spring! The smaller wineries don’t typically have as many issues. The worst offenders are the big mass produced wines. I am glad that this was informative to you!
wow. I had no clue that wine had so many additives. nothing is safe anymore! I will forward this to a friend who used to drink half a bottle every night but had to stop after having some disorder of the pancreas. Maybe it’s the additives that caused it. Or maybe the additives plus drinking half a bottle every night is probably too much. His blood sugar is also off the charts. Thanks for sharing!
It is truly scary that we just don’t know! Additives are what get most people! People like to blame the sulfites, but there are more sulfites in frozen french fries and dried fruit than there is in a bottle of wine! The sugar is a killer to a lot of people and they don’t know. A wine maker can easily add more acidity if it tastes too sweet to cover it up. I hope your friend finds it enlightening!
Well, I guess it’s true. You do learn something new everyday. I did not realize that most wines have all those additives. I drink it about once a week.This is very interesting to know. I saw that you recommend 1 brand of clear crafted wine, but are there anymore that you could recommend? Thanks for the interesting post!
Unfortunately I don’t know enough of the quality of other companies out there. I found one that I like that delivers clean crafted wine to my door so I am sticking with them!
Alcohol is a very harmful thing to the body. Alcohol causes the kidney liver and lungs to become damaged. Side effects of drinking wine such as headache, brain fog, bad sleep, etc. Bad wine additives are very harmful to the body due to the use of various chemicals such as ammonia copper sulfate and copper oxide sugar and syrups. Thank you so much for warning us by writing this article. I will share your article with my friends so that my friends can be careful about reading your article.