Fine Wines Made in China ... Or Maybe Not!

Adriana Velez

vino chinoPoor China, burned once again by another tainted food scandal. This time it's the wine. Chinese authorities have closed 30 wineries after discovering the wine was adulterated with sugar water and artificial flavorings and colorings.

Wait... China produces wine?

And why, in the name of Bacchus, would you add sugar water to wine?

My head is spinning.

First, yes, grape cultivation and grape wine-making go back 5,000 years in China. Rice wine has been much more dominant through the centuries, but globalization and an economic boom have raised the demand for European-style grape wine in China. Chengyu Pioneer Wine may be the 10th largest winery in the world. You can even go on a wine tour through China.

So there's China, getting all global, competing with the west in one of the highest art forms, and then BAM, some jerks have to go and wreck it for everyone.

Some of the "contaminated wine" doesn't even contain wine. It's nothing but sugar water and chemicals with another winery's label slapped on the bottle. So now no one in China can trust domestic brands. Unlike other Chinese contamination scandals no one is getting sick from this one. But it's a big blow to the Chinese wine industry.

Way to go, assholes! Carrying on the tradition of contaminated Chinese foods run amok. It's not like the U.S. doesn't have plenty of its own tainted food scandals, so we can't act too smug here. But the grandeur of scale and brazenness of Chinese contamination is almost ... impressive.

Have you ever had wine from China?


Image via edans/Flickr

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