Fish and wine together may be divine, but what about fish IN your wine? Fish bladders, to be exact, and a host of other crazy "ingredients" are apparently swimming around in our vino, and here I thought it was just some stomped-upon grapes in my glass. Alas.
Sad (and seemingly gross), but true. In Canada, they're taking these extra additives seriously enough to add warning labels to wine bottles that the product may contain milk, fish, or eggs. Talk about a buzz kill!
In addition to fish bladder extract (isinglass), there is a host of other ingredients approved for use in the wine-making process. Some may end up in your glass, while others may not, but still it's a lot more than stomped-upon grapes going on.
Oh I knew there were sulfites, but in Europe -- where much of wine comes from -- the EU has approved a long list of crazy-sounding substances for the wine-making process including things like: clay, acid, artificial yeasts, enzymes, sugar, gelatin, charcoal, eggs, and a milk protein called casein. Currently, the EU doesn't make wine makers list them on the label, but that may change soon there too.
"Public consultation indicates alcoholic drinks should not be treated any differently from other foods and should have a list of ingredients," as spokesman for the EU told The Telegraph.
I'm a veracious vinophile, and this has me more than a little turned off. While I know too much alcohol of any kind isn't good for you, I at least always considered wine mostly a "whole food" that didn't have a bunch of artificial ingredients and the like. Now I'm thrown. It's information that I don't want to know, but know I should -- kind of like the whole Taco Bell beef isn't beef fiasco. It's especially important for people with allergies and those with strong food beliefs (like vegans) to have this information, even if any threat is "purely anecdotal."
So way to go Canada for getting the information out there, I guess. Perhaps some will be too grossed out to indulge or more picky in their purchases based on this new information, but not me. I'm going to choose to see the glass half full. Since I don't care for fish and I know it's a healthy part of one's diet, I'm going to chalk up any of the bits that make it into my glass to an extra nutritional benefit -- more protein. As for the rest of the ingredients, well, they're better than beer as far as I'm concerned. Cheers!
Will knowing about these fishy ingredients in your wine change your drinking habits?
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