This might seem like a slightly odd title for an article. But then again, if you were out shopping on Regent Street, then yes it would all be in the label, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Reiss. Even in food, you know exactly how much sugar, calories and even E-numbers is in your purchase.
But what about wine? On the back of the bottle there is no calorie count, list of ingredients or a total number of sulphites in the bottle. So, what should you know and what should you look for?
Well with sulphites there are a few numbers that you should be aware of:
0mgs – This is something which is impossible to achieve. Sulphites are a naturally occurring substance that grows within living things. Sadly, more delicate edible things, like fruit, generate a slightly higher level than others
10mg – any bottle of wine which has an only naturally occurring level of sulphites that is 10mgs or less, is allowed to state that the bottle does not contain sulphites
20mgs – This is the internationally accepted figure that if you have the most severe of allergies to sulphites that you will begin to feel the effect of your allergy
45mgs – This is the internationally accepted figure that if you have a medium level intolerance to sulphites that you will begin to feel the effects in your body
100mgs – This is the maximum level of sulphites that can be present in a bottle of organic wine This figure can be either naturally occurring, sulphites added or the maximum level with both combined
(Both figures of 20mgs and 45mgs are accepted averages from testing done across the world and are used as guidelines only. These figures can vary from person to person. If you think you have an allergy then you should consult your doctor)
So now that we have the figures, let’s look at how this can fit into what we stock here. Let’s take a look at a confusing example, the Morini Ilatium Soave. On the front of this bottle it says that this wine does not contain sulphites. But on the back, it says this wine contains sulphites. So, what do you even begin to believe?
Well this is actually a pretty common problem. Generally, this wine has a content of 9mgs per bottle. This is based on multiple analysis done throughout the year. However, what can happen potentially on 1 or 2 occasions is that the sulphite level is recorded at 11mgs per bottle. So, due to this random reading you then need to put this on the bottle because it is more than 10! Due to legislation, you are not allowed to take an average, due to the reading there will be bottles in circulation that will have 11mgs per bottle. Therefore, the label must state these 2 conflicting statements.