The question wine enthusiasts, including the Ideal Wine Company, are asking this week is: Can the EU get rid of sulphites in wine?
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Working in the wine business, you quickly learn the dangers that sulphites pose to the average drinker, which is why we’re following the EU’s latest attempt to rid wine of its endemic problem once and for all with great interest.
What’s The Deal with Sulphites?
So why are they doing it; what’s the big deal with sulphites? Sulphites are often added to remove unwanted bacteria in wine and ensure that producers can stop fermentation of the grapes at the desired time.
You wouldn’t think this would be a big deal, but there are a lot of people who are genuinely allergic to sulphites; more to the point, there are many more who think they are. That is why the US has required wine producers to note ‘sulphites added’ on labels since 1987; the EU followed suit in 2005.
‘Giving Unwanted Wine Microorganisms a Fatal Case of the Bends’
This week Wine Searcher reported that the EU has decided to endorse an experiment that seeks to replace added sulphites for wine, by, and I’ll quote it word-for-word here, ‘giving unwanted wine microorganisms a fatal case of the bends.’
Specifically, the experiment, which has just finished its first stages in Germany, involves the use of high pressure to burst the cells of the unwanted bacteria, or the unwanted yeast that often lives inside of wine. The technique was first developed to deal with similar problems in fruit juice, and is known as ‘cold pasteurisation.’
Giving More People the Chance to Try Luxury Vintages
This could be revolutionary for wine. Yes, the experiment is in its early stages; there really is a long way to go. However, if they can pull it off, it could really improve the drinking experience for the average wine enthusiast, and bring more people to the table.
At the Ideal Wine Company, we think that giving more people the chance to try luxury vintages such as those to be found on the Ideal Wine Company product list, can only be a good thing, and we look forward to seeing how the experiment progresses from here.