Is Your Favorite Wine Tainted with Arsenic?

Is Your Favorite Wine Tainted with Arsenic?

You’ve likely browsed through the wine selection at Trader Joe’s (among other stores) and thought – wow, I could drink wine that’s cheaper than bottled water! Many Trader Joe’s customers have flocked to the store for years to get their hands on some cheap vino, but there are some nasty, carcinogenic toxins in that wine which may cause you to think again before picking up a bottle for your next dinner party.

How About Some Inorganic Arsenic with That Cheese?

It turns out that among hundreds of wineries (many of which supply stores like Trader Joe’s), vintages both old and young contain dangerous levels of arsenic.

Wine industry spokespersons among the 28 wineries that are defendants in a current lawsuit point out that the wine industry in Europe, Canada, and the USA has its own arsenic level standards for wine, amounting to 100 parts per billion. Despite this, approximately half of the wine recently tested had higher arsenic levels than even the EPA’s standards allow.

Though the class action suit has yet to appear before a judge or jury, consumers can make their own informed decisions now, about what kind of wine they are willing to drink.

The lawsuit stems from Kevin Hicks, a former wine distributor who started BeverageGrades, a Denver-based lab that tested 1,300 bottles of California wine. The lab found that about a quarter of them had higher levels of arsenic than the maximum limit allowed in water.

The most alarming fact – the cheaper the wine, the higher the levels of arsenic. So, that trip to Trader Joe’s means you are drinking poison for pennies.

Specific labels of Trader Joes’ named Charles Shaw or “Two-Buck Chuck,” Sutter Home, Franzia, Beringer, and Cupcake were among the cheap wines with the highest levels of arsenic.

The lawsuit alleges that the contaminated wines are cheaper in part because their producers don’t “implement the proper methods and processes to reduce inorganic arsenic.”

Whether this is done at the winery, by the bottler, or by the wine grower – it doesn’t matter. No one should be drinking wine that has such high levels of toxicity.

The lawsuit seeks measures to attain arsenic levels which are closer to the EPA’s 10 parts per billion (arsenic to water)standard, and not boast of 50 parts to billion, which is highly alarming.

The following wines are the subjects of the class action lawsuit. You can also check this site to see the wines which turned up the lowest amounts of heavy metals.

Acronym GR8RW Red Blend 2011

Almaden Heritage White Zinfandel

Almaden Heritage Moscato

Almaden Heritage White Zinfandel

Almaden Heritage Chardonnay

Almaden Mountain Burgundy

Almaden Mountain Rhine

Almaden Mountain Chablis

Arrow Creek Coastal Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Bandit Pinot Grigio

Bandit Chardonnay

Bandit Cabernet Sauvignon

Bay Bridge Chardonnay

Beringer White Merlot 2011

Beringer White Zinfandel 2011

Beringer Red Moscato

Beringer Refreshingly Sweet Moscato

Charles Shaw White Zinfandel 2012

Colores del Sol Malbec 2010

Glen Ellen by Concannon’s Glen Ellen Reserve Pinot Grigio 2012

Concannon Selected Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011

Glen Ellen by Concannon’s Glen Ellen Reserve Merlot 2010

Cook Spumante

Corbett Canyon Pinot Grigio

Corbett Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon

Cupcake Malbec 2011

Fetzer Moscato 2010

Fetzer Pinot Grigio 2011

Fisheye Pinot Grigio 2012

Flipflop Pinot Grigio 2012

Flipflop Moscato

Flipflop Cabernet Sauvignon

Foxhorn White Zinfandel

Franzia Vintner Select White Grenache

Franzia Vintner Select White Zinfandel

Franzia Vintner Select White Merlot

Franzia Vintner Select Burgundy

Hawkstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

HRM Rex Goliath’s Moscato

Korbel Sweet Rose Sparkling Wine

Korbel Extra Dry Sparkling Wine

Menage a Trois Pinot Grigio 2011

Menage a Trois Moscato 2010

Menage a Trois White Blend 2011

Menage a Trois Chardonnay 2011

Menage a Trois Rose 2011

Menage a Trois Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Menage a Trois California Red Wine 2011

Mogen David Concord

Mogen David Blackberry Wine

Oak Leaf White Zinfandel

Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc 2011

R Collection by Raymond’s Chardonnay 2012

Richards Wild Irish Rose Red Wine

Seaglass Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Simply Naked Moscato 2011

Smoking Loon Viognier 2011

Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Sutter Home Gewurztraminer 2011

Sutter Home Pink Moscato

Sutter Home Pinot Grigio 2011

Sutter Home Moscato

Sutter Home Chenin Blanc 2011

Sutter Home Sweet Red 2010

Sutter Home Riesling 2011

Sutter Home White Merlot 2011

Sutter Home Merlot 2011

Sutter Home White Zinfandel 2011

Sutter Home White Zinfandel 2012

Sutter Home Zinfandel 2010

Trapiche Malbec 2012

Tribuno Sweet Vermouth

Vendange Merlot

Vendange White Zinfandel

Wine Cube Moscato

Wine Cube Pink Moscato 2011

Wine Cube Pinot Grigio 2011

Wine Cube Pinot Grigio

Wine Cube Chardonnay 2011

Wine Cube Chardonnay

Wine Cube Red Sangria

Wine Cube Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Wine Cube Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2011