Dispatches: What's in your wine?

Jane Moore“Wine consumption in the UK is hitting record levels. The health benefits of the occasional glass of red wine are widely acknowledged and it is generally assumed to be a straightforward product of grapes. But in this investigation, journalist Jane Moore (pictured) reveals that a great deal of what we now consume is enhanced, sweetened, flavoured or added to, creating a drink that one critic describes as no better than “an alcoholic cola”.

This documentary reveals some of the 40 different substances, including fish and dairy products, that can be used in producing wine but that rarely appear on the label of the average bottle, in stark contrast with the regulations on food labelling. Jane Moore investigates the recent scandals in Italy, France and South Africa that have tarnished the image of the industry and reveals how difficult it is to be sure what is good value for money.

Jane Moore conducts her own taste test of a leading brand of champagne versus a sparkling wine costing a third as much, with surprising results. She also visits the vineyards of Champagne, and discovers that for decades rubbish from Paris was dumped on the soil as a fertiliser. The organic matter may have decayed, but razor blades, syringes, batteries and fragments of plastic bin bags can still be seen littering the landscape in some areas.”

Tonight (Monday 15th September) at 8pm.

If you missed it watch via 4OD.

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