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Wine/artificial components in wine


Hello, Paul Wagner

I recently got in the habit of drinking a bottle of wine every weekend. I really enjoy it, especially since it is said that drinking wine in moderation brings health benefits.

I particularly like the "White Zinfandel from the Gallo Family vineyards (California 2012)", but I'm not sure whether it is 100% naturally made, or if it contains artificial ingredients.

So how can I spot a wine with artificial components?

I'd like to drink wines that are naturally made, and avoid those ones with added chemicals.

Thank you

Jake K.

HI Jake

Anything that is commercially labeled wine can only be made from grape juice.  Yeast is added to ferment the sugar into alcohol...and that's about it.  There are a few things that are used to clarify wines, but they are removed as part of the clarification, so they don't remain in the finished product. The only chemicals allowed are those that are already naturally occuring in grape juice---and those are limited in quantity,

So your Gallo White Zinfandel is grape juice fermented into wine.

You will also fine on some store shelves beverages called flavored wines, or wine with juice added, or wine with...

But if the label just says "wine" it can't have any of those added flavorings or chemioals,

Hope that helps

Paul Wagner  


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Paul Wagner


Wines of the world, wine a food matching, wine and food service questions. I currently teach Wine courses at Napa Valley College, am an international wine judge, written many articles for publication, and have been a guest speaker at way too many wine conferences to remember. 25 years in the business. With Liz Thach and Janeen Olsen, I authored the definitive book on wine marketing: Wine Marketing & Sales, Strategies for a Saturated Market by The Wine Appreciation Guild, which won the Gourmand International Award in 2008 for the best wine book for professionals! With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, I host a radio show and podcast called Bottletalk at, where I answer questions about wine and food on the air.


30 years in the business.

Society of Wine Educators, Academy of Wine Communications, American Wine Society

Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine, Fine Wine Journal, les Amis du Vin Journal, Society of Wine Educators Journal, and more.

I have taught at Napa Valley College for the last twenty years.

Awards and Honors
Spanish National Wine Fair: A lifetime dedicated to wine award. Espaderino della Castelania di Soave in Italy.

Past/Present Clients
Wineries include Caymus, Wente, Parducci, Shannon Ridge, Paul Dolan Wines, Vigilance, and others. Wine regions include the Union des Grand Crus de Borcdeaux, Union des Grands Crus de St. Emilion, Consorzio di Chianti CLassico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Consorzio di Franciacorta, Rioja Alavesa, and others.

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