With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, we’re probably all expecting to get a little merry with the help of a bottle of wine or three. But beware if your choice of tipple is a Spanish red – you may be consuming more alcohol than you think.
A recent study has revealed that many wines contain more alcohol than is claimed on the label. Of 127,000 wines tested by American researchers, 60% were found to have higher-than-stated alcohol content. And the worst culprits? Chilean, Argentinian and Spanish reds. These three were found the have the biggest difference between actual alcohol content and what’s listed on the bottle. In some cases, the difference was as much as 0.3%.
Take wines from Argentina, for instance. They contained, on average, 13.9% alcohol, but were labelled as 13.6%. Even US wines aren’t safe. US reds had an average of 14%, yet were advertised as 13.8%. American whites had an even bigger alcohol discrepancy, with a label claim of 13.4%, and an actual alcohol content level of 13.7%.
What’s the significance of this wine alcohol content research?
A difference of 0.3% doesn’t sound that momentous. I mean, c’mon, what’s a few percent of alcohol when shared among friends? But the results could be catastrophic. Just this slight difference could be enough to unknowingly push drivers over the limit. Moreover, it makes trying to keep track of your alcohol consumption that little bit trickier.
What’s even more worrying is the fact that wine-markers are actually aware of the difference. In fact, they even admitted to the researchers that they alter the percentage on the bottle to meet drinkers’ expectations. Which begs the questions: how do we know how much alcohol we’re actually drinking? Is this all just a ploy to mislead alcohol consumers?
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