Think back to the last bottle of wine you drank. What do you suppose went into making it? Easy, you might say. Grapes. And yeast. Possibly an oak barrel?
Good start. Keep going. You’re not even close.
Let’s say that bottle cost you less than 10 bucks and was pumped out by an industrial wine factory. Or maybe it set you back $100 and came from a boutique winery you visited in Sonoma. Either way, there’s a decent chance it was made with some combination of sulfur dioxide (to preserve it), gelatin (to remove mouth-puckering tannins), Velcorin (to kill microbes) and, if it was a red, the grape concentrate Mega Purple (to pump up flavor and color). Winemakers can use around 60 different products to remedy flaws and tease out flavors. But you, the drinker, have no way of knowing which ones might have gone into your glass. There’s no law requiring bottles to be labeled with these ingredients, and most winemakers oppose volunteering the information.