Warning About Weekend Wine Purchase

Could the wine you  have been drinking have arsenic?  According to a class action lawsuit  filed in California yesterday there are top wine makers with very high levels of arsenic.  Some as much as four and  five times the amount allowed by the EPA.

Most of the wines listed in the law suit are budget white or blush varieties. Popular brands named in the lawsuit include Franzia, Sutter Home, Wine Cube, Cupcake, Beringer and Vendage.  According to CBS News, Trader Joe’s famed Two-Buck Chuck White Zinfandel, which came in at three times the limit, a bottle of Ménage à Trois Moscato was four times the limit and a Franzia Blush had five times the EPA limit for drinking water.

After 15 years working in the wine distribution business, Kevin Hicks started BeverageGrades, a laboratory that analyzes wine. What he discovered shocked him.

“Some very, very high levels of arsenic,” Hicks said.

He tested more than 1,300 bottles of wine. Almost a quarter of them had levels higher than the EPA’s maximum allowable amount of arsenic in drinking water: 10 parts per billion. No one can say for sure why, but Hicks noticed a pattern.

“The lower the price of wine on a per-liter basis, the higher the amount of arsenic,” he said.

Read more about the lawsuit and testing of wine at CBS News.