Dispatches: What’s In Your Wine – Channel 4 (2008)

Dispatches: What’s In Your Wine - Channel 4 Documentary Film

Dispatches: What’s In Your Wine - This Channel 4 documentary film on investigative journalism reveals, of how the wine industry conceals its ingredient labels and that there’s a lot more to the ingredients than meets the eye. Journalist Jane Moore delves deep into the process of wine making and distribution in the UK, France and Italy and discloses that the wine, which people drink might not be pure wine at all.

Sparking an interest from a strange aftertaste in certain wines, she went on to investigate as to how the wine makers produce, distribute and market their brands on to the general public and take advantage of their trust and naiveté. Unlike other food ingredient labels, which list everything from sugar, fat, protein content, and additives, wine bottles rarely ever mention of what is included in them. The reason? The European Union doesn’t require them to and so they don’t or the labels are too small for them to list everything.

She interviews UK’s five biggest brands Hardy’s, Jacob’s Creek, Blossom Hill, Gallo and Stowell’s and almost all of them admit to adding things to fine their wines such as eggs, yeast, milk, gelatin, clay, tartaric acid, ascorbic acid, tannins and other enzymes to enhance the flavor, color and taste of their wines. She then discusses these issues with Malcolm Gluck author of “The great wine swindle” on the current manufacturing processes practiced in the wine industry and he mentions on how in order to gain profit a lot is unsaid, misused and added in the wines to make them seem more appealing.

From slick advertisements to attractive packaging and fake sales, the wine industry is doing it all. The only thing, which is mentioned on the bottles, are the alcohol content and sulphite content, which prevents the wine from losing its color. Some of the deceptive practices of this industry is to hide the low quality grapes taste by adding it with a lot of sugar, one such company was found with 600 tonnes of sugar. After traveling to the vineyards of France, it is discovered that these vineyards use pesticides heavily and after testing their wine in the lab it shows traces of at least 2 kinds of pesticides in it.

These vineyards have also been using food scraps as fertilizers on their soil, which contains an assortment of trash from razor blades to medicine bottles leaving the journalist in utter shock. Meanwhile Italy is not left far too behind as it deals with some of the biggest food adulteration scandals in the country. Emiliano Fittipaldi, a journalist at L’espresso Magazine as he uncovered the illegal practices of the wine industry such as adding water and hydrochloric acid in the wine and not using the grapes as stated on the label resulting in the shutdown of 14 wine companies. After researching everything, the results of the findings were very disturbing leaving one to question as to what else is being consumed along with the supposed “wine” which they are believed to be drinking.

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