It might be saddening for wine lovers as a new study claims that wine contains more alcohol than manufacturers claim. This puts the drinkers' health at risk and raises the chance of being over the drink-driving limit.
Researchers at the University of California collected samples from 100,000 bottles of wine across the world. The researchers found that the alcohol content was higher in 60 percent of the bottles.
‘This may be shocking for some wine lovers as a new study reports that wine contains higher levels of alcohol than it is written on its label.’
The wine makers are aware of this discrepancy and they admitted that they alter the percentage of alcohol to meet costumer's expectations.
Chilean and Spanish reds had the biggest difference between alcohol content and what was listed on the bottle. Chilean and American white wine were also among the worst offenders.
"A discrepancy of 0.4 percentage points might not seem large relative to an actual value of 13.6 percent alcohol by volume, but even errors of this magnitude could lead consumers to underestimate the amount of alcohol they have consumed in ways that could have some consequences for their health and driving safety," said lead author Professor Julian Alston, of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California Davis.
He added, "In particular instances the discrepancies could be much larger than average. An average error of 0.4 percentage points is much more significant compared with the typical range for wines in a particular category, for instance, Napa Valley Cabernet might be expected to have alcohol content within the range of 13.5-14.5 percent alcohol by volume, and an average error of 0.4 percentage points is large in the context of this range."
Researchers said they found a tendency to overstate the alcohol content for wine that has relatively low actual alcohol, and a tendency to understate the alcohol content for wine that has relatively high alcohol content.
Alcohol charities said they were worried that winemakers were willfully misleading the public for profit and called on the government to do more to stop the practice.
Tom Smith, Director of Campaigns at Alcohol Concern, said, "We need the Government to ensure accurate health warnings on alcohol products are made mandatory, as is standard practice in other countries. The public should be able to make informed choices about their health and drinkers have a right to know what they are consuming."