Da Capo Press, $24.00, 220 pages
You’re already buying organic vegetables and antibiotic-free chicken, but have you checked out the bottle of wine you’re drinking? You may be surprised to find that your wine is composed of more than just grapes. As Alice Feiring tells us in her new book, Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally, there are dozens of additives that can go into wines. Their functions vary from preservation and enhancement to other less desirable ones. Sulfur and yeast top off the list but there are many other ingredients such as lysozyme, tannin, and urease to name a few. Feiring also reveals that a wine study conducted by the Pesticide Action Network Europe “showed that twenty-four pesticide contaminants, including five classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, reprotoxic, or endocrine interactive, showed up in over 75 percent of their samples.” There is a movement toward creating natural wine that the knowledgeable Feiring shares with the reader in this fascinating and at times humorous book. If you drink wine and care about what goes into your body, then this book is a must read.
Reviewed by Diane Prokop