Making wine on a small scale is a risky enough venture, but what if you're working with a batch of gargantuan sizes? One mistake doesn't affect hundreds of bottles, but rather millions? Wired, in a story entitled "Juiced: How to Make Mass-Produced Wine Taste Good", has the unsettling details of how wineries with huge volume production can hedge their bets.
More than 70 additives and treatments are allowed by the US Government to mingle with your wine. Some sound OK. Water? No problem. Sulfur? I'm cool with that. Ammonium salts and liquefied oak "essence"? Uh, you're losing me.
But wait, there's more: sugar, tartaric acid, powdered tannin, pectic enzymes, gum arabic, velcorin, and mega-purple. And if that's not enough, these techniques may be employed: a spinning cone column, micro-oxygenation, and/or reverse osmosis.
What additives, if any, are you OK with being added to your wine?