Wine Reviews Tasting Notes and Education for the Non-Snob, by Vino Joe, a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW)

Arsenic In Wine – The Complete List

Following is the full, complete list of wines that allegedly contain dangerous amounts of arsenic, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, California. Almost all are inexpensive California wines. Arsenic is a poison that, when ingested in high enough doses, can be fatal.

1. Acronym GR8RW Red Blend 2011
2. Almaden Heritage White Zinfandel
3. Almaden Heritage Moscato
4. Almaden Heritage White Zinfandel
5. Almaden Heritage Chardonnay
6. Almaden Mountain Burgundy
7. Almaden Mountain Rhine
8. Almaden Mountain Chablis
9. Arrow Creek Coastal Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
10. Bandit Pinot Grigio
11. Bandit Chardonnay
12. Bandit Cabernet Sauvignon
13. Bay Bridge Chardonnay
14. Beringer White Merlot 2011
15. Beringer White Zinfandel 2011
16. Beringer Red Moscato
17. Beringer Refreshingly Sweet Moscato
18. Charles Shaw White Zinfandel 2012 (a.k.a., “Two Buck Chuck”)
19. Colores del Sol Malbec 2010
20. Glen Ellen by Concannon Glen Ellen Reserve Pinot Grigio 2012
21. Concannon Selected Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011
22. Glen Ellen by Concannon Glen Ellen Reserve Merlot 2010
23. Cook Spumante
24. Corbett Canyon Pinot Grigio
25. Corbett Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon
26. Cupcake Malbec 2011
27. Fetzer Moscato 2010
28. Fetzer Pinot Grigio 2011
29. Fish Eye Pinot Grigio 2012
30. Flipflop Pinot Grigio 2012
31. Flipflop Moscato
32. Flipflop Cabernet Sauvignon
33. Foxhorn White Zinfandel
34. Franzia Vintner Select White Grenache
35. Franzia Vintner Select White Zinfandel
36. Franzia Vintner Select White Merlot
37. Franzia Vintner Select Burgundy
38. Hawkstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
39. HRM Rex Goliath Moscato
40. Korbel Sweet Rose Sparkling Wine
41. Korbel Extra Dry Sparkling Wine
42. Menage a Trois Pinot Grigio 2011
43. Menage a Trois Moscato 2010
44. Menage a Trois White Blend 2011
45. Menage a Trois Chardonnay 2011
46. Menage a Trois Rose 2011
47. Menage a Trois Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
48. Menage a Trois California Red Wine 2011
49. Mogen David Concord
50. Mogen David Blackberry Wine
51. Oak Leaf White Zinfandel
52. Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc 2011
53. R Collection by Raymond Chardonnay 2012
54. Richards Wild Irish Rose Red Wine
55. Seaglass Sauvignon Blanc 2012
56. Simply Naked Moscato 2011
57. Smoking Loon Viognier 2011
58. Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc 2010
59. Sutter Home Gewurztraminer 2011
60. Sutter Home Pink Moscato
61. Sutter Home Pinot Grigio 2011
62. Sutter Home Moscato
63. Sutter Home Chenin Blanc 2011
64. Sutter Home Sweet Red 2010
65. Sutter Home Riesling 2011
66. Sutter Home White Merlot 2011
67. Sutter Home Merlot 2011
68. Sutter Home White Zinfandel 2011
69. Sutter Home White Zinfandel 2012
70. Sutter Home Zinfandel 2010
71. Trapiche Malbec 2012
72. Tribuno Sweet Vermouth
73. Vendange Merlot
74. Vendange White Zinfandel
75. Wine Cube Moscato
76. Wine Cube Pink Moscato 2011
77. Wine Cube Pinot Grigio 2011
78. Wine Cube Pinot Grigio
79. Wine Cube Chardonnay 2011
80. Wine Cube Chardonnay
81. Wine Cube Red Sangria
82. Wine Cube Sauvignon Blanc 2011
83. Wine Cube Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2011

The lawsuit claims that the above wines contain as much as 500% more than what is acceptable in drinking water, and I’m honestly not sure how dangerous that is for human consumption, because trace amounts of arsenic naturally occur in most of the beverages and foods that we ingest on a daily basis. If you want to read a full scientific report on arsenic, click here.

Kim Crawford Pinot Gris

Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2013 | Marlborough, New Zealand

kim-crawford-pinot-grisNose is wide open and expressive, with bright, delicious aromas of pineapple, ripe pear, peach, and apricot. In the mouth, the fruit is similar — really ripe, bright, upfront sweet pear, with a touch of residual sugar, but the fruit lasts through a lengthy, pleasant finish. The bright pear and peach flavors remind me a bit of Muscat / Moscato.

It’s aptly named Pinot Gris rather than Pinot Grigio; to me, “Pinot Gris” is what I associate with Oregon and Alsace, and in those areas, the grape tends to make wines that are less acidic and have a slightly oily mouthfeel (in comparison to Pinot Grigio from northern Italy). Toward that point, Kim Crawford Pinot Gris has some weight in the mouth, and is on the fat side — which makes it a wonderful solo sipper and, when pairing with food, is better with leaner meats and simply prepared, undressed / un-sauced vegetables. The back label suggests Asian and spicy cuisine, and I’d agree with that. This is a potential picnic crowd-pleaser.

Tuscany in Ten Minutes

Learn all you need to know about Tuscan wines in ten minutes by watching the video below, produced by the Guild of Sommeliers:

The Wines of Tuscany from guildsomm on Vimeo.

How You Pour Wine Affects Your Drinking

This information came out a few months ago, but it remains relevant: did you know that the way you pour your wine can affect how much you drink? [Continue reading]

Red Wine Review: Chateau Lassegue 2006

Chateau Lassegue 2006 | Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France Yet another stellar example of right bank Bordeaux by brilliant winemaker Pierre Seillan. Generous, open nose give opulent scents of ripe black fruit, earth, and mild hints of dark … [Continue reading]

How To Buy Champagne for New Year’s


We're about to ring in the New Year -- and the best way to do it is with bubbles. But which bottle of bubbles to choose? … [Continue reading]

Wine Gatekeeping and Empowerment

Last week I worked a distributor event, standing behind a table pouring my company's wines to retail and restaurant wine buyers, waitstaff, sales reps, and other trade/industry people. This is always a pleasure for me, as I thoroughly enjoy … [Continue reading]

Pine Ridge Chardonnay


Pine Ridge Chardonnay Dijon Clones Carneros - Napa Valley, California Every once in a while I get a hankering for big, buttery, Chardonnay -- i.e., "New World" style, usually from a warm-to-hot wine region. Although this wine comes from grapes … [Continue reading]

Canadian White Wine: Peller Estates Chardonnay

peller estates chardonnay okanagan valley canada

Peller Estates Chardonnay 2011 | VQA British Columbia, Canada As a follow-up to the post on Inniskillin Pinot Grigio, my personal somm offered me two Chardonnays from Canada -- one on the high end, one on the low end. This one was on the low end of … [Continue reading]

Buying Wines for Labor Day Weekend Barbecue

Going to -- or hosting -- a BBQ this weekend and need last-minute wine shopping tips? … [Continue reading]