Some Wine Companies Misleading About Alcohol Content

Any type of alcoholic beverage label contains the amount of alcohol within that bottle. This is done so that the consumer is aware of exactly what they are putting into their body and can make the most well informed decisions on how much to drink. The idea is that knowing the alcohol content of one’s drink will allow that person to predetermine how much they will be able to consume. However, it has been found that some wine companies are misrepresenting exactly how much alcohol is in their wine. This deception can prove dangerous by leading to over consumption of alcohol and can increase the likelihood that someone would make poor decisions because of an elevated amount of alcohol in their system.

Researchers at the University of California released their study to the Journal of Wine Economics after finding that alcohol content was actually, on average, 0.42% higher than reported on the labels. And while this type of discrepancy might not seem like a big problem, researchers are insistent that the misleading of consumers is not only unethical, but dangerous as well.

“A discrepancy of 0.4 percentage points might not seem large relative to an actual value of 13.6 per cent 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,” explained Professor Julian Alston, of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California.

In response to the study, some wine makers have admitted to altering the stated alcohol content on the label because they are trying to keep more in line with what consumers are expecting. According to the research, Spanish and Chilean wines were the biggest offenders in the red wine category, while American and Chilean wines were the biggest offenders in the white wine category.

Accurate and truthful labeling, especially when it comes to alcohol, is necessary to ensure that drinkers are given the proper opportunity to engage in safe alcohol consumption. Covertly decreasing the amount of stated alcohol content can lead some people to consume more alcohol than intended and set the drinker up for dangerous decision making and alcohol habits.

Revisiting Alcohol’s Supposed Benefits

Updated research on the potential benefits of consuming a small amount of alcohol shows that it may not be all that healthy. After pouring over ten years’ worth of information, scientists believe they have located the original study’s mistakes and how these mistakes may have led to an increased amount of people consuming alcohol, buying into the notion that a glass of wine a day is good for your heart.

Researchers today say that the study promoting wine for heat health was poorly ran and made some glaring errors. The first error was that they combined people who have never consumed alcohol in the same group as people who used to be drinkers. Former alcoholics are likely to have health problems and experience depression. So, when researchers compared the health of people who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol to a group of people that consisted, in part, of former alcoholics they mistakenly came to the conclusion that those who drank in moderation were healthier.

“Given the harms attributed to alcohol use, it is not surprising that reports showing possible mortality benefits for low level users attracted enthusiasm among consumers, the media the alcohol industry. In health as elsewhere, if something looks too good to be true, it should be treated with great caution,” explained Craig Knott, lead author and researcher of the new meta study.

Ensuring that the public has the right information is vital. People who are inclined to drink too much are likely to use any excuse to justify this behavior. If a study comes out stating that some alcohol is healthy for a person that is just the reason someone may need to continue drinking and making poor decisions. Additionally, the perception that alcohol is healthy goes against what most people believe in the first place.