Arsenic in Wine? Ruh Roh!

arsenic-wine-glassArsenic in wine…oh so sad to hear this! It seems like everything I enjoy eating and drinking contains something that is going to give some disease I’ll spend eight hour Googling, fueling the fire to my hypochondriac mind.

The Bad News

Let’s rip the band-aid off for anyone who doesn’t know: Cheap wine contains arsenic. Expensive wine contains arsenic. Drinking water contains arsenic. It’s just that the cheap wine contains higher levels than what the EPA recommends. Wine generally contains 10 parts per billion of an organic, naturally occurring arsenic, just like drinking water which the EPA says is the “allowable limit” for water. Fruit, vegetables, anything taken from the ground also often has trace amount of arsenic!

BUT, cheap wine is said to have 50 parts per billion! Since arsenic is naturally occurring in soil, but other substances like fertilizer and the filtration process of the wine can add more parts per billion to your drink.

What is this cheap wine you speak of?

Well, I provided a list at the end of this article, but the brand that is currently in the cross-hair’s is Charles Shaw, often referred to as “Two Buck Chuck” since it’s often sold between two dollars and two dollars and fifty cents, most famously at Trader Joes grocery stores.


The Good News

Although there is no limit of arsenic parts per billion rule that the United States has set in place, I wouldn’t worry about 50 ppb because Canada does have a rule in place and the limit it 100 ppb which is twice as much allowed than what we’re finding in cheap California wines.

Whether your wine has 5 parts of arsenic or 50 parts, it probably won’t be affecting your health much. The fact is, drinking a lot of alcohol is going to do the most damage anyway. Moderation is the key when it comes to any form of indulgence of drinks or food.

SOLUTION: Support Local Wineries Instead

When anything is mass produced and a major brand is established, one of the most important things is consistency. People who eat McDonald’s hamburgers want the same taste whether they are eating it in Ohio or Egypt. This can happen with mass produced cheap wines as well. When shooting for quantity, quality is almost always sacrificed.

So, I recommend, you do some searching around the web, find a small, local winery near you and go support them! I read that every 48 cents on the dollar spent locally goes back into the economy. That number is nowhere near as close when spent at a big box chain.

Arsenic-bottle-on-elementAnd you may end up spending an extra buck or two to find something local and made with care, but it really is worth it. Let’s face it, it is just alcohol, but you should still be concerned with what you are putting in your body!

List of Arsenic Wines

So far, according to, here’s the full list of wines with high arsenic levels…many of which you might see at your local CVS Pharmacy or Walgreens!

Acronym’s GR8RW Red Blend 2011
Almaden’s Heritage White Zinfandel
Almaden’s Heritage Moscato
Almaden’s Heritage White Zinfandel
Almaden’s Heritage Chardonnay
Almaden’s Mountain Burgundy
Almaden’s Mountain Rhine
Almaden’s Mountain Chablis
Arrow Creek’s Coastal Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Bandit’s Pinot Grigio
Bandit’s Chardonnay
Bandit’s Cabernet Sauvignon
Bay Bridge’s Chardonnay
Beringer’s White Merlot 2011
Beringer’s White Zinfandel 2011
Beringer’s Red Moscato
Beringer’s Refreshingly Sweet Moscato
Charles Shaw White Zinfandel 2012
Colores del Sol’s Malbec 2010
Glen Ellen by Concannon’s Glen Ellen REserve Pinot Grigio 2012
Concannon’s Selected Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011
Glen Ellen by Concannon’s Glen Ellen Reserve Merlot 2010
Cook’s Spumante
Corbett Canyon’s Pinot Grigio
Corbett Canyon’s Cabernet Sauvignon
Cupcake’s Malbec 2011
Fetzer’s Moscato 2010
Fetzer’s Pinot Grigio 2011
Fisheye Pinot Grigio 2012
Flipflop’s Pinot Grigio 2012
Flipflop’s Moscato
Flipflop’s Cabernet Sauvignon
Foxhorn’s White Zinfandel
Franzia’s Vintner Select White Grenache
Franzia’s Vintner Select White Zinfandel
Franzia’s Vintner Select White Merlot
Franzia’s Vintner Select Burgundy
Hawkstone’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
HRM Rex Goliath’s Moscato
Korbel’s Sweet Rose Sparkling Wine
Korbel’s Extra Dry Sparkling Wine
Menage a Trois’ Pinot Grigio 2011
Menage a Trois’ Moscato 2010
Menage a Trois’ White Blend 2011
Menage a Trois’ Chardonnay 2011
Menage a Trois’ Rose 2011
Menage a Trois’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Menage a Trois’ California Red Wine 2011
Mogen David’s Concord
Mogen David’s Blackberry Wine
Oak Leaf’s White Zinfandel
Pomelo’s Sauvignon Blanc 2011
R Collection by Raymond’s Chardonnay 2012
Richards Wild Irish Rose’s Red Wine
Seaglass’s Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Simply Naked’s Moscato 2011
Smoking Loon’s Viognier 2011
Sutter Home’s Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Sutter Home’s Gewurztraminer 2011
Sutter Home’s Pink Moscato
Sutter Home’s Pinot Grigio 2011
Sutter Home’s Moscato
Sutter Home’s Chenin Blanc 2011
Sutter Home’s Sweet Red 2010
Sutter Home’s Riesling 2011
Sutter Home’s White Merlot 2011
Sutter Home’s Merlot 2011
Sutter Home’s White Zinfandel 2011
Sutter Home’s White Zinfandel 2012
Sutter Home’s Zinfandel 2010
Trapiche’s Malbec 2012
Tribuno’s Sweet Vermouth
Vendange’s Merlot
Vendange’s White Zinfandel
Wine Cube’s Moscato
Wine Cube’s Pink Moscato 2011
Wine Cube’s Pinot Grigio 2011
Wine Cube’s Pinot Grigio
Wine Cube’s Chardonnay 2011
Wine Cube’s Chardonnay
Wine Cube’s Red Sangria
Wine Cube’s Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Wine Cube’s Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2011

What’s Next?

If you don’t know where to start when looking for local wineries, maybe try a wine club that looks for those great local deals around the country and from different wine growing regions in the world and ships them straight to your door. is a review site of all the major clubs out there, browse our site a little bit and see what’s out there!

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