You’d think the various adjuncts wouldn’t make it past the sommeliers, high-end buyers, and big-name critics of the wine world, that such chemical or mechanical shortcuts would be picked up by their well-trained palates. But the truth is that these things can’t be sniffed, tasted, or spotted unless they are overused.
“Usually you need lab equipment to detect additives,” Draper says. “The Europeans had a very sophisticated machine that could analyze a sample for non-approved varieties like the Rubired in Mega Purple [a popular grape concentrate used to deepen the color of red wine], which was used to reject non-vinifera wines being imported from the States. They also had another machine that could detect whether non-grape sugar was added to a wine, and could even tell where the beets used for the sugar came from.”
Draper’s solution is not banning adjuncts, but asking winemakers to disclose them on a voluntary basis.