Holy sh*t: Australia approves laxative agent in wine

wine sniff Australian wines have gained huge market share over the past few decades. But nobody has accused them of dumping. Until now.

The Australian government has approved the addition of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, which has “has long been prized by the medical world for its anti-bulking and laxative properties.” The cellulose gum prevents crystallization and cloudiness in white and sparkling wines.

Wines containing the additive will not be labeled as such. A spokesperson for the Wine Institute in California said, “I don’t think the levels that are approved for use in wine in the EU and Australia will give that laxative effect.”

Just in case, they’re now putting wine in cans.

Over on Twitter, wine Twitterati declared that “the bottom fell out of my world when I read that” and to being “down in the dumps” after hearing of the “sad tail.” Or, “Imagine a discreet Times hed: For Australian Wines, the Beginning of the End.”

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14 Responses to “Holy sh*t: Australia approves laxative agent in wine”


  1. I guess there will be a resurgence of interest in Yellow Tail.


  2. Perhaps this is a public service of sorts, since all fruit bombers, from Parker and Miller on down, are, well, full of it. Maybe it will serve as a vital weight-loss supplement for the two gentlemen named above. Any word as to whether or not Bordeaux and Chateauneuf-du-Pape are considering the additive?


  3. Yet another reason not to drink white wine.


  4. @RobinC…that would be Brown Tail


  5. Bill,

    Hey, it’s worked for yogurt, so maybe wine should embrace it? What do you think?


  6. This report ant the reaction to it ranks right up there for stupid reporting. You may as well report that wine contains some of the ingredients that go into Sulphuric Acid (Sulfur) or that wine contains parts of dead fish (isinglass) or that wine contains the same compound that is used to preserve biological specimens (alcohol). Its right up there with the reports of anitfreeze being used to sweeten wine (which was completely incorrect but is nevertheless still trotted out regularly). And I would have expected better of you, Tyler.


  7. Now that has really put me off wine. Sulphur, fish skins, laxatives and a surprising discovery that even alcohol is in wine. I am cutting back to one bottle a day now.


  8. Doc, I would not have thought that you were old enough to have a container of said yogurt sitting around in your fridge. Hey, given your graphics skills with the Activia, could you give us a picture of Jamie Lee Curtis after a hair coloring job instead of gray?


  9. Jason Lett, winemaker at Eyrie Vineyards in Oregon, tweeted to me:

    “Wouldn’t it be great if consumers just realized that cream of tartar crystals are a natural part of wine?

    “Tartar crystals also sign of acid equilibrium. Even conventional methods of removing them fundamentally change the wine.”


  10. Marcvs – Sorry you are disappointed by this. How would you have recast the story that Australia is now allowing it while the US does not?

    Chris – that’s the spirit!

    Bill – You might try kefir. Oh wait, I’m not that kind of doctor.

    And, sorry, not that great a photoshopper either!


  11. Note to self, don’t drink the water in Mexico or the Wine in Australia. :-)


  12. … giving way to hints of barnyard.


  13. i am very fond of this type of wine.


  14. […] to help prevent crystallization and cloudiness in white wines. This one is hard to believe but Dr. Vino gives a good […]


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