That Bordeaux may have a fine nose but you may also be getting a snoutful of pesticides, insecticides and fungicides, according to tests performed by a French consumer group.
The group UFC-Que Choisir tested 92 wines and found trace amounts of pesticides, insecticides and fungicides in nearly every one, according to Bloomberg News.
“By drinking a glass of wine, you have every chance of unknowingly swallowing a few micrograms of these pesticide residues,” UFC-Que Choisir wrote in an article for the October issue of its magazine. “No wine today escapes the pollution by plant-protection products applied to the vines.”
The group noted that wine producers use only 3.7% of the farmland in France but pile on 20% of the pesticides used in the country.
The highest pesticide count was found in a bottle of 2010 Bordeaux, with 14 chemicals detected, followed by 2012 Bordeaux with traces of 13 products, the group reported.
But the lead author of a similar report issued earlier this year said the primary danger isn't to consumers but to vineyard and winery workers.
"You'll consume much more pesticide residue eating apples and strawberries than drinking wine," said Pascal Chatonnet, Ph.D., owner of Excell laboratory, in a report in Wine Spectator. "Your liver will be completely destroyed long before you'll have toxicity from pesticide residue in wine."
In one test, vineyard workers' hair samples contained 11 times the level of pesticide residues of people living a distance from the vineyards, and close neighbors had five times the levels.