1. Why are there preservatives in wine?

The short answer is; to preserve it of course. More seriously, wine is a product that is the result of biological activity by organisms (yeasts) on fruit juice. There is also the oxidative effect of air. By use of preservatives we can arrest this action attain a desired result. If we do not use some technique to stop the actions of yeasts and the oxidative effect of air, we would not be able to produce wine.

2. What preservatives are used in Wine?

There are quite a few additives and preservatives allowed in Australia and these are all listed by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation at the following address www.foodstandards.gov.au. Alcohol is a very important preservative in wine.

3. Why do some wines say they contain egg or fish products?

This is what is known as an allergen statement. Any product used in the manufacture of a product that may have a remnant remaining, or products that people may have an ethical problem with their use must be warned of on the package. The fish product is a fining agent called isinglass, which comes from sturgeon swim bladders. It is an protenaceous agent very much like gelatin. Milk is sometimes used for fining. Gelatin is also sometimes used as a fining agent.

4. Why do some wines give me an instant headache?

Generally, it is the alcohol and the quantity of wine that causes headaches. Having said that there are some wines that contain hystamines, and these can cause headaches. There are also some wines that have higher than average levels of aldehydes. These can also contribute. Sulphur Dioxide is often blamed, but is very rarely the cause. Sulphur can accentuate these other causes, especially hystamines, but is rarely the primary cause.

5. What are fining agents?

Fining agents are ones that are added to the wine to react with and generally remove an unwanted flavour.