Winebits 534: Wine and teeth, wine fraud, wine labels

winne and teethThis week’s wine news: What does wine do to your teeth? Plus, another massive French wine fraud and an essay calling wine labels “little white lies”

Brush up: It’s the enamel – the thin covering on your teeth – that is most affected by wine, reports the Wine Spectator in a surprisingly well-done piece discussing the dreaded purple grin. And while red wine does tend to stain teeth more than white, both can cause the enamel to decay thanks to the acid that’s present in all wine. Interestingly, while white wine doesn’t stain teeth the way red does, it can make teeth more susceptible to stains. That’s because it has more acid, which breaks down the enamel more quickly. That leaves the teeth more open to thinks like coffee stains.

Not the real thing: More than 5 ½ million cases of French wine were sold as high quality Côtes-du-Rhône label in one of the biggest French wine scandals in years. Some of the wine was even sold as high-end Chateauneuf-du-Pape, which can cost as much as $70 a bottle. French officials saids that the 2017 involved a major wine producer, which they did not name. However, the company;s top official was indicted for deception and fraud.

Wine lies: “If you think that wine labels don’t matter, that they don’t affect the way a wine tastes, think again,” writes Felix Salmon on Vinepair. This short essay discusses the label’s “little white lies” – how labels are used to convince us that the wine we drink is consistent from vintage to vintage, even if it isn’t; to alter our perception with a cute label or fancy paper. It’s an intriguing piece, though I’m not sure Salmon needed to use the word semiotic.