It has been said that early Europeans started clinking or clanking glasses so that the sound would scare off evil spirits. Another theory for this custom of clanking glasses to each other is that it was a sign that the wine was not poisoned… Regardless of the actual reason why they had started this custom recently on CNN.com we read the headline “Should you be worried about arsenic in your California wine?“. A lawsuit in California is causing many to panic and wonder “is arsenic really in my wine?” Why is this an issue now if we have been drinking wine for generations? The lawsuit starts off as such per the article on CNN.com: “The deaths of Napoleon Bonaparte, Simon Bolivar, King George III, King Faisal I and other prominent figures have been attributed to arsenic poisoning, the first paragraph of the 30-page complaint says.”. No recent deaths or damages mentioned. The plaintiffs are seeking a court order to make 28 low cost wine company labels to disclose on the bottle the risks of consuming inorganic arsenic in wine and start “corrective advertising”. They are also seeking monetary damages. Long-term exposure to inorganic arsenic can lead to health risks such as cancer.
What is your bet? Are arsenic levels in wine safe? Lets keep a close eye on how this case plays out in court. For now, moderation in wine drinking as with all things is a good rule of thumb.