Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm getting notes of manganese...

Wine lovers often find notes of iron or gunmetal in certain types of wines, such as cool-climate Syrah or Bordeaux blends. I doubt any of those flavors are linked to this report in Scientific American on potentially hazardous levels of heavy metals in various wines tested. In the true tradition of Halloween reporting, the article is more alarming than useful as the authors don't name any wines; they only note that the problem exists in over 100 types of wines from a dozen countries. From a personal and more jingoistic point of view, the US wasn't mentioned, so I can rest easily given that my cellar is overwhelmingly populated with the wines of California and I have nary a bottle of wine from the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Jordan, Macedonia, Portugal, Serbia or Slovakia (the wines of Austria, France, Germany and Spain present more of a problem). So, the next time you think that those slow and clumsy movements are the result of too much alcohol intake, be heartened that you may be sober and suffering from manganism.

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