Arsenic and old alcohol

UPDATE: This suit was tossed by a judge in March 2016. Plaintiffs say they’ll appeal.

Read the shocking stories about the shocking levels of (alleged) arsenic in cheap wine?

See the above little missive on Twitter asking you to be part of a class-action lawsuit re those same claims?

Ok, now take a deep breath and calm down. I’m not saying wine is good for you — you are aware that it contains significant levels of alcohol, a known poison, right? — but the arsenic allegations appear to be over-hyped to say the least.

Wine writer W. Blake Gray, has a masterful takedown of the claims over at, noting that the guy waving the red flag (by which I mean filing the class action suit) sells, wait for it, toxin screening services. He also points out that while the U.S. does not monitor wine for arsenic levels, Canada does and has been routinely testing California wines with no startling results.

Oh and about the fact that the alarm is being raised about cheap wines, which did cause even me to blanch a bit, being quite fond of the $9.99 bottle — Blake notes that the companies that make those wines tend to be the biggest companies, i.e. the folks with the biggest pockets.

Cheers, rationally.