Yes, we’re all now well aware of the horse meat scandal. With large retailers continually driving down the prices they’re prepared to pay to manufacturers, the quality of ingredients in processed foods has been dropping like a stone. Horse meat in burgers and ready meals, “meat dirivatives” in sausages – who knows what goes into the processed meat substitutes used in takeaways, but whatever it is it doesn’t need to comply with meat regulations for EU import!! You know that smooth chicken like substance in your “chicken and mushroom” ?

A local takeaway offers “fillet steak in cantonese sauce” for a bargain £5. As that includes £0.83 pence VAT plus their profit, do we really believe it is fillet steak? Or even any steak?

So this high profile exposure of horse meat being in wide circulation in so many pre-packed foods has made people consider what they’ve actually been eating for all these years, from these trusted sources such as supermarkets and big brands. Well then isn’t it about time that we applied that logic to the world of wine?

I’ve written numerous articles about the value of wine and what goes into this factory produced plonk that we buy on the high street. There are 80+ chemical additives permitted in mainstream wines, and 43 additives permitted in EU certified organic wines! When a wine is retailing at £4.99, take off UK VAT £0.83, UK excise duty at £1.90, international shipping at £0.25 and the cost of the bottle, screwcap, cardboard box and label £0.30, and you’re left with £1.71 which is essentially the retailer margin. The wine is worth virtually nothing, so what do you think is in there? Pure fermented grape juice, from hand picked grapes grown on the best slopes of a prestigious vineyard? NO – it is the vinuous equivalent of horse meat or worse still “meat dirivative”!

There is more added chemical than grape juice. Do you ever wonder why you feel so rotten the following morning although you only had 3 or 4 glasses of wine the night before? Well, the government and health lobbies will tell us that alcohol is so bad for us – but is it the alcohol? Look at rural France and Italy where the locals regularly drink several litres of wine every day and have done so all their lives for eighty plus years, and these people are still tending their vines and farms, more spritely than the average 40 year old Brit! The French paradox as it is known!

The government has got it’s message very confused. Alcohol itself in moderation is not so bad for us, certainly not if you stick to the fictional “recommended units” as invented by the government after rejecting the findings of the entire medical consultation they had commissioned on the subject – basically the medical experts didn’t give the answer the government had hoped for, so they just went and invented their own safe limits instead! (About half of what the medical experts recommended!)

Alcohol is not so bad in moderation but a lot of UK alcoholic drinks are very bad for us! Why? Because they contain a cocktail of artificial chemicals and have no natural goodness in them whatsoever. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s just like all the processed foods we’ve been tricked into eating. I remember recently one study which found there was more nutritional value in the cardboard packaging than there was in a breakfast cereal!

But the good news is the resurgence in British farmed foods, grown locally, eaten fresh. Small farm shops and similar are enjoying more popularity as Brits are realising just how much healthier these foods really are. “You are what you eat” was a common phrase a while back – well I’m very glad I haven’t been eating this cheap processed rubbish from the big retailers. “20 sausage rolls for £1” – what on earth is in them?

Well the same is possible with wine. You don’t have to drink this highly chemicalled factory produced plonk widely available in the multiple retailers. You can get good healthy natural wine from specialist websites like www.goodwineonline.co.uk which is not just not bad for you, but is actually good for you (in moderation of course!).

Many people assume a hangover is the natural unavoidable after effect of a good night out – we ll it isn’t! It’s the after effect of a cocktail of chemicals – you’ve been drinking the wrong stuff – and it is completely avaoidable. I haven’t had a hangover in ten years, and I’ll drink several bottles of wine over a good night! I just drink the right stuff, made with pride in small independent wineries not in factories, without the addition of all these nasty chemicals.

Next time you’re in the wine aisle at your local supermarket and you’re actually being taken in by one of their seemingly too good to be true half price offers, take a look over at their own label sausages and burgers. That’s what you’re buying – or the bottled equivalent at least!