Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Monday, June 24
The Indiana Daily Student


COLUMN: Not the Two-Buck Chuck

It’s sweet, it’s cheap and it comes in a transportable, easy-to-carry cardboard box. Yes, I’m talking about the beloved boxed wine.

But now, claims from a class-action lawsuit filed in California might make you think twice before slapping the bag at that house party next weekend.

According to the lawsuit, certain brands of cheap wine contain high levels of a lovely carcinogen called arsenic.

BeverageGrades, a Denver-based laboratory started by Kevin Hicks, analyzed more than 1,300 bottles ?of wine.

Hicks noticed an unfortunate trend: the lower the price of the wine on a per-liter basis, the higher the level of arsenic.

The brands identified as the worst offenders just happen to be my favorite go-to’s for cheap wine.

Not only am I poisoning my body with excessive amounts of alcohol, but now you tell me that I’m potentially ingesting high levels of a carcinogen, too? Well that’s just grand.

This is worse than when I found out eating too much peanut butter makes you break out.

Franzia’s White Grenache, Trader Joe’s Two-Buck Chuck White Zinfandel and Ménage à Trois contained between three and five times the amount of arsenic the Environmental Protection Agency permits in our drinking water.

Other offenders include Sutter Home, Cupcake, Beringer, Vendage, Charles Shaw and Glen Ellen.

The types of wines named in the lawsuit were primarily white, including moscato, pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc, that cost less than $10.

I can’t remember the last time I paid more than $10 for a bottle of wine.

My mom freaks out when I don’t buy organic apples; this news will most likely devastate her.

But after learning this, I’ll have to reconsider my ?options.

College students do a lot of things fully aware they are no good for our health. We drink a lot, sleep very little and make impromptu trips to Taco Bell at 3 a.m.

And all too often, we ?forget to exercise.

But when it comes to the long-term health effects of arsenic exposure, including various types of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, I’m not about to take such a risk.

I now realize that the cheaper route is not always the better one. I always scoff at cheap liquor brands like Kamchatka or, God forbid, Karkov. And yet, I always reach for the cheapest wine I can get my hands on at Kroger.

I understand the difference from cheap wine and good wine. Yet, here I am with a half-empty bottle of Beringer Pink Moscato sitting in my kitchen at home.

The goal of the lawyer filing the suit was to get the arsenic-plagued wines recalled, the companies to distribute refunds and “ultimately clean up the wine industry in California.” You go, Glen Coco.

I will wait patiently for the day this broken dream ?becomes a reality. Until then, I will be much more selective when it comes to my wine purchases.

Sahara Mart has an overwhelming wine selection from all around the world. I think I’ll have to swing by there more often.

Get stories like this in your inbox