Originally Posted by Aus_MD
I don't like the style of Grange or the other big Penfolds wines, which I think are overpriced and over rated. I certainly would not knowingly drink wine that has tannin (and who knows what other chemicals) added to it. There are much better shiraz and shiraz blends available for a better price.
Overpriced, I agree. Overrated, I disagree. Tannins are an integral part of wine that occur naturally in the skins and stems of the grapes. To my understanding, tannins are not added to red wines, though they can sometimes be added to white wine (or whites can pick it up naturally by oak aging).
The amount of "chemicals" added to wine is quite small in most cases. Additives in the production process are typically not chemicals to begin with. Examples may include sugar (for under-ripened grapes or to add a boost of alcohol post fermentation. the process is called chaptalization), malic acid (to counter over-ripe grapes, achieved through malolactic fermentation), citric acid (mostly in whites), sulfites which are added sometimes to kill bacteria during fermentation (though they also occur naturally in wine), and tartaric acid. Finning is often done with egg whites in many parts of France and Italy.