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Sainsbury's launches first own-brand sulphur-free wine

Sainsbury’s has started selling the UK’s first widely distributed wine made without the addition of sulphites. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon is produced by the Stellar Winery in South Africa and is sold under Sainsbury’s So Organic label, priced at £4.99.

Senior wine buyer Michelle Smith told ThirtyFifty, ‘We at Sainsbury’s know that there is a market trend for natural products as well as organic products, so we have added in this organic wine as it has the added advantage of having no added sulphur – so is in its natural state. The fact that Stellar is Fairtrade is also key to why we are working with them.’

Sulphites – as sulphur dioxide (SO2) – are added to most wines principally as a preservative and antioxidant and, although they are considered harmless at the levels they are used in wine, some asthmatics have been found to react badly to them.

Michelle added that the reason that this wine can be made without the addition of sulphites is that the winemaker, Dudley Wilson, has selected good, ripe, quality fruit, which has reduced the need to add sulphur during the winemaking process.

The wine, which Sainsbury’s believes is the only supermarket own-brand ‘no added sulphites’ product, has a neck collar telling consumers what this means and warning them ‘once opened, do not store this wine’.