High Arsenic Levels in California Wine

If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the wine industry, particularly the wine industry in the United States in regards to wine produced in California, you’ve probably heard a lot of doom and gloom recently.

That’s because the wine industry in California is currently under serious investigation, all of it stemming from elevated levels of arsenic that are contained in cheaper bottles of wine.

And while the wine industry itself is fighting back against these lawsuits, alongside a number of wine experts throughout the country – and around the world – that argue this is a lot of nothing made into a major scandal, it’s important that you understand exactly what’s going on so that you make sure you aren’t consuming wine that is anything but 100% safe for you.

Hopefully we are going to be shed a little bit of light on the situation, giving you some inside information about the current state of California wine and what they are doing about this arsenic problem.

Red Wine glass and Bottle on a old stone background

California winemakers are finding themselves in a very sticky situation these days

A recent class-action lawsuit filed recently in California against some of the most prominent US winemakers claims that many of they are cheaper options contain between four and five times the maximum amount of arsenic that the EPA allows in drinking water.

This is no small issue.

According to information recently released, a Denver laboratory has been running tests on different bottles of wine offered by some of the most influential companies in the business, and a considerable amount of them all have elevated levels of arsenic in the bottles.

A representative from this laboratory named Kevin Hicks has reported that nearly ¼ of the 1300 bottles that were tested all showed increased levels of arsenic, far outpacing the amount of arsenic that the EPA allows in drinking water.

Arsenic is a very dangerous chemical, linked to numerous forms of cancer, and is a tremendously dangerous poison that many people may be consuming on a day to day basis without even knowing what’s going on.

And that’s why the lawsuits have been flying.

The lawsuits have only just begun

As we touched upon above, there was a recent class-action lawsuit filed in the state of California against almost all of the top-tier California winemakers claiming that they knowingly produce bottles of inexpensive wine that contain elevated levels of arsenic and aren’t doing anything about it.

According to Sacramento Injury Lawyer Michael Rehm, not only is this class-action lawsuit seeking punitive damages (hundreds of millions of dollars), but it’s also lobbying for a complete transformation of the way that winemakers label their bottles. Right now, winemakers have been lobbying pretty heavy against legislators against putting any extra information on their bottles about their ingredients whatsoever, and they have been winning this war.

Because of this arsenic class-action lawsuit, the tide may be shifting considerably.

Here are only a handful of the California winemakers that are getting hammered by these lawsuits

A considerable amount of California winemakers have been listed in this class-action lawsuit. In total, 83 different winemakers and wines are listed in this class-action suit, which makes up a substantial amount of the winemakers in California. This is big, big news.

The future of wine production in California and how the industry is adjusting to this epidemic


Just last year, America was able to officially dethroned France as the largest market for wine in the world, with America exporting close to $1.5 billion worth of wine to the rest of the world. This is big business.

If domestic and international customers are no longer able to trust the wines that are produced in the California region, this could completely cripple the area that has long been known to be one of the most fertile for winemakers – changing the landscape of the industry almost entirely.

It will most certainly be interesting to see how things shake out as far as this class-action lawsuit is concerned, and hopefully things will be able to read resolved rather quickly. However, it’s like any other class-action lawsuit, it’s almost certainly going to be a long, slow, and drawn out process that ends in a settlement.

Sacramento’s Italian Restaurant Scene

Trying to track down a great place to eat in Sacramento isn’t difficult not because there are so few wonderful places to try, but because there are so many!

Though it may not have quite as many top-tier places to dine at as say, San Francisco, the restaurant culture here is as developed as any you’ll find in California (or anywhere else in the US), giving you the chance to really open up your palate and just go wild.

Hopefully we’re going to be able to shine a little bit of light on some of the better places to sit down for a meal, as well as a couple of little joints you’ll pop into for a bite and some fancier places for those special occasions.


What say we dive right in?

Casual dining spots to hit in Sacramento

Maggiano’s Little Italy

Routinely voted one of the best places to eat in all of Sacramento, you’re going to be able to get the most bang for your buck when you visit this Italian-American hotspot. The food here is fantastic, rustic, and authentic, and portions are, well, gigantic. It’s a must-visit spot if you’re into Italian food – and who isn’t?


No, it’s not the same Paesano’s as the one George was buying calzones from in Seinfeld, but it’s not bad, either. This is the kind of place you’ll want to go just about any weeknight – or on the weekend (though expect things to be a little busy). The pizza is solid, the calzones (yes, they have them) are top notch, and the pasta choices are just right.

Masullo Pizza

This little pizza spot is so much more, especially if you’re after something a bit more authentic. This is very much NOT the same kind of food your mom used to make, but instead something fresh from Italy. The food here is pretty cheap, but the portions will fill you up – with more than enough left over to bring home.

Fine dining options in Sacramento



As far as restaurants in Sacramento go, you aren’t going to be finding any of them are better than this one. Effortlessly ranked the very best place to eat in all of Sacramento year after year, the food here is some of the best in California – all at a price point that won’t make you blush. There appears to be no parking, but that’s because a valet will take your car and retrieve it for you at the end of the night so that you don’t have to worry about doing anything but getting in to meet your reservation. Don’t be surprised if you bump into some of California’s rich and famous while dining here, including members of the Sacramento Kings.

The Waterboy

If Biba is the best restaurant in all of Sacramento, The Waterboy would have to be considered the second best. Trendy food – easily the trendiest food in all of Sacramento – the menu was exciting, fun, and fresh. The prices aren’t bad, either!

Osteria Fasulo

Another big Italian favorite in Sacramento, this restaurant is the very place for special occasions. The service is top notch, restaurant is beautiful, and the food is good enough to write home about!

Can’t miss eating experiences when you’re in the area

Lucca Restaurant

Amazing food at an even more amazing price point, this is a modern kind of restaurant with food choices reaching across all different kinds of cuisine. You won’t have any trouble finding something to eat for everyone at your table when you visit this restaurant.

La Trattoria Bohemia

A little bit eclectic, a little bit wild, and a little bit mysterious, the meals that you’re going to have at this restaurant our meals that you aren’t ever going to forget. The chefs are always coming up with new mixes and matches, new dishes, and new flavor combinations that are going to completely transform the way that you think about eating out.

Strings Urban Kitchen

Considered one of the best-kept dining secrets in all of Sacramento, this restaurant has yet to hit the “radar” but a lot of people outside of Sacramento, which means that you’ll still have the opportunity to get one of the best meals in the city at prices that will have your jaw hitting the ground.

Hole in the wall establishments that are off the beaten path, but DEFINITELY worth the visit

Jamie’s Broadway Grille

Il Portico - Italian Restaurant_4ef42_lgFeatured on The Food Network, this is a “off the wall” restaurant that every major city has and a restaurant that every major city tries to keep a secret from everyone else.

Mother Lode Bar & Deli

If you’re looking for amazing sandwiches, top-notch drinks, and some of the best bar food in the city, this is where you’re going to want to eat!

All of the above you cannot go wrong with in California’s capitol gem!