Mega Purple. Sounds like a super hero. Mega Purple vs. Batman. I admit it’s a cool name. It would be my super hero name. So what really is mega purple? It is a grape juice concentrate. A sugary syrup like substance. I do not think it is bad for us? It is made from adding a lot of sugar to grape juice and boiling it down to a thick rich syrup. Why is it used in wine? It adds a deep dark color to wine. Consumers like a darker wine color. We think it is a sign of a better wine. Mega purple adds a concentrated taste to lesser quality production wines. Mega purple can cover up bad tastes in wine. It helps those mega mass produced wines all taste the same. After all how do you make hundreds of thousands of cases of one particular wine taste the same? Mega purple is one of the secret ingredients. The more I learn about wine over the decades the more I am able to pick out the mega purple wines. More today than in previous years more mega purple is used as wine has become a commodity for the masses. I used to love these mega wines. Big, chewy, deep dark berry notes and long finishes. Sweet and powerful. But in the last few years I am tasting mega notes in many expensive California wines. Some of those one, two, three and four hundred dollar bottles of wine have mega purple added. This is troubling. For these obscenely priced wines I expect an unadulterated product. After all if the grapes are not the best of the best and the wine maker can not produce the best of the best at this price level, then it confirms my belief that we are all being hoodwinked. But I always said in defense of the capitalism, that if you can find a sucker to pay these high prices, take the money and run. I am in full support of the government enacting wine labels that list all ingredients. Fooling consumers is a pet peeve of mine. Wine is a mystical elixir. Some say it has medicinal properties. Touting, longevity and memory enhancing properties by some studies. But wine should be just wine. Made from grapes, yeast and quality oak. I have been diverting my wine drinking selections back to wines from France, Italy and Spain. I find wines from these regions to taste cleaner and less adulterated. Especially compared to that CSS as my colleagues call it. California sweet stuff. Also the recent mass malbec varietal craze has me tasting lots of mega purple. It is a quick fix to sell wine to the American palate. I am rooting for Batman to win – Keith Ian