When Tainted Wine Made Civil Hands Unclean

Editorial Staff
February 23, 2006

Italy marked the 20th anniversary of the methanol scandal that resulted in the deaths of 26 people and the collapse of the Italian wine industry. The catastrophic event is now considered a watershed by Italian wine sector leaders, who claim the tragedy has resulted in higher quality wines 20 years later.  In 1986 a series of deaths in Italy was attributed to drinking wine that had been tainted with methanol in order to increase alcohol levels. At the time of the scandal, many wine producers were more interested in quantity than excellence. After the market’s collapse, producers began to reconsider the wine-making process and higher quality wines began to take over the market soon after.

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