Megan Krigbaum published a great article today in Punch about bargain-buster wines and their provenance. Much of the impetus for creating Vineration is the belief that good wine can come in a variety of price ranges, but that wine must be honestly made.
Many of the industrial wine producers, such as The Wine Group who Megan researches in this article, are so shady about what they put into a bottle. There is no way for the average consumer, much less a journalist, to discover how what their wines are made. But I can guarantee it isn't simply fermented grape juice.
It's not that unfined wines are inherently better, or that adding sulfites is wrong... It isn't. The problem with inexpensive wine is that there is no transparency in how it's made. Consumers should know that their cheap wine is more of a chemistry experiment than it is real wine.
The best comparison I can think of is between fruit juices. On the juice isle of the supermarket, it's clearly marked which products are 100% real fresh-squeezed juice, with no preservatives or additives, and which is the sugary quasi-juice, with 10% juice concentrates, loads of hi-fructose corn syrup, ascorbic acid, artificial colors, and loads of other ingredients. People still buy Capri Sun, Hi-C, and other fake juice, but at least they can read the ingredients on the back of the label. They know what they're getting. We wine drinkers don't.
Other non-travel ramblings on wine and business.