Moet Hennessy withdraws batches of Krug Champagne

Moet Hennessy has had to withdraw some batches of its Krug Champagne as they contain sulphites but do not mention this on the label.

Five batches of the company’s Krug Champagne have been withdrawn as consumers allergic or intolerant of sulphites have been advised not to drink the products and the Food Standards Agency has issued an allergy alert.

The products withdrawn are: all sizes of Krug Grande Cuvee; and 75cl bottles of Krug Rose, Krug Vintage 2000, Krug Clos du Mesnil 2000 and Krug Clos d’Ambonnay 1998.

A spokesman for the Champagne house said sulphites are a natural by-product of the winemaking process and have to be included on the label under food law.

Most withdrawn bottles cost between £120 and £200.


9 Responses to “Moet Hennessy withdraws batches of Krug Champagne”

  1. It is EU law not UK law – effective since 2005 and the very same law applies in France. The EU legislation was passed on 20 March 2000 wef 21 March 2005 so plenty of time for preparation.

    I am a bit puzzled as to why the pre-2005 wines were not grandfathered. And why didn’t they stick “contains sulphites” on the bottles at the time of withdrawal and promptly re-display.

    Every merchant and restaurant should carry a stock of “contains sulphites” sticky labels to stick on errant bottles.

    Oh and as of this month declarations for milk and egg have become effective.

  2. Neil says:

    All those people with sulphur allergies who started buying Krug must be gutted.


    Sulphites are not a natural byproduct of winemaking, by Jove!

    While sulphites are generally considered necessary to prevent oxidation or micro organic problems, and are perfectly acceptable if kept low, they are additives.

    Telling the truth is always preferable.

    Charles P.

    • Indeed Charles,

      I read… then read again this article to make sure I understood correctly… Sulfites is a sensitive subject and keeping the levels as low as possible help winemaking… too much sulfites is definitely a bad idea.

      I agree with Warren that a simple sticky label would suffice, even a couple of attendants touring the shops to stick them would be easy. Then again a large house like Moët could have simply paid to re-print old labels!


    • Nick says:

      They are a natural product. Read your oenology textbook. Yeast is happy to metabolise plenty of precursors and compounds into sulphur containing compounds. Although not enough is created to even make an allergic sparrow fart.

      I can’t believe I even bothered getting involved in the sulphite argument. Yawn.

  4. Matt says:

    Send them to me!!

    It is true that sulphites are a natural by-product of certain yeast fermentations. Any yeast which has ‘killer’ factor produces molecular sulphur dioxide. Unfortunately in approximately 5% of the earths population have an allergy to sulphites which can lead to asthma attacks amoung other things – fortunately asthmatics usually know they are asthmatic and carry a salbutimol/ipratropium inhailer – or a mobile phone to ring an ambulance – which brings me back to my first comment – SEND IT TO ME!!

  5. Crash says:

    That is hilarious, one rule for all-fair enough but the fact that this is news is priceless. Do you reckon someone who buys a bottle of Krug would have the wherewithal to deal with the impending crisis that a glass or 3 might cause them? What about all the CO2 released when the bottle is opened and kills another polar bear. Get real guys!

  6. Kevin Hamel says:

    Thing 1) Sulfites ARE a natural byproduct of Saccharomyces fermentations, but at very low levels; 10 – 15 ppm, which is below most peoples threshold level of detection. These levels are also not very effective in combatting oxidation or spoilage bugs, hence the common practice of adding some.

    Thing 2) All wines (sold in the US) must have “Contains Sulfites” on the label. Those wines to which none was added can bel labeled “No Added Sulfites” because people with sensitivity to them can still be affected by the naturally occurring levels.

    Thing 3) If the Krug wines have high enough levels to warrant pulling them from the market, it is because someone at the cellar screwed up – either in arithmetic or in measuring. Excessive sulfites in Champagne are even more objectionable than in table wines as the CO2 pushes them into the nose very effectively (just like any other aromatic component). True headache material! Guessing somewhere in the 100 – 150ppm range.

  7. John Casey says:

    I am a sulfite sensitive asthmatic with several decades experience in the wine industry, and.over the last 40 or more years I have turned cosiderable amounts of wine into water. More than 99% of the sulfite in wine exists in the ionic form or is immobilised by reaction with other compounds.Reaction to sulfites is caused by inhalation of gaseous sulfur dioxide, and the concentration of this form in wine is severely limited by its unpleasant acrid odour. There is no adverse respiratory reaction at concentrations less than its sensory threshold. Sulfite plays a part in plant and animal metabolism and cannot be said to be “unnatural”. Humans produce and metabolise some 1 – 2 grams per day. Inadvertent excessive addition of sulfite can occur.

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