Lidl withdraws brand of red wine

Supermarket chain Lidl has withdrawn bottles of Australian Creston Bay brand Cabernet Shiraz red wine from sale because of the high levels of sulphur dioxide in it.

Sulphur dioxide, which can cause asthma attacks, has been found at up to 17 times the permitted level in this wine. This amount could trigger an attack in a person with asthma who uncorks a bottle and inhales the smell without even tasting the wine.

Severe asthma attacks can be life-threatening. People with asthma should not open these bottles or drink the wine.

Anyone who has bought one of these bottles would probably realise that the wine is not fit to drink because the chemical gives off a strong, acrid smell. Drinking the wine is unlikely to have any harmful health effects on anyone who does not have asthma, but it would probably taste very unpleasant.

This wine, bottled in 2002 and priced at £2.99, was stocked at Lidl stores from October 10 this year. The bottles, which carry a picture of a kangaroo and a gum tree on the label, have now been withdrawn from sale. Only bottles with the year 2002 displayed on the rear label are covered by this warning.

The problem came to light after a consumer in Germany complained about the wine. Local authorities are being asked to ensure that the product is removed from sale at Lidl stores, which was the only outlet stocking it. Anyone who has one of these bottles should return it to the Lidl store where they bought it for a refund.