IT’S ONE THING to add an extra pinch of sugar when baking. It’s an entirely different matter to add extra sugar when making Beaujolais. Fifty-three wine producers in the so-called “Beaujolais sugar case” are being fined by a French court after being found guilty of using excessive amounts of sugar to raise alcohol levels in their 2OO4 wines. The fines range from $26OO to $26OOO. The fines are higher than prosecutors had requested and have sparked outrage in the local wine trade. Two middlemen accused of selling sugar to producers without receipts were fined $32,OOO and $46,OOO and sentenced to six months probation and one year of prison, respectively. Three supermarkets and their directors were also accused of selling sugar without legal documentation, and were given fines ranging from $5OOO to $26,OOO. Bad weather and poor growing conditions apparently drove some Beaujolais producers to using excess sugar. Legally, winemakers in Beaujolais are allowed to add enough sugar to boost alcohol by 2 percentage points.