Weak wine rules are ‘bureaucracy gone mad’

A company that was banned from calling its product ‘wine’ due to its low alcohol content has failed in a High Court battle against officious EU rules enforced in an overzealous manner by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Sovio wines had sought to import semi-sparkling Spanish white and rose wines to the UK, but because it had an alcohol content of just eight percent, it could not be marketed and sold as ‘wine’ under EU rules which require a minimum content of nine percent.

As a result of the FSA’s ban on the product, Sovio wines lost tens of thousands of pounds of stock held at a bonded warehouse.

Sir Robert Atkins MEP, said:

“This is bureaucracy gone mad. Once again the UK has adopted the strictest interpretation of officious European rules which most other EU countries would turn a blind eye to.

“The EU put these rules in place to protect the ailing French industry. We tried to change them a few years ago but were met fierce opposition.

“What kind of signal does this send about responsible drinking? A wine that has just an eight percent alcohol content tastes just as good as other wines and is still popular. We should encourage more quality low-alcoholic wines to be placed on our shelves, not less.”

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