Is a grape drink with 4,5° in alcohol a wine?
They call it lower alcohol wine and the British want to name it wine at a European level against France, Italy and Portugal
Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
A very interesting article by Alice Green published in the “Corriere vincolo” talks about, with great detail, the English strategy regarding the “vinello”. The British Health minister Earl Howe has promoted a political action also regarding other European countries so as to be able to name wine also less alcoholic beverages. At present wine must have at least 8,5% vol, but for Howe this minimum level can be reduced to 4,5. The British authorities are in fact convinced that the “lighter wines” are an excellent weapon against alcoholism and for this reason they apply lower taxes to those grape drinks that have less than 5, 5% in alcohol. A tax reduction which Australia also wants to adopt in the future, which should make the tax value increase as the alcohol vol increases.
In fact the success of lower alcohol wine is strictly bound to its low cost and not
to health reasons, even though it is true that the “vinello” makes you put on less weight than a true wine. In 2012 the sales of these “vinelli” have reached seven million bottles in the UK, two more with respect to the previous year. For this reason the English supermarkets Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrison have signed an agreement the “Public Health Responsibility Deal” with the government which binds both parties to promote the production and the consumption of these “vinelli”
The low alcohol wine is born from a process with instruments such as the Spinning Cone Column, which leave practically unaltered the aroma and the original taste.
The lower alcohol wine consumer is a drinker not a person who knows and appreciates wine. In this frame of mind Bernard Fontannaz from “Origin Wines” sees the “vinelli” as a competitor for beer that can bring new young consumers.
Naturally the defenders of traditional wine are raging. Nobody has anything to say about wines that are naturally low in alcohol such as Moscato or Riesling quite on the contrary the most authoritative opinionists insist on the opportunity of emphasizing those rather than removing alcohol from wines which naturally contain more.